When most people think of careers that use math on a daily basis, they usually think of the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math. But actually, 94 percent of workers use basic math in some capacity on the job, and 22 percent use advanced math to perform their work.
So even if you don’t think you’re interested in a STEM career, paying a little more attention in your math class could be a good idea. Here’s a few surprising career paths where you’ll use numbers, even in ways you may not have considered.
You may not think of lawyers as “math people,” but law is one of the better examples of ways that math is incorporated into the workforce without many people even realizing it. In a straight computational sense, lawyers need to calculate potential prison sentences, client billing rates, and the business expenses of the firm.
In a more abstract sense, lawyers need to lay out their arguments similar to the way a mathematician solves a proof. Both of these tasks require a logical presentation of all the data, then a reading of the applicable laws, and then deducing where the data fall within said laws.
It may surprise you to learn that many trade school jobs actually require a lot of math. Many healthcare technicians, like radiologists or sonogram techs, use math in their jobs heavily, as do electricians, plumbers, and even truck drivers.
Math use in these jobs is more practical than abstract. Being an HVAC technician, for example, requires doing a lot of math in the course of the job. HVAC professionals calculate potential energy savings for clients as well as ROI (return on investment). Technicians also need to sketch heating and cooling system designs in homes and businesses that they service, which is akin to geometry.
Many people think of an economist as someone primarily concerned with the inner workings of the national economy and market forces, but before economists can tackle these issues there’s usually a lot of math involved. Studying economic forces requires economists to research, compile, and analyze mountains of data. And that data will need to be presented using charts and graphs.
So maybe if you’ve previously written math off as impractical and lacking in real-world applications, you might want to reconsider. There’s a surprising number of non-STEM jobs that use math on a regular basis, and you don’t even have to have a math degree to qualify for them.