# Tech Math Problems Related to Technology, Trades, and More

Tech math problems help students learn math skills that are applicable in a range of technical careers. These examples will help you understand what tech math problems are and how they are related to technology, trades, and more!

## What is Technical Math?

Typically, technical math is taught by the math department of a technical school that offers certification programs for technical careers. Technical math involves mathematical concepts that are practical and applicable to the real-world and careers. Tech math skills are applicable in jobs such as:

- Carpenters, construction workers, electricians, welders, painters
- Cooks, bakers, hairstylists
- Computer science, information technology, pharmacy technicians

In high school, it is common to focus on pure math. These are the math concepts that have no direct application to the real-world beyond studying other mathematics (or if you happen to be a math teacher like me!).

My students love to complain about how there are no examples of algebra in everyday life, or how they will never use quadratic equations or complex statistical methods in the real-world. Technical math still focuses on math skills in measurement, trigonometry, and even algebra. But instead of focusing on where the Pythagorean Theorem comes from, or the detailed specifics of linear equations, students studying tech math will focus on how they can *use* these math tools to solve problems in their future careers.

## Examples of Tech Math Problems

Tech math problems focus on critical thinking by challenging students to apply mathematical concepts to solve a real-world problem that could *actually* happen at work.

Tech math problems aren’t complex word problems that ask students to jump through hoops to connect pure math to the real-world. Instead, tech math problems focus on *real* applications of mathematics.

Let’s dig into these examples of tech math problems!

### Trades Examples

- A bricklayer estimates that 8026 cement bricks are needed for a building. How many extra bricks must be ordered to account for 10% of the bricks being scrap or damaged?

- Determine the number of circular discs that can be cut from a 24 foot sheet of steel if each circle has a diameter of \(1 \frac{1}{8}\) inches and there is a \(\frac{3}{32}\) inch gap between each disc.

- You plan on finishing the walls of a house with drywall. The area to be covered is 5208 square feet. How many 8 foot by 4 foot drywall sheets must be ordered to have only 5% wasted material?

## Examples for Pharmacy Techs

- A patient has been prescribed a medication that comes in a 15 mg/mL solution. If the patient needs a dose of 25mg, how many milliliters of the solution should be distributed to the patient?

- A group of pharmacy techs needs to prepare a 6% weight/volume solution of a drug. How many grams of the drug should be added to 250 mL of solution?

### Information Technology Examples

- Consider the equation \(\frac{1}{R}=\frac{1}{R_1}+\frac{1}{R_2}+\frac{1}{R_3}\) to describe the relationship between resistors in a parallel circuit. What size resistor is needed for \(R_3\) if \(R_1\) has a resistance of 2 ohms, \(R_2\) has a resistance of 6 ohms, and the total resistance for the circuit 1.33 ohms?

- Your company runs 1000 servers with a 99% reliability rating per server. If the servers are independent of each other, what is the probability that at least one server will fail in a given day?

### Human Services Examples

- A social worker is conducting an assessment focusing on the needs of a community. The community has a population of 20,000 people and the social worker wants to survey a representative sample of 500 people. What fraction of people should be sampled?

- As head of payroll, you are assessing the salaries of the workers in your office. The mean starting salary is $41,250 with a standard deviation of $1100. If the salaries follow a normal distribution, what approximate percentage of the salaries in your office will be between $32,340 and $51,850?

## Understanding Tech Math Problems

Mathematics doesn’t have to always focus on theoretical problems. Technical math shows us a side of the subject that asks essential questions about connections to real-world problem solving.

There are so many applications of mathematics in trades and hands-on careers that go beyond theoretical or pure math. I hope these examples of tech math problems have helped you understand just what technical math is and how it can be used!

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