module 7:
Trades Math

Math seems to be one of those subjects that people either really like or really don’t like. Many of us learned math once upon a time, but we might not have used these skills in quite some time. Some of us grew up learning and using the metric system – centimetres, metres, kilometres, litres, millilitres, etc. Others used the imperial system of measurement – with inches, feet, yards, miles, pounds, ounces, etc. Few of us learned both, yet it’s important to know how to convert from one to the other.

Math is important to apprenticeship training though, and horticulture is no exception.
In this module of the toolkit, we focus on some of the types of math you will need to be good at to work as a horticulture technician:

Metric measurement – Imperial measurement – Converting from one measurement system to another 

Basic fractions – Decimals – Percentages- Measurement and geometry – Ratio and proportion

If you think some of your skills in the above areas haven’t been used in some time, we invite you to explore some of the activities and resources in this module.

Additional Resources – You will find below a list of other resources you can look at to help you with your math skills.

  • Math for Trades (
  • Trades Access Common Core Competency D-1: Solve Trades Mathematical Problems (
  • Math for Horticulture, Student Manual – This math study manual from The Ohio State University was developed for educators teaching a math curriculum based on real-life applications. It includes a wide variety of topics that are key to success in the horticulture industry. Each chapter includes information sheets, examples, and practice sheets used for student review or testing. (
  • The LearningHUB’s Apprenticeship Math – This 12-18 hour online course is designed for learners preparing to go into the trades. It focuses on basic math skills using fractions, decimals, percents, converting imperial and metric measurements and how to read a measuring tape. This course includes real workplace examples that can be applied to the trades. If you’re interested in this career pathway and need to strengthen your math skills, this course is for you! You should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers before taking this course. (
  • Essential Skills and Apprenticeship: Trades Math Workbook – The 32-page trades Math Workbook will help you improve your numeracy skills and increase your success in an apprenticeship program. It includes a variety of exercises to help you practice your numeracy skills and learn how these skills are used in the trades. Sections in this workbook include Measurement & Calculation; Money Math; Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting; and Data Analysis (