From your earliest years in elementary school, you have been immersed in math in the classroom. That exposure continues into adulthood. Whether it's figuring out proper change during a purchase, or trying to determine many how cans of paint you need to for a home makeover, mathematics and arithmetic are a part of every day life. Most math that you encounter on a daily basis is simple arithmetic. But if you happen to enjoy math, you might consider a career that uses complex mathematics on a regular basis. From financial spreadsheets to computer programs, math is required in many jobs and many people embrace this subject everyday.
Engineers are known for being analytical and exceptional at math. Mechanical engineering is a highly technical job that requires a great deal of science and math. For example, mechanical engineers frequently use units of measure in their work. These measures often need a mathematical conversion from one system to another. An automotive engineer might need to measure miles per hour while running a performance test but then convert the value to meters per second. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a mechanical engineer is $78,000, with projected annual growth at nine percent from 2010 to 2020.
A career in finance is heavily based on math and arithmetic. If math isn't one of your favorite subjects then stay far away -- this job is not for you. Financial analysts work to help people and businesses decide how to spend and invest money. Financial analysts compile sales figures, determine company revenue, or analyze stocks and bonds. They are the powerhouse of the investing and business sectors, and they help managers and executives make important decisions in a business largely based on the analysis and calculations they complete. The BLS estimates the average annual salary of a financial analyst to be about $74,000, with projected job growth at 23 percent from 2010 to 2020.
A medical technologist is an important but often unknown career in the medical field. Medical technologists work in hospital laboratories, and are responsible for running lab tests on blood, urine, tissue, and yes, stool samples. A medical technologist in the microbiology lab might work up a sample searching for bacterial colonies. During analysis she would count bacterial colonies under the microscope to help her determine whether the sample is abnormal. The average salary of a medical technologist is $47,000, according to the BLS, with 13 percent growth estimated from 2010 to 2020.
Accountants use math everyday, in an entire career focused on money and numbers. Addition, subtraction, multiple and division -- these arithemetic adepts do it everyday and are especially important around tax season, when they advise taxpayers on how to properly file tax returns. In the off-season, accountants work to manage the daily transactions that occur in a business. For example, a small business will hire an account to categorize all the business spending to ensure transactions are correctly recorded. The average salary of an accountant according to the BLS is $62,000, and the field will experience average growth -- projected at 16 percent each year -- from 2010 to 2020.
Cryptologists employ their mathematical knowledge to write computer programs to encode proprietary information, keeping it out of the hands of hackers. Online identity thieves could easily snatch your personal information and credit card number without the work of cryptologists. Governments and the military also find use for the code-makers. The BLS doesn't break out cryptologists into their own profession, but instead lumps them with mathematicians who earn an average of $99,000 annually. The occupation has a growth projection from 2010 to 2020 at 16 percent.
Physicists & Astronomers
Physicists and astronomers study the universe and develop new theories and technologies to better understand our surroundings in space. They use their vast understanding of complex math to conduct research in both laboratories and observatories so that we can increase our knowledge about the workings of the universe. The BLS sites the average annual pay at $105,000, with a growth outlook from 2010 to 2010 at 14 percent.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Financial Analyst
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Mechanical Engineers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Financial Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Accountants and Auditors
- Columbia Engineering: What is Mechanical Engineering?
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Mathematicians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicists and Astronomers
Auston Matta is an experienced engineer who has worked in the packaging industry since 2003. He holds a bachelor's degree in bio-engineering and a master's degree in engineering management. Auston has also contributed to "Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News."