Earning a Master’s in Math Education Online

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November 20, 2020

Should I Pursue a Master's in Math Education Online?

Master's programs in math education attract students who are interested in math and passionate about teaching. Math education graduate programs prepare students for work as K-12 teachers, school administrators, curriculum specialists, and postsecondary professors. Graduates can find jobs in public schools, private schools, colleges, and universities.

Many aspiring teachers choose to earn their master's degree in math education online instead of on campus. Distance students often enjoy more flexibility than on-campus learners. Since many online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule and from anywhere, online learning is ideal for students with full-time jobs or families. Additionally, online students often save money on housing, meal plans, and transportation. This guide covers information related to earning an accredited online math teaching degree, including common career paths, salary expectations, and course requirements.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Math Education Graduates

Master's in Math Education Salary

Several factors affect individual salaries and employment outlook for professionals with an online master's in math education. The tables below illustrate how location and experience level can influence pay expectations.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college-level mathematical science teachers earn higher salaries in certain states. Math professors in Washington, D.C. earn average annual salaries of more than $116,000, while teachers in New Jersey earn just under $98,000 per year. Teachers in both states earn considerably more than the national average for the occupation. Professional experience also impacts earning potential; according to PayScale, teachers with more than 20 years of experience earn average salaries nearly $20,000 higher than those of entry-level professionals.

Top-Paying States for Postsecondary Mathematical Science Teachers

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
District of Columbia 180 $116,280
Rhode Island 210 $112,630
New Hampshire 190 $102,280
New York 4,620 $102,040
New Jersey 1,850 $97,530
United States 50,870 $84,710

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's in Math Education Careers

Graduates can pursue a variety of career paths after earning a master's degree in math education online. These programs help students develop the mathematics, teaching, curriculum development, and classroom management abilities necessary for many education-related professions. Most professionals focus on teaching a specific age group; math education graduates can find teaching jobs in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. They can also work as instructional coordinators, who plan curricula for entire school systems.

High School Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $59,170

Projected Growth Rate: 8%

High school teachers specialize in a particular subject, such as English, science, or math. They plan lessons, assess student progress, and ensure all students meet statewide and national expectations. Many public school systems require teachers to hold a graduate degree, such as a master of science in mathematics education.

Postsecondary Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $76,000

Projected Growth Rate: 15%

Postsecondary teachers work in community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. They typically need a Ph.D., but some colleges require only a master's degree. These teachers prepare lectures, instruct students, and grade assignments. Additionally, they often conduct research and write academic papers in their discipline.

Instructional Coordinator

Annual Median Salary: $63,750

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Instructional coordinators oversee curricula and teaching practices in schools and school systems. They develop curricula, observe teachers, and evaluate student test scores. Instructional coordinators also recommend curriculum improvements and new teaching strategies. Instructional coordinators, especially those planning to work in public schools, need a master's degree in education.

Department Chair (College/University)

Annual Median Salary: $92,360

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

These education professionals lead academic departments within colleges and universities. They oversee professors, instructors, and teaching assistants. They also develop department-wide goals and coordinate plans with university administrators. Department chairs need a graduate degree and significant experience in their academic field.

High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $52,100

Projected Growth Rate: -5%

These professionals teach adults the basic skills they need to pass a high school equivalency exam, such as the GED. Teachers help learners study social studies, math, language arts, and science. They also develop students' communication, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. Though a bachelor's is the minimum educational requirement for this position, some employers prefer to hire teachers with a master's degree.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Math Education Program?

The following section covers common elements of online math teaching degree curricula. While program details vary between schools, the best master's degrees in math education online teach similar skills and concepts. Below are common graduate-level math education classes.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Math Education

Psychology and Child Development for Educators

This course introduces fundamental concepts of educational psychology and childhood development. Learners study human development theories that prepare them to teach children and adolescents. Students also explore the social, cognitive, and physical changes related to child development. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers can benefit from an understanding of child development theory.

Classroom Management and Motivation

All teachers need strong classroom management skills to create successful learning environments. Students in this course examine the qualities of effective classroom environments and learn about common rules and procedures. They also learn to promote self-management and self-discipline among students.

Algebra for Secondary Mathematics Teaching

Math teachers at all levels need knowledge of topics including algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability. This course explains basic algebraic concepts and introduces techniques for teaching algebra. Students learn to teach functions, variables, ratios, and rational numbers. They also study common misconceptions and mistakes.

Mathematics Learning and Teaching

This course introduces strategies and techniques for teaching math. Master's students learn to choose appropriate strategies and resources based on subject material and student ability. They also explore the basics of instructional planning.

Problem-Solving Strategies

Students earning a master's in math education online gain a variety of strategies to help students navigate math problems. Students in this course learn to explain problem-solving approaches, such as considering a simpler problem or guessing and checking. Students interested in teaching math at any level benefit from coursework in problem-solving techniques.

Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Math Education Prepares For

Professional Organizations & Resources

Students, recent graduates, and early-career teachers should consider joining a professional organization. Professional associations offer valuable resources for professional development, networking, and career advancement. For example, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development hosts an annual conference during which members can learn about the latest educational approaches. Unions, such as the American Federation of Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers, advocate for the rights and benefits of public school educators.

Methodology

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