12 Jobs That Use Calculus (Plus Average Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 25, 2021

Calculus encompasses different forms of mathematics and uses tools to determine the relationship between variables and functions. It's an important field of applied mathematics with applications in several professions, including engineering, computing and physical sciences. If you have an educational background in this branch of mathematics, knowing some jobs that use calculus daily can help you choose a profession where you can utilize your knowledge. In this article, we outline jobs that require calculus knowledge and list their national average salaries.

Skills and traits for jobs that use calculus

Here are important skills you can develop to excel in a job that requires calculus:

  • Reading comprehension: Professionals who use calculus in their work often possess exceptional reading comprehension skills to understand written sentences and convert them into equations.

  • Critical thinking: The ability to think logically about problems is an important skill for people who use calculus at work. It helps them identify, assess and solve complex problems.

  • Problem-solving: Professionals use calculus to solve complex problems and make decisions and predictions. This means people who use this form of mathematics for work often have exceptional problem-solving skills.

  • Quantitative reasoning: People who use calculus often have mathematical reasoning skills to choose the right formulas and methods for solving problems.

  • Inductive reasoning: Working with calculus and other mathematical techniques also requires inductive reasoning to find relationships between events and make conclusions from hypotheses.

  • **Numeracy:** Having this skill means you possess the ability to perform mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division effectively.

  • Independence: People who work with calculus often require a certain level of autonomy to think critically about complex problems and discover lasting solutions without much collaboration.

12 jobs that use calculus

Here is a list of 12 jobs that require the use of calculus for day-to-day duties:

1. Animator

National average salary: $42,130 per year

Primary duties: Animators use software and other design tools to create moving visuals for a wide range of content, such as movies, video games and educational and marketing material. These professionals work as part of a production team where they often collaborate with other designers, business managers and clients to establish project requirements, develop storyboards and submit drafts for review. Animators may use calculus to determine the behavior of three-dimensional models in a dynamic environment to make them as realistic as possible. They also draw, edit animation and alter their work to meet client requirements.

Read more: Learn About being an Animator

2. Chemical engineer

National average salary: $63,747 per year

Primary duties: Chemical engineers design the production process for a wide range of products, such as industrial chemicals and fuels. They are essential in the production of pharmaceuticals, biological products and food. These professionals use calculus to design the chemical composition of new products and determine how they interact with other materials. Calculus helps chemical engineers solve problems related to transferring energy in different materials. They use it to understand problems related to thermodynamics, heat transport and mass transport.

The most important duties of chemical engineers are ensuring that production processes meet strict quality standards, improving productivity and enhancing efficiency. They also diagnose and troubleshoot problems with production plants to prevent delays.

Read more: Learn About Being a Chemical Engineer

3. Environmental engineer

National average salary: $83,224 per year

Primary duties: An environmental engineer is a professional who supervises the creation of environmental reports. They also design and supervise projects for environmental protection, such as identifying, evaluating and managing pollution and contamination to improve public health. Environmental engineers also work with other professionals such as environmental scientists, civil engineers and policymakers to review environmental standards and recommend projects to protect public health. Calculus helps environmental engineers solve problems, make predictions and perform simulations.

Read more: Learn About Being an Environmental Engineer

4. Mathematician

National average salary: $93,677 per year

Primary duties: A mathematician uses mathematical knowledge to test hypotheses and formulate new principles and theories for solving real-life problems. They use equations and functions to create models that apply to several disciplines such as science, engineering, astronomy, meteorology and computing. Mathematicians also collect, interpret and analyze data. In academia, mathematicians teach students, create curriculum and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students. They may also create specialized software to solve problems in a wide range of industries.

5. Electrical engineer

National average salary: $93,897 per year

Primary duties: An electrical engineer oversees the design and execution of small- and large-scale electrical engineering projects. They determine the components and systems required for industrial, domestic and commercial electrical installations. These professionals also conduct research on electrical systems, test products and set standards for electrical equipment manufacturers and electrical technicians. Calculus is crucial in the design, testing and improvement of electrical equipment and components.

Electrical engineers can also hold senior positions, such as managers or project administrators, where they supervise junior engineers and technicians and manage budgets. They may also collaborate with vendors, suppliers, management and clients to determine project requirements and monitor milestones.

Read more: Learn About Being an Electrical Engineer

6. Operations research engineer

National average salary: $96,094 per year

Primary duties: Operations research engineers use complex mathematical and statistical tools to help resolve operational problems and improve decision-making processes of organizations. These professionals gather information and analyze it to determine the best and most cost-effective solutions to business problems using mathematical and statistical analysis tools such as calculus. Their duties may also include creating predictive models, performing statistical analyses and developing mathematical models and simulations for improved problem-solving capabilities.

7. Aerospace engineer

National average salary: $104,504 per year

Primary duties: Aerospace engineers oversee the designing, manufacturing and testing of aircraft, satellites, missiles, rockets and other aerospace equipment. They coordinate the technical aspects of aerospace production and maintenance operations to ensure that crews adhere to blueprints. These engineers also enforce industry standards and ensure that aerospace components meet safety requirements. They use calculus to create models, assess the strengths and weaknesses of structural designs and investigate accidents.

Aerospace engineers also inspect damaged and malfunctioning products to determine the source of problems and find lasting solutions. They also work with business managers, project managers, other technical professionals, industry regulators and clients to set goals and standards and review vital issues relating to ongoing and future projects.

Read more: Learn About Being an Aerospace Engineer

8. Software developer

National average salary: $105,849 per year

Primary duties: Software developers design and create computer programs for a wide range of personal and industrial applications. They may develop applications for mobile phones and desktop computers or create specialized software for electric vehicles and missile guidance systems. Software developers use mathematical techniques such as calculus to perform complex calculations and process images.

Software developers work as part of a team where they create programs to meet users' needs. They use a software development life cycle to plan, implement and improve computer programs. These professionals also test software for bugs, perform regular maintenance and upgrades and optimize end-user applications for improved security and utility.

Read more: Learn About Being a Software Developer

9. Economist

National average salary: $111,650 per year

Primary duties: These professionals often study economic issues such as unemployment rates, inflation, interest rates and balance of payments to formulate policies and advise decision-makers.

Economists create predictive models using mathematical techniques such as calculus and other statistical analytical tools. They also write reports, publish papers in journals and attend conferences where they present their research findings to the academic community. Economists often have positions in academia, government agencies, research institutions and corporate organizations.

10. Actuary

National average salary: $113,154 per year

Primary duties: These insurance professionals advise clients in a consultant role. Their duties include developing, testing and implementing insurance policies. They also help clients create investment and pension plans that boost profitability and reduce risk exposure. Actuaries also calculate premiums and determine the risk associated with policies. They also gather customer and industry data for analysis to improve operations and decision-making. To perform many of these functions, actuaries rely on mathematical and statistical techniques such as calculus.

Actuaries also advise company executives, shareholders and industry regulators on ways to improve service delivery and insurance guidelines. Senior actuaries often work in supervisory or management roles for insurance or pension companies, consultancies or government agencies.

Read more: Learn About Being an Actuary

11. Astronomer

National average salary: $119,730 per year

Primary duties: Astronomers develop and test scientific theories and design models to study and understand the physical and chemical properties of the universe. They study phenomena such as light, gravity, matter and energy. These professionals also conduct studies and experiments to learn more about matter and energy and how they can be harnessed for human use.

Astronomers also create and use specialized software. Calculus is a foundational part of many pieces of software that astronomers use to create simulations, make predictions and design models. They often write articles about their research and publish them in academic journals and give presentations at conferences and lectures. Astronomers can also serve as lecturers in academia and advisers to government and nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

Read more: Learn About Being an Astronomer

12. Insurance underwriter

National average salary: $128,249 per year

Primary duties: Insurance underwriters analyze the data of people who want to buy insurance policies to evaluate their company's exposure to risk. These professionals use calculus to make predictions and assess the risk a policyholder poses to their insurance company. They can decide to sell insurance to applicants or reject them based on driving history, credit history and other variables. Underwriters also calculate coverage and insurance premiums and verify policyholders' claims.

Read more: Learn About Being an Underwriter

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