If you've ever had occasion to talk with a maths teacher, during a parent-teacher conference or during a spontaneous consultation on your child's progress, you might have sensed a feeling of malcontent underlying his/her assertions.

Frustration over heavy workload has pushed more educators to become a maths tutor recently. Teaching geared to ensure students pass mandatory exams instead of delving deeper into curriculum, aspects that would guarantee true learning, is another great source of ire.

Impossibly high standards to reach, which, by the way, determine a master's earning potential.

Is teacher pay really scaled on a pupil reaching learning milestones?

How is pay determined for maths teachers in the USA?

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Why Is Mathematics So Important?

A blue ballpoint pen is placed on a white notebook next to a calculator
Mathematics professor's salaries are competitive and reasonable. This is because the importance of maths in our daily lives and the world around us is unmatchable. In addition to that, mathematics helps you develop the critical thinking skills that you can use to explain, alter, examine and solve problems. Moreover, the subject of maths boosts brain power and is a way to enter any field, be it business, finance, banking, or others (Source: Unsplash)

Maths help develop logical and critical thinking alongside other abilities to describe, change and analyze situations.

In addition to that, it's also considered the language of science and is applicable to every aspect of our lives.

Moreover, it builds problem-solving skills. With the help of maths, you can prepare your brain to perceive problems and solutions logically and cogently.

Unfortunately, despite being one of the most significant fields of study in STEM, mathematics professor's salaries are low, even lower than a few other STEM fields.

Whether they teach in school, college, or university, math teacher's salary should be increased substantially, given the importance and influence of the subject.

Without further ado, here's a list of reasons why mathematics is so essential:

Mathematics Is Excellent For The Brain

A mathematical equation is written on a brown wooden board of a secondary school class
Did you know that one of the many benefits of learning and understanding mathematics is that it helps you develop a sharp brain? Some other benefits include enhanced problem-solving abilities, vast career opportunities, and a higher on average math teacher's salary compared to most graduates (Source: Unsplash)

Companies desire employees with analytical and creative abilities. Our brain creates vital neural pathways to process information, and mathematics exercises our ability to do so.

For instance, when solving an equation, students will:

  • Gather the information
  • Break it down
  • Observe the relationship
  • Solve all parts

If pupils can understand this process through math and come to rational solutions, it will help them face real problems.

Hence, they will search for the most reasonable logic, see potential solutions, and connect the information to conclude.

One study conducted by Dr. Tanya Evan of Stanford University, California, proved that students who regularly solve math equations tend to have higher analytical skills than those who don't.

Moreover, regular math is also good for brain exercise. As per research, mathematics is arguably among the best methods to strengthen your brain.

For example, we work out to stay physically fit, and in the same way, we must work our brain to keep it functioning at an optimal level.

Though there are several brain workouts, none is as effective as solving math problems.

Real-World Applications

The years you spend studying math will arm you to solve real-life problems. For instance, are you thinking of buying a house?

Navigating mortgage rates and percentages are directly linked to understanding the basics of mathematics.

Do you actively rely on technology? If so, math is also rooted in computer tech, and we probably wouldn't have any advanced technology without the subject.

In short, math is required for almost all professions worldwide. No matter the job you choose, you'll have to work with numbers. This includes:

  • Biologist
  • Rocket scientist
  • An organization's CEO
  • An estate agent

These are all high-paying positions. In contrast, the average math teacher's salary is around $53,238, which should be higher considering the times.

Improved Problem-Solving Abilities

Possibly none will get near to Alan Turning's problem-solving and mathematical genius. He is often even called the "father of the modern computers."

In addition to that, he broke the infamous "Nazi Enigma Code," among several other vital mathematical developments.

However, even if you end up half as capable as Mr. Turing, you'll be able to solve problems, even the most complex ones!

Math offers clarity in problem-solving. And almost all mathematicians consider problem-solving skills as a centerpiece to their subject.

Did you know that problem-solving abilities have played a crucial part in helping some era-defining educationalists, researchers, and theorists get to a platform of notoriety?

Virtually Helps Every Career

Knowledge of maths and its various complexities can assist in almost all careers. According to the American Mathematical Society (AMS), a job based on maths offers numerous opportunities.

Firstly, mathematical education and research are centerpieces of the most important professions. Secondly, other jobs use maths to enhance and build crucial frameworks of:

  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Business
  • Science

Moreover, some of the careers that take advantage of a maths degree include computer programmers, engineers, actuaries, business managers, mathematic teachers, and statisticians.

Though all these careers are poles apart, they have got one thing in common: all of them need strong mathematical skills.

Here is how to find maths tutees.

Help People Understand The Surrounding World Better

Here's the straight truth: studying mathematics enables students to understand their surrounding world much better.

This may seem obvious to you; however, understanding the minute nuances of maths can help you understand the surrounding world with a fresh and positive outlook.

For instance, Einstein's theory of relativity – what we see as the "gravity force," in fact, appears from time and space, and objects like the Earth and Sun alter this geometry.

Develop And Enhance Your Transferrable Skills

Math teaches you abilities that you'll be able to utilize in different workspaces and daily situations. This way, the skills you learn through mathematics will be helpful to you throughout life.

A few transferrable abilities that a mathematics degree can provide you include but are not limited to:

  • Critical thinking
  • Organization
  • Data analysis
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Decision making

Mathematics Is A Universal Language

Did you know mathematics is a universal language? Wondering how? Well, it's one of the few languages understood across various countries, languages, and cultures.

For example, a simple arithmetic problem such as "3+3= 6" is similar regardless of country or culture.

Whether you're Russian, British, French, or American, the proofs, equations, theorems, and other complex math problems are solved similarly; what matters is the know-how of the mathematical concepts.

Salary Advantage

According to one study, mathematics graduates typically earn a considerable amount more than the average graduate salary of students with business and social science degrees.

Graduates frequently go into positions in:

  • Banking
  • Engineering
  • Business

Their advanced understanding of arithmetic concepts helps them earn good money in these disciplines.

Factors That Affect A Math Teacher's Earnings

A maths teacher talks their class through a challenging concept
Do you know the average college maths teacher's salary? It's around $51000 per year. This depends on several factors, including the qualification level, years of teaching experience in a reputed institute, location, and whether it is a public or private school (Source: Unsplash)

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten teachers earned, on average, $48,800/year in 2010 in the United States of America. Within that, the lowest-paid 10% gained about $31,720, and the highest-paid 10% made $76,400.

Moreover, on average, a college math teacher's salary was around $51,000 in 2010. This is excluding special education math teachers.

You may be wondering, why is there such a difference in math teachers' salaries? Here's a list of factors that affect math teacher's earnings:

Years Of Teaching Experience

Primary and secondary school math teachers' salaries can vary significantly and depend on the number of teaching years under their belt.

As per the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), math teachers with a year of experience had earned $38,000 on average from 2007 to 2008.

On the other hand, math teachers with extensive experience made more money than teachers with one year's experience.

For example, teachers with four and ten years of experience made $42,000 and $56,000/year, respectively.

Primary School Math Teacher Salary Varies By Specialty

Primary school maths teachers for pupils with physical, psychological, emotional, or learning disabilities earned, on average, a yearly salary of $53,521 in 2011.

Within that, the lowest 10% made about $36,000; whereas, the highest-paid 10% math teachers made around $80,100/yearly, on average.

Math Teacher's Salary Based On Educational Level

Like in any other profession, math teachers with higher degrees can earn more than those with undergraduate degrees.

As per the NCES reports, the average salaries for math teachers are:

  • $43,200 with bachelor's degrees
  • $53,080 with master's degrees
  • $52,900 with specialist degrees
  • $58,090 with doctorate degrees

Math Teachers' Salaries Vary By State And City

Apart from your education and years of experience, another factor that affects a teacher's salary is location. As per the one report, these are the highest-paid math tutoring cities/states in the US:

  • New York top the ranking charts with an annual $81,800
  • Connecticut with yearly earnings of $71,900 annually
  • Maryland with $70,300 per year
  • California with a pay-scale of $70,200/yearly

School's Community And Geographical Location Also Affects The Pay-Scale

Apart from the more expansive city they function teach in, their community also affects their pay scale considerably.

For instance, as per one NCES survey, math teachers make roughly $59,010 in city schools compared to rural schools where math teachers earned only $48,050 – both on average.

Math Teacher's Salary In Public And Private Primary Schools

Teachers teaching math at a public primary school tend to fare better than those teaching mathematics at a private primary school.

According to one report of the NCES, a math teacher in a public school earned around $49,100 per year; on the other hand, math teachers in private schools made approximately $38,900.

Disparity In Teachers Pay Scale

Teacher LevelNew York Inner CityNew York OutskirtsNew York Fringe LocalesRest of the US
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)min: $29,972.03
max: $43825.83
min: $28310.07
max: $42174.95
min: $25398.87
max: $ 39254.06
min: $ 23832.48
max: $ 37693.21
Median Salary Rangemin: $41083.60
max: $55913.81
min: $38219.49
max: $ 53962.39
min: $ 34428.84
max: $ 50076.18
min: $ 32851.37
max: $ 48484.85
Upper Salary Rangemin: $61615.71
max: $66816.25
min: $55827.94
max: $60035.46
min: $52293.51
max: $56118.78
min: $ 50753.43
max: $ 54575.93
Leading Practitionersmin: $66133.46
max: $95080.62
min: $60035.46
max: $88977.08
min: $ 57154.74
max: $ 86094.96
min: $ 55622.96
max: $ 84489.79
Head Teachersmin: $73085.99
max: $164104.50
min: $67008.76
max: $158089.60
min:$ 64148.81
max: $ 155261.50
min: $ 62618.42
max: $ 153740.81

As illustrated in the table above, there is substantial earning opportunity for teachers in our country.

Depending on which part of the USA you work in, your starting annual salary as a newly certified teacher in a primary school will range from$32851.37 to $55913.81and from $30737.91 to $49040.23 in a Secondary school, depending on your educator experience.

By contrast, salaries for Head Teachers at primary and secondary schools across the country cap off at over $153740.81per year. In and around New York, the ceiling is even higher.

The average salary data for an entry-level professor with less than five years of teaching experience in higher education or Post-secondary institution throughout the US indicates $92575.22per year. Lecturers with five to ten years of experience stands to earn up to $105257.34 per annum, including bonuses and overtime.

If that Professor amasses twenty years of higher education lecturing experience, s/he would see yearly compensation upwards of $124646.85per year, including any bonuses for research or mentoring graduate students through their dissertation.

While it is true that higher education teachers can earn bonuses for research or taking on extra responsibilities such as SAT maths revision or AP Math classes, primary and secondary school math teachers can also profit financially by teaching students with special education needs or by taking on diverse other responsibilities.

Other Earning Opportunities For Qualified Teachers

Incentive TypeMinimum Annual AllowanceMaximum Annual Allowance
Working with SEN students
(qualified teachers only)
$2976.29$5875.02
TLR1$10876.13$18403.41
TLR2$3768.49$9204.48

In addition to qualified teachers' standard earnings, they may take on extra duties and/or responsibilities that will net them a bit more, added to their annual income.

Our general educational strategy for SEN involves extra teacher time focused on those students identified as Special Needs and continuing education for teachers so that they may stat abreast of the latest policies and methods of teaching such students.

Qualified teachers who elect to work with SEN students may receive additional renumeration within the range indicated in the table above.

Another way teachers can add a bit more to their annual salary is through TLR payments ( teacher learning and responsibility payments).

The following are the exacting guidelines that dictate the criteria for earning either a TLR 1 or 2 payout.

  • TLRs may not be awarded for routine classroom activity or for work that is expected of all teachers.
  • They involve developing, enhancing, and leading teaching methods and practices of every school teacher in that facility.
  • TLR-worthy programs must have a noticeable impact on the improvement of student's performance throughout the school - not just that teacher's pupils.
  • Eligibility for a TLR requires teachers to develop and manage a curriculum segment or subject (Pupil performance improvement across the curriculum can also be a criterion)
  • Require the use of a teacher's professional skills in improving other teachers' performance.
  • Candidates must have a management responsibility over more than just a few people.

In addition to TLR 1 and 2 awards, there is further opportunity to earn a TLR 3 award. The criteria are much the same as the other program but are awarded to qualified teachers for short-term or limited duration programs.

Any teacher who has previously received a TLR 1 and/or 2 award may also receive a TLR 3 disbursement. However, no teacher may receive more than one TLR 1 or 2 payment at any one time.

As no distinction is made for pay purposes between math teachers and teachers of other subjects, they too may choose to work with SEN students and participate in the TLR programs.

Furthermore, the disparity of pay for and between a Maths tutor hourly wage or online maths tutor whose students are preparing for their exam with a course-specific professor who chairs thesis defense seems counter-intuitive.

Historically, a teacher's career track, including promotions and continuing education, would lead to a University position – with its honored title of Professor and the promise of tenure: the pinnacle of success for any teacher.

Get hints on how to tutor Math here.

Renumeration for professors can include grants and bonuses
An experienced professor stands to earn handsomely. Source: Pixabay
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Teacher Salary Based On Seniority And Tenure

Full-time Permanent Posts, or Positions – what is referred to as 'tenure' in other countries, meant that a university professor had life-long job security, even if s/he brought shame to the institution or to him/herself, or became incapacitated and could no longer function in his/her position.

In the film Educating Rita, a professor proudly announces his attainment of a Position, bragging that he could not be fired, no matter what.

He then engages in a series of misdeeds that should have seen him removed from his position; instead, he is sent on sabbatical to Australia. He did not get expelled from his position, even when he assaulted his superior.

These permanent posts were few and far between, highly coveted and stingily awarded.

Soon, such appointments will be a thing of the past. As the last of the Positioned Professors retire or withdraw from academic life, their posts will be filled by teachers on contract with no possibility of gaining tenure at their institution.

The Reform Act changed the nature of post-secondary schools from mere institutes of higher learning into businesses. That, in turn, altered the relationship of Professors with their domains.

No longer would schools vie for especially talented teachers; nor would genius be particularly cultivated.

Everyone signs a contract: permanent, indefinite, or school year to school year.

This move was meant to narrow the gap between academic institutions and polytechnic schools. Public school teachers at Polytechnic universities have always worked under contract, and such houses of learning have always been 'for profit.'

1992 saw a further narrowing of the gap between the two types of schools: all polytechnic colleges became Universities.

From then on, any illusion that academic professorship conveyed gravitas was irrevocably destroyed.

How Seniority In Primary And Secondary Education Affects Teachers Pay

Primary and Secondary schools are also run as businesses and those teachers are also contract employees, even though these schools are overseen and regulated by the government.

However, as demonstrated in teacher salaries breakdown table at the start of this article, rank and seniority does bear on a teacher's earning power.

Here we take a closer look at compensation for specific levels of teaching.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teachers are expected to teach a variety of subjects: Reading, Writing, Grammar, Sciences, and, of course, Mathematics.

Salaries for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in the USA start on the minimum rate of the main pay range which is $32851.37. The pay range rises on an incremental basis up to $48484.85

Teachers with some experience start on salaries of $31668.61 and with experience can work up to salaries of $50523.52.

After gaining experience and expertise, teachers in the USA who reach the top of the main pay range can apply to be assessed to progress to the upper pay scale. This ranges from $50753.43 to $54575.93. Higher salaries can be achieved by reaching advanced skills and leadership group levels.

Experienced teachers who wish to remain in the classroom rather than pursue management careers can take part in the chartered teacher programme, which involves further skills development.

Chartered Teachers Attracts A Higher Teacher Salary

Taking on extra duties brings in more money
Primary school teachers instruct on a range of subjects. Source: Pixabay

Primary school teachers work with Key Stage 1 and 2 students (P2 through P7) ages ranging from five to eleven. At this stage, students are given instruction in discrete segments, sometimes with teachers that specialize in a particular subject.

  • New entrants to the profession in US start on the main salary scale, which rises incrementally from $32851.37to $54575.9. Enhanced pay scales apply for teachers working in or near New York.
  • In other parts, the new entrants' starting salary is $31668.61, plus any payments made through the Preference Waiver Scheme, rising incrementally to $50523.52

After gaining experience and expertise, particularly skilled classroom teachers in the USA can, where the opportunities exist, apply for a leading practitioner position.

Schools now have the freedom to create higher-salary posts for teachers whose primary purpose is modeling and leading improvement of teaching skills. Salaries in this bracket start at $53991.48, potentially rising to over $138496.50

Starting in Secondary School, students are treated to a daily rotation of teachers, each of whom are firmly entrenched in their discipline. All instructors, including Maths teachers, stand to earn:

NQTs in America start on the main pay range, which rises incrementally from $32851.37 to $48484.85 ($41083.60 to $55913.8 for inner New York).

Salaries on the main scale in countryside range from $30805.78 to $45023.83

In towns and cities, salaries range from $31668.61 to $50523.52.

Academies and free schools set their own pay and working conditions. These may be very similar to local authority schools, or they may vary considerably.

Teachers may move into key stage or year leaders, mentoring , and management roles. Management roles in particular result in considerable salary increases.

Further Education Teachers is a blanket term used to describe anyone who teaches beyond secondary school: at university or a sixth form college, for example.

  • As an unqualified further education (FE) teacher, you could expect to earn $26325.41 to $31265.58. A qualified FE teacher can earn between $33172.68 and $50083.10.
  • Typical salaries for advanced jobs in teaching and training levels are in the region of $49858.74 to $55398.60. Within leadership and management roles, salaries can significantly exceed that amount.

It is important to note that these pay scales are for all teachers, at every stage of development and experience, not exclusively for Maths teachers or tutors.

Experience and performance determine a teacher's salary in the UK.
Teachers' salaries are based in part on performance. Source: Pixabay

Experience Is (Not Necessarily) What Matters Most With Teachers Pay Scale

While it is true that teachers with significant classroom experience can apply for promotion – and higher pay, since the Education Reform Act, teaching experience matters less than classroom performance, insofar as pay increases are concerned.

A teacher with three years experience whose students perform exceptionally well on mandated exams could draw a salary from the higher end of the pay range than an equally experienced teacher whose students test out at just above the median.

A teacher who not only excels in the standards of teaching but volunteers for extra duty or to work with special needs students will be awarded bonuses that other, less active teachers would not be entitled to.

This compensation model is called pay for performance , and every employment sector from healthcare to education has adopted it, to one extent or the other.
Pay For Performance, Explained

Let's imagine a particular school district that, for whatever reason, consistently under-performs: the rate of school leavers is fantastically high, test scores are abysmally low, and teacher turnover rates are appalling.

Despite regular teacher evaluation and a salary schedule commensurate with other schools in the area, the school administrator has little recourse in improving the educational statistics his facility seems to constantly churn out.

Naturally, there is the matter of accountability: are all of the good teachers leaving because the teachers who could benefit from more guidance and development simply aren't getting it?

Are the students' education statistics due to the education system failing in their recruitment of qualified, experienced teachers?

Oh, well! Time to sort out the bonuses, now! Let's see... Sir John has been here the longest so he will get the largest cheque, followed by Mrs. ...

Therein lies most of that school district's problems.

Disbursing loyalty bonuses rather than merit bonuses tends to make employees loyal to the bonus rather than to their employment.

Just after the turn of the century, corporations and administrative bodies alike, including our country's Department of Education, adopted a supplemental compensation scheme that places the onus on teachers' self-improvement that would lead to better classroom performance rather than to automatic and incremental increases in teachers salary.

Here we note that, although teachers do not receive a cost of living allowance, the average teacher salary does increase to reflect the cost of living, year to year.

This system of merit pay compels teachers to focus more directly on student achievement and incentivizes them to take on extracurricular duties, such as working with SEN students, as mentioned above.

However, it makes no allowance for STEM education - instructional programs in science, technology, engineering, and maths that is currently THE hot topic in education today.

A topic that, till now, has received no more school funding than any other academic subject.

More students need to understand the importance of maths and science!
Too few students in our schools see the melding of maths, engineering and technology Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt

The Significance Of STEM

Every aspect of our daily lives is impacted and influenced by STEM. We won't belabor the obvious by citing online shopping statistics or the prevalence of social media - two aspects of modern society wholly dependent on technology. Instead, we point to the road you take to work, the conveyance you arrive in, be it your own car or the tube...

Did you listen to music or perhaps an audiobook on the way?

Without the study of science and engineering, none of those conveniences would exist for us to enjoy, and without maths, technology, and engineering, would dare we say not exist?

Just last weekend, at a forum held in Dubai, the Global Education and Skills forum discussed, among other topics, the need for more and better teachers who could make the subject material come alive for their students.

What's the point of studying maths and science? - a common student complaint.

The point is that the science, engineering, and manufacturing sectors estimate a shortfall of 80,000 qualified workers in the next two years - a terrifying statistic!

Outreach projects to attract more female students to STEM have not been wholly successful. Still, organizations such as STEM Learning work hard to promote interest and awareness of STEM in schools across the country.

They work directly with students, but their main function is to support STEM teachers, through continuing education, by helping develop teaching strategies and by disseminating new information as soon as it becomes available.

So, with the spotlight currently on STEM subjects and those teachers doing everything they can to impart their subject matter in the most engaging ways possible...

What About Maths Teacher Salary?

Till now, the USA school system makes no distinction between a teacher of Maths and of any other subject, when it comes to pay.

Teachers of all subjects are compensated according to their experience and performance, and all fall within the salary range for their level.

According to Elizabeth Truss, such unremarkable treatment of maths teachers and cavalier attitude toward maths in general will certainly lead to US falling behind other countries national education systems. In China and South Korea, for example, where pupils excel at not only maths but science, biology, literacy, and more.

She faced great criticism for her position on boosting pay and incentives to attract quality maths instructors and recommending that qualifications for maths teachers be more stringent.

Until now, nothing has been done to especially recognize or compensate maths teachers beyond what teachers of other subjects earn.

We sure hope that will change. Discover Maths background and the link to tutoring over the centuries with our guide.

Seeking tutoring jobs and teaching jobs? Find out to become a maths tutor on Superprof. Whether you want to teach at home or start online tutoring jobs, we can help.

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Jon