Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

How to become a maths teacher

Do you know your trigonometry from your algebra? Do you have a passion for helping young people to succeed? If so, find out how to become a maths teacher today.

A maths teacher checks their student's work.

If you’re a whizz with numbers and enjoy working with young people, then a career as a maths teacher could be your calling. Mathematics is a key player in anyone’s education. This means you could play a major role in someone’s educational development and empower them with core life skills.

In this article, we discuss how to become a maths teacher, from the qualifications you’ll need to how much you’re likely to earn. With the opportunity to teach at varying levels across a broad range of ages, life as a maths teacher can be both incredibly rewarding and diverse. So, let’s take a look at whether becoming one is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What is a maths teacher and what do they do?

From statistics to algebra and multiplication to geometry, a maths teacher will cover a wide range of mathematical concepts. These will be framed around the age group you teach and the class’s learning ability. You’ll plan and create lessons, teach students, and set assessments in a school, college or university.

As with any teaching role, you’ll need to be passionate about working with young people and highly knowledgeable about the subject you teach. This is particularly important with maths, as it forms a key part of a student’s education and teaches them skills that will be valuable for the rest of their life.

Helping students develop their problem-solving skills and numerical ability, your key duties day-to-day will include:

  • Developing lessons, activities, and assessments in line with national education standards
  • Monitoring student development and factoring in lesson arrangements based on student needs
  • Setting homework and providing feedback
  • Working alongside other faculties and departments to develop learning objectives and ways of enhancing student wellbeing
  • Creating an inclusive teaching environment for pupils of all backgrounds and learning abilities
  • Attending parent and teacher meetings

What qualifications are required to become a maths teacher?

Due to the competitive nature of teaching, employers in the UK will often favour an undergraduate degree in your maths speciality. However, you can also get a bachelor’s degree in another relevant area. You’ll either need:

  • An undergraduate degree in mathematics
  • To have completed a postgraduate teacher training course at a university or college

Once you’ve got your degree, the most common way to get into teaching maths is through a PGCE. This course will take up to two years to complete and provides future teachers with the professional skills needed to teach and any other academic requirements. It’s conducted under the School Direct Training Programme framework. 

Other training options include School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), where you’ll learn the necessities of teaching through a simulated environment. However, you need to make sure this method provides you with PGCE credits.

Other training routes into teaching include:

  • Class-based assessment – if you have teaching experience or qualifications outside of the UK, you can be assessed by teaching a live class in front of an assessor who will determine your suitability.
  • Teach First – provides immediate professional placements within the most challenging schools in the UK.

You need to reach Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the end of your training to teach in primary, secondary, and special education schools funded by local authorities in the UK. However, you don’t need QTS to teach in further education or to teach in the early years.

While the university route is recommended, there’s now another method for becoming a maths teacher. Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status means you won’t need degree-level credentials, as it’s an alternative to QTS. You’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a member of the Society for Education and Training
  • Achieve a teaching qualification at Level 5 or above
  • Hold a Level 3 maths and Level 2 English qualification
  • Must be teaching or training in a Further Education and Training setting throughout the Professional Formation programme
  • Have identified a suitable supporter

What are the skills required to be a maths teacher?

To become a successful maths teacher and boost the learning opportunities and lives of your students, there are some skills that are needed. Soft skills include:

  • Extensive knowledge of mathematics and a passion for the subject
  • Willingness to work with young people and support their development
  • Patience and ability to work calmly under pressure
  • Excellent problem-solving
  • Great organisation
  • Strong communication skills, both with students and fellow teaching professionals
  • Empathetic and understanding
  • Ability to provide coaching and mentoring

How long does it take to become a maths teacher?

Including your relevant degree at university and postgraduate teacher training course, it’ll typically take three to five years to become a maths teacher. However, this will depend on whether you study part or full-time, your work placements, and which teacher training course path you take.

What are the typical working hours of a maths teacher?

As a maths teacher, your hours will depend on whether you teach primary school education, secondary school education, or at college. However, your hours will usually be:

  • 8.30 am to 3.30 pm five days a week
  • 9 am to 4 pm five days a week

On top of this, you’ll need to spend several more hours outside of these times to plan lessons, mark homework, and take part in parent evenings and training courses.

How much does a maths teacher make?

In the UK, the average salary a maths teacher earns is approximately £42,139. Other salaries from around the world include:

What is career progression like as a maths teacher?

Once you become a maths teacher, you’ll be able to decide how your career progresses based on the age range of students you want to teach. For example, you may choose to start your career as a secondary school teacher, before getting a doctoral degree so you can teach mathematics at university level.

As your career progresses at a particular school, you may also be able to become the head of the maths department or even fill a head teacher role.  

How to become a maths teacher: additional learning

With the help of this guide, you now hopefully feel that learning to become a maths teacher is as easy as pi. If numbers make you tick and you’ve got a passion for teaching, then combining the two is a bit of a no-brainer. 

Support your learning and development by checking out our range of teaching courses at FutureLearn. Whether it’s maths teaching courses that take your fancy or you’ve got your eye on other STEM teaching courses, we’ve got you covered.

Online maths teaching courses at FutureLearn

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now