Secondary Math Teacher Career Info and Education Requirements

Secondary math teacher positions require some formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Secondary math teachers teach subjects such as algebra and geometry in public or private middle schools and high schools. They prepare lesson plans, provide instruction and grade assignments and exams. Secondary math teachers generally hold at least a bachelor's degree in math and a secondary teacher certificate; however, a master's is sometimes required. Public school teachers must be licensed in the state where they teach. Alternative licensure may be available as well.

Required Education Bachelor's required, master's sometimes needed
Other Requirements State license required for public school positions
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 6% for secondary school teachers
Median Salary (2013)* $55,360 annually for secondary school teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Secondary Math Teacher Career Info

Secondary teachers usually teach students in grades 6-12. Secondary math teachers may cover concepts such as fractions, scientific notation, exponents and the metric system in pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics and calculus classes. In addition to classroom instruction, teachers prepare lesson plans, supervise students during homeroom and study hall, provide students with individualized support and feedback, hold parent-teacher conferences, grade homework and exams, oversee extra-curricular activities and take students on field trips. Teachers also help identify students with behavioral problems or learning disorders and obtain proper assistance for them.

Teachers work during the school year, which typically runs from September through June except in areas with year-long school schedules. They may either take the summer off or earn additional income by teaching summer school.

Education Requirements

Secondary teachers must hold at least a bachelor's degree. Individuals who teach secondary math often hold a bachelor's degree in mathematics and an undergraduate secondary teacher certificate or equivalent. Some schools also offer bachelor's degrees in math education or a bachelor in math with a teaching concentration. Whichever path is chosen, a combination of study in math and education are required.

A bachelor's degree program in math includes courses in calculus, multi-variable calculus, linear algebra, statistics and number theory. Teacher education classes explain teaching methodology, the human learning process and curriculum development. Most teaching programs also require students to complete an internship where they gain supervised teaching experience.

Licensure Requirements

All public school teachers must be licensed in the state in which they teach. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require teachers to hold a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher education program. To earn licensure, prospective teachers must pass examinations that test basic reading and writing skills as well as knowledge of the subject they intend to teach.

Because math and science teachers are often in short supply, many states provide alternative licensure options for these teachers. Alternative licensure is designed for individuals who hold bachelor's degrees in math but who did not complete a concurrent teacher certification program in college. Those seeking licensure through alternate options may need to complete teacher education courses before earning the license. Some states allow qualified applicants to teach under the supervision of an experienced teacher while completing teacher training courses in the evening or on weekends.

Private school teachers usually do not need to be licensed. However, many private schools require secondary teachers to obtain a master's degree in their subject.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
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    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs at the University of Kansas must have already earned a bachelor's degree.
    School locations:
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    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master's - Curriculum and Instruction

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    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
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    Online Programs

    • Master
        • M.A. Teaching --Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
        • M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9, or 5-12)
        • M.A. Teaching (K-8)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Chemistry)
        • M.A. Teaching --Science (5-9 or 5-12)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Biological Science)
    • Bachelor
        • B.A. Science (5-9)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Chemistry)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Geosciences)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Physics)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Biological Science)
    • Non-Degree
        • Post-bacc Teacher Prep Prgm --Math (5-9 or 5-12)
        • Post-bacc Teacher Prep Prgm (K-8)
        • Post-bacc Teacher Prep Prgm --Science (5-9 or 5-12)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Psychology programs do not lead to licensure and do not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.
    • An online degree does not lead to teacher licensure in any state; online education programs are not CAEP
    • * TEAC
    • or NCATE accredited
    • which is a requirement for certification in some states.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Doctorate
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    • Master
        • Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
        • Master of Arts in Education - Distance Learning
        • Master of Arts in Education

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • English Teacher Education
        • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Studies Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
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    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • English Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Agricultural Education for Teachers
        • Art Teacher Education
        • English Teacher Education
        • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Physical Education and Coaching
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Science Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics