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Applied Mathematics

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Applied Mathematics Major

8,473 yearly degrees
#125 in popularity
$101,000 median salary

Applied mathematics is a major that typically falls into the Mathematics & Statistics category.

There are 1 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in applied math, 279 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 188 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 79 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Applied Math Degree?

Applied mathematics is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #99 in popularity. About 3,500 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major tends to be male dominated. About 63.4% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of applied math majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 18.5%
  • Black or African American: 2.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 8%
  • White: 42.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 22.4%
  • Other Races: 6.1%
Applied Mathematics Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in applied math. About 22.4% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending applied math majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as an Applied Mathematics Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to applied math to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Applied Math Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Applied Mathematics Majors

Skills for Applied Math Majors

When studying applied math, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Applied Mathematics Majors

Abilities for Applied Math Majors

A major in applied math will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for applied math Majors

What Can You Do With an Applied Math Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with applied math:

Careers Related to Applied Mathematics
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Investment Underwriters

9.6%

$70,280

Mathematicians

29%

$101,900

Risk Management Specialists

9.6%

$70,280

Financial Quantitative Analysts

9.6%

$70,280

Mathematical Science Occupations

9.1%

$0

Biostatisticians

33.9%

$87,780

Mathematical Science Professors

9.4%

$73,230

Clinical Data Managers

33.9%

$87,780

Actuaries

22.5%

$102,880

Environmental Economists

6.1%

$104,340

Applied Mathematics Major Salary

Applied math majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $87,000 to $116,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Applied Math Major  ( 87000 to 116000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Applied Mathematics Major Jobs

Some careers associated with applied math require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for applied math careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Applied Mathematics
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0.2%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

0%

Post-Secondary Certificate

0%

Some College Courses

0.2%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

0.4%

Bachelor's Degree

35.2%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

5.5%

Master's Degree

29%

Post-Master's Certificate

0.8%

First Professional Degree

1.9%

Doctoral Degree

20.8%

Post-Doctoral Training

6.3%

Online Applied Mathematics Programs

There are 279 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, with 3 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is an Applied Mathematics Major Worth It?

The median salary for an applied math grad is $101,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 160% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,241,800 after 20 years!

applied mathematics salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Steven G. Johnson via License

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