The 5 Best Career Options for Math Majors

Man creating charts on laptop.

When people think about jobs that use math, they usually imagine positions in academia. But between the analytical abilities fostered by studying math and general proficiency in mathematics, Math majors have some of the most widely transferable skills, allowing for a wide range of career opportunities.

Since these positions aren’t obvious, many of the best jobs for math majors are often overlooked.  For example, the insurance industry has several high paying career tracks for math majors. The following list of careers that make use of a mathematics background can help give you a better sense of the huge range of possibilities.

Top Math Careers & Salaries

Jobs that use math are becoming more common, with employment opportunities for math careers being projected to grow considerably faster than average. On average, careers in math are also quite lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), math occupations had a median wage of $86,700, more than double the median wage of all occupations.

1. Mathematicians and Statisticians

Job Duties: Statisticians make use of data analysis to make projections, and help guide decision making in a variety of fields. That includes healthcare, engineering, and countless others.

Education: Some positions allow for a bachelor’s degree, but at least a master’s degree is necessary for most. Typical fields of study include statistics, linear algebra, and other forms of advanced mathematics.

Job Outlook:  Between 2016 and 2018, the BLS projects 33% job growth, making these some of the most in-demand jobs that require math skills.

Median Salary: $88,190 per year

2. Actuary

Job Duties: An actuary uses data to model risk and uncertainty, helping to chart a course of action that will reduce a client’s risk. Actuaries are useful in many fields, but can be especially important for creating policies in the insurance industry.

Education: The minimum education you need is a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, you also need to pass a series of actuarial exams. Common fields of study include economics, finance, statistics, and other areas of math.

Job Outlook: Between 2016 and 2018, the BLS projects 22% job growth. And in terms of compensation, these are certainly one of the best jobs for math majors.

Median Salary: $102,880 per year

3. Market Research Analyst

Job Duties: A market search analyst studies the market in order to project potential sales, making it one of the most business-oriented career opportunities in math. This research allows companies to determine what people want, who wants it, and what they’re willing to pay.

Education: Requiring both analytical and math skills, a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum bar for entry. However, some positions require a master’s degree. Typical fields of study include computer science, statistics, business, and other areas of mathematics.

Job Outlook: Between 2016 and 2018, the BLS projects market research analyst employment to increase by 23% due to increased demand in almost all industries. 

Median Salary: $63,120 per year

4. Financial Analyst

Job Duties: By assessing the past and potential performance of various types of investment, and then modeling predictions about the future, a financial analyst helps people make investment decisions.

Education: Financial analysts usually only require a bachelor’s degree. As students, typical fields of study include business, calculus, linear algebra, and statistics.

Job Outlook: The need for financial analysts is anticipated to outpace the average growth of all occupations, with the field expected to grow 11% between 2016 and 2026.

Median Salary: $85,660 per year

5. Data Scientist

Job Duties: Data science is about using advanced mathematical modeling to identify potential problems, find solutions, or otherwise guide decision making processes. You can get many insurance jobs with a math degree, but few are as multi-disciplinary.

Education: A data scientist will need at least a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree can be preferential. Typical fields of study include statistics, programming, communication, and applied mathematics.

Job Outlook: This is one of the fastest growing insurance careers using math. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS projects 27% growth for this field, far ahead of average.

Median Salary: $83,390 per year

Explore More Insurance Jobs that Use Math with MyPath

Many industries have growing demand for math degrees, and that includes the insurance industry. Between data scientists, actuaries, claims adjusters, and countless other career opportunities in the insurance industry, it’s not hard for a math major to find a suitable job. And once you’ve got a job narrowed down, you can start using MyPath’s career planning resources and lay a course for your new career in math.