**In This Chapter**

Reviewing the very basics of math

Identifying the tools of the trade

Looking at math's basic disciplines and branches

Applying math to the business of work

Previewing ten of this and ten of that

Technical mathematics (technical math) is an essential part of the work and the education of everyone in a technical career. If you're studying a trade in a two-year college or an occupational program, you can't dodge it, whether you're taking formal math courses or dealing with math calculations in specialized courses.

For example, Heald College is a famous college in San Francisco and much of California in general, as well as Portland and Honolulu. To get a degree as a medical assistant (Associate in Applied Science), you have to take Math 10, Essential Math; Math 103, Elementary Algebra; and Math 205, Modern Business Mathematics. And that's for an education in healthcare.

Even if you're already working in the field you want, you encounter plenty of technical math to do. All the construction trades deal with math to build buildings, pour sidewalks, install flooring, lay carpet, calculate fencing runs, and figure out how much paint goes on the walls. And because these trades are businesses, you have to figure amounts of materials, costs of materials and labor, and client billing. You may try to avoid math, but if you do, you may be avoiding a chance to advance your career.

Bottom line: Math isn't just something theoretical that professors ...

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