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Math Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to have a career as a math technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and prospects to find out if this is the career for you.

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Math technicians compute and solve mathematical equations for engineering projects or scientific research. They typically have at least a bachelor's degree in mathematics and can work in engineering firms to help determine the feasibility of projects or in academia to teach math concepts to students. There is a quickly growing need for mathematicians in the job market, and those who find employment may earn a median salary of $46,600 a year.

Essential Information

Although there are two different careers known as math technician, both require a firm understanding of mathematical and statistical concepts, as well as the ability to explain the concepts, formulas, applications and methodology behind them to others.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in mathematics
Other Requirements Ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively to others
Projected Job Growth 21% from 2014-2024 for mathematicians*
Median Salary (2015) $46,600 annually for mathematical technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

The first, and less common of the two kinds of math technicians, computes and solves mathematical formulas and calculations to assist in engineering and scientific work. The second type works in schools from the elementary to the college level to assist students in developing their understanding of mathematical ideas and their ability to do the work.

In the Field of Science or Engineering

Although increasingly a niche occupation, these technicians analyze and process data in the form of numerical and statistical information. They use this information to assist scientific or engineering personnel in planning and completing projects. Employing practical and correct mathematical formulas and principles, math technicians in these fields organize and simplify computations for their peers. Often, this data can be reduced to graphs and charts to support the objective of the firm or business.

In the Field of Education

Math technicians in an academic environment are generally responsible for tutoring students who are having difficulties with math and statistics coursework. They work closely with classroom teachers and other instructional staff and are available to help facilitate learning disabled or academically challenged students' comprehension of mathematical principles, formulas and objectives.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Applied Math
  • Computational Math
  • Math for Computer Science
  • Mathematical Probability and Statistics
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Duties

In both cases, math technicians are responsible for being able to understand and explain math concepts. In addition, both are responsible for working with others to resolve math-related problems. Beyond that, however, the two have different duties.

In the Field of Science or Engineering

Math technicians working in an engineering firm or for a scientific business or organization examine and interpret experimental and actual data to determine the mathematical applicability and feasibility of projects or instrument usage. They ensure that the mathematical components of such are sound, and that the principles and formulas involved in scientific inquiry and work are both defined and reliable.

In the Field of Education

Math technicians in schools explain new ways of understanding mathematical concepts and applications. They are responsible for comprehending both the math involved and the nature of students' difficulties with the work, and so they work closely with classroom teachers as well. Part of their role is figuring out how best to assist students. Math technicians are also typically responsible for working with relevant instructional support services at the school. In a college or university setting, a math technician may assist students in arranging for classroom or testing accommodations, peer tutoring and other assistive measures.

Requirements

For employment in both the educational or science and engineering fields, technicians need a solid mathematics education. Often this requires a 4-year college degree, although employers' minimum qualifications may vary. In addition, the ability to explain mathematical and statistical concepts, formulas, theories and applications clearly is necessary. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, someone pursuing a mathematics technician career might take classes in math, statistics, physics, computer programming or engineering science (www.opm.gov).

Salary and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't have salary or employment outlook information for mathematics technicians working in educational settings. It also doesn't have employment outlook predictions for those working in science and engineering fields; however, the BLS did indicate in its May 2015 salary report that mathematical technicians earned $46,600 in median annual wages.

Math technicians utilize their expertise in mathematics and mathematical systems to solve engineering problems and help in scientific research. They have at least a bachelor's degree in mathematics and can find employment within universities, engineering firms, or even governmental offices. This is a quickly-growing job market at an expected rate of 21 percent over the next decade, but those interested will need to have a strong understanding of mathematical concepts and the ability to convey them to others.

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