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10 weeks
All levels
14 lessons
0 quizzes
21 students

What is Trades Math?

math atheistAnswering a trades math question, as a journeyman, means adding it all up, not in a classroom with well designed lighting, comfy chairs, a dead calm (fav!) surrounding your thoughts, but instead, you’re flailing about on a worksite, standing on a rattling scaffold, jackhammers pounding, wind whipping, sun pounding, dirty jokes, et. al.  Walking around a work site with a smart phone in hand sends the wrong message to supervisors. So does counting on your fingers. ‘Gophering” coffee or lunch for the crew will be the finger counter’s job.

Mastering math skills are part of many milestones of the trades apprentice’s career path: from being accepted into a a pre-apprentice program (TABE) to a first-year apprentice (LU3 Aptitude test) to a journeyman (LU28 evening classes/associate’s degree).

And that’s what a RTM (Real Trades Math) question is all about: engaging all of your brain on a question that, if well answered, guarantees your crew gets the OT at the end of the shift, that you move up from a 1st year apprentice to a 2nd, because you’re working smart.  Here’s what that means:

  1. Your supervisor (behind him a bunch of jackhammers) barks out an order to you, in profane vernacular, stimulating Broca’s area (and likely your limbic system).
  2. You need to visualize where the materials you need, have to fit, into the object you are constructing, visual lobe.
  3. You need to calculate how much material you need to get the job done, parietal lobe.
  4. You need to lift and carry the materials to the worksite, sensorimotor area.
  5. If you are a crew supervisor, you need to make sure your apprentices are safe (OSHA!) following your guidance, getting the job done, frontal lobe.

Our first RTM in this class will be about finding the missing side of an irregular shape measured in feet and inches.  The f&i math calculation (temporal lobe of the brain) must connect to a spatial relationship (occipital) in order to pull the correct sides into the calculation. This is a difficult procedure, more so because it is hard to communicate (parietal) the correct procedure to someone who doesn’t understand.

Anybody who thinks a RTM question is simple, doesn’t get it.  Anybody who doesn’t get it, doesn’t get the OT, while you do, as a journeyperson, keep on supporting your family, and plan for the future.  Trades math will get you there.

More math = more money


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