What is Trades Math?

How many paint cans?
  • If you’re 2 stupid 4 college,
    2 graduate HS, take “shop math.”
  • Hammer some nails,
    chop some wood.
  • Orange vests don’t no math.

We workers use our brains in ways not naively perceived. A fully orange vested member of a NYC local owns many things:

  • a living wage to raise a family,
  • all the bennies
    • pension
    • health/life insurance
    • annuities
    • a functional local union
    • a free lifetime education
    • but most importantly,


Most locals require you to pass a math test. To make the powers that be happy, si, but also because trades math is in situation — you need to think on your feet, not fingers, applying math techniques that most people at best forgot about years ago — skills justifying a journeyperson’s six figure salary.

My objective for you, if you choose to accept it, is to offer my skills to help all of you become journeypersons.

Today, we’re going to look at a classic trades math skill: Feet & Inches.