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Just because math isn’t your strong suit doesn’t mean that you can’t have a rewarding and satisfying career in the Air Force. A quick way to sort out jobs that need math from those that don’t is to look at the required Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test scores for each job. If a math score isn’t part of the requirement, you aren’t going to need math for the job.
The ASVAB subtests that make up the score for administrative careers are numerical operations, coding speed and verbal expression, which is a combination of word knowledge and paragraph comprehension. The numerical operations test has simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems using one and two digit numbers, just to make sure you understand the most basic math concepts. Careers in this field include personnel, air transportation, traffic management, knowledge operations management and vehicle maintenance control and analysis. These careers require handling documents and working with people, but they don’t use math.
Air Force mechanical careers are for people who are good with their hands and can work on vehicles, heavy equipment and other mechanical devices. Qualifying ASVAB scores are in the areas of mechanical comprehension, general science and auto and shop information. Mechanical careers include aircraft fuel systems, aircraft structural maintenance, cable and antenna systems, helicopter maintenance and nuclear weapons. An ability to read and understand schematics and technical drawings is helpful in these careers, and prior experience in a mechanical field such as auto repair also is beneficial.
The Air Force lumps many careers into the general category that don’t fit anywhere else. You need to have qualifying scores in both word knowledge and paragraph comprehension, which together make up the verbal expression score. You also need to qualify in arithmetic reasoning, but not all careers in this field will require you to use math. If you want to avoid math, choices in this field include combat control, dental assistant, diet therapy, fire protection and pest management, among many others.
Careers to Avoid
Some Air Force careers require lots of math. Jobs in areas such as avionics systems, biomedical equipment, special missions aviation and precision measurement equipment laboratory are in the electronics field and require strong ASVAB scores in both arithmetic reasoning and math knowledge. Other math-related Air Force jobs include pilot, health facilities architect, civil engineer and weather officer. These careers and others like them are best avoided if you want to stay away from using math on the job.