Jobs that Involve Math & Travel

Some professionals use math skills to safely travel from place to place as part of their work duties; others may use math skills to ensure that vehicles are operating safely or to help travelers purchase items needed for their travel plans.

Career Options that Involve Math and Travel

A lot of jobs that involve travel require some math skills. These careers can require people to calculate the distance of a trip and time it will take, or they may need to determine the costs of the trip and help travelers purchase tickets or help them prepare a trip budget. This article explores some different career options that involve math and travel.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Job Outlook* (2014-2024)
Travel Agents $36,460 -12%
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians $60,270 1%
Air Traffic Controllers $122,410 -9%
Bus Drivers $31,920 6%
Flight Attendants $48,500 2%
Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers $41,340 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs that Involve Math and Travel

Travel Agents

Aspiring travel agents can pursue a career with a high school diploma and on-the-job training; however, postsecondary training may help improve job prospects. Travel agents may help clients determine the best route to take when traveling to a location or help them find the best deal on a travel package. They may take payment from their customers and use it to book tickets or travel packages, which means that they need to use math skills to calculate the costs. Since they may need to provide information on a wide range of travel destinations they need to know a fair bit about different parts of the world and may also personally travel to these locations, so that they can advise their clients about things such as tour options or visa requirements.

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians are responsible for inspecting aircraft and doing routine maintenance/repair work and this may involve travel from place to place, especially when working with the military. They need to understand how aircraft work in order to ensure that all systems are operating properly and that the aircraft is safe to use for travel. Math skills are important because they may need to ensure that propellers are operating fast enough to perform properly or that the readings on the plane's panels are accurate, and they may need to calculate the specific type of adjustments required to correct issues. After completing high school, some mechanics and technicians are trained once employed; earning a certificate from an accredited aviation maintenance technician program is another option.

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers must meet a number of requirements that involve passing tests and earning a bachelor's degree or completing a comparable combination of postsecondary training and practical experience in this field. Their work involves ensuring that aircraft do not collide while in transit; to do this they need to use radar and other equipment to monitor all aircraft in their region and provide directions to pilots as needed. Math skills are important because they need to be able to calculate the right adjustments to an aircraft's speed and course to prevent collisions or avoid other issues, such as a storm system. Anyone who has ridden an airplane or aircraft has benefited from the work of air traffic controllers, who may also travel themselves, especially when stationed overseas.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers operate buses and use them to take people from place to place. They spend most of their time at work traveling; they also need math skills to estimate how much further they can travel before filling up or having the oil changed. Bus drivers may also be responsible for taking payment from passengers, which also involves using math. Bus drivers can enter the field with a commercial driver's license and on-the-job training; they often have a high school diploma and may also be required to meet physical requirements and have a good driving history.

Flight Attendants

Flight attendants need to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration; college is not necessarily required but may be an asset to those preparing to enter this field. Their job involves traveling with passengers and accommodating their needs during the flight. Math skills may be used to determine the cost of beverages or other items that are sold during transit. They may also be responsible for measuring luggage to ensure that it fits the carry-on size requirements.

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers spend most of their time at work driving from place to place; their work may involve interstate travel and they may even transport shipments to other countries. Math skills are an asset for a number of reasons; they may need to determine when a vehicle will need an oil change or if the tire pressure is too low, and they also need to be able to estimate how much farther they can travel with the amount of gas they have. Math skills can also be an asset when truck drivers are determining the fastest route for their trip and for those who are owners and drivers at the same time, the math skills may be extremely helpful when doing the accounting part of their business. A commercial driver's license and good driving record are required, and truck drivers typically need to complete a truck driving program as well.


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