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Summary of occupation

Mathematicians study and research the principles of mathematics and apply these principles to practical, technical and theoretical problems across a range of industries. They apply mathematical theories, algorithms and computational techniques to a wide range of problems and fields of inquiry, including design, finance, industrial production and manufacturing, environment, security, transport and logistics, urban and regional planning, astronomy, cartography, medicine and defence. Mathematicians may also teach mathematics at tertiary level.

ANZSCO description: Develops and applies mathematical principles and techniques to solve problems in all areas of the sciences, engineering, technology, social sciences, business, industry and commerce.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Operations Research Analyst
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A mathematician needs:
- excellent mathematical knowledge and ability
- strong conceptual, theoretical and analytical skills
- strong focus and mental stamina
- perseverance
- problem-solving skills

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Working conditions

Mathematicians usually work in office environments, often in universities or other research organisations. They often work in conjunction with economists, engineers, computer scientists, physicists and other technicians. Mathematicians usually work regular hours, although they may be required to work longer hours when working to deadlines or when they have been requested for special information or analysis. Some mathematicians work in academia and therefore have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities. They may be required to travel for conferences or to deliver presentations.

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Salary details

On average mathematicians can expect to earn between $1,500 and $1,749 per week ($78,000 and $90,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Mathematicians spend a large amount of their work time on computers, using a wide variety of software including analytical or scientific software, graphical or photo imaging software, as well as object or component oriented development software and word processing software. They may also use whiteboards, calculators, notebook computers and other office equipment such as phones, photocopiers and fax machines.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a mathematician you usually need to study a degree in mathematics.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Mathematicians who wish to undertake research in a university setting usually need to undertake postgraduate study.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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