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Jobs That Use the Pythagorean Theorem

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The Pythagorean Theorem states that the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the length of the hypotenuse. Math teachers are of course very familiar with the student chorus of, "Why do we need to know this?" and, "When will we ever use this in real life?" However, every math teacher also knows the answer to these perennial questions. The fact is the Pythagorean Theorem is used in a variety of jobs and careers that are rewarding and pay quite well.

Jobs in Management

Many positions that fall under the umbrella term of management use the Pythagorean Theorem regularly. Computer and information systems managers, construction managers, and engineering and natural sciences managers all need this age-old formula in the day-to-day business of their respective fields. Whether they need to determine the length of a support beam on a job site or direct research in a laboratory setting, this math is indispensable.

Agriculturists Use Math

Agriculturists, such as farmers, gardeners and environmentalists all need this mathematical formula. In a job where precise lines need to be drawn and measured to determine growing spaces and yearly yield a tool like the Pythagorean theorem is vital. whether they work in an advisory position such as inspectors, or work more directly with food crops, animals, trees and plants, agriculturists need math.

Surveyors and Cartographers

This area is probably the most obvious in its need for mathematical tools to determine length and distance. Surveyors measure and map properties, setting official land, air, and water boundaries for home owners, business and the government. Being able to quickly and easily measure a line makes this job, which on the whole can be fairly difficult, a little bit easier.

Production Workers and the Pythagorean Theorem

This field is very diverse, encompassing everything from machinists and welders to foundry workers. Even here the concept of the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two legs of a right triangle being equal to the square of the length of the hypotenuse can be useful. For instance, when creating specialized items for a company that produces tractor parts, the ability to measure across both long and short distances makes the process that much easier.


Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.

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