What is numeracy?

Numeracy is the ability to understand and use maths in daily life, at home, work or school.

Numeracy doesn't mean complex skills, like algebra, it means being confident enough to use basic maths in real-life situations.

Why is numeracy important?

Numeracy means understanding how maths is used in the real world and being able to apply it to make the best possible decisions.

It is as much about thinking and reasoning as about 'doing sums'.  It means being able to

How can I improve my numeracy skills?

Trying your best in Maths and Numeracy classes is a great start, but you can also improve your numeracy skills outside of school, for example:


Maths Frame

Math Playground

Interactive Maths

What jobs require numeracy?

Every job uses numeracy, even if it is not obvious.  From keeping track of time and targets to checking your payslip, it all requires number know-how:

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

Farmer selling potatoes to the local supermarket, work out costs involved and how much they need to grow in order to produce a profit.

Art, Media and Publishing

Animator, timings, size, colour mixing, movie production - scenes

Business, Administration and Law

School administrators need numeracy skills to do schools finances. 

Construction and Planning

Knowing the ratio of sand, cement and water to create the correct consistency of mortar when building a brick wall.

Education and Training

Training coach organising times and the number of places available on training courses with coach availability.

Health, Public Services and Care

Organising medication doses and quantities depending on patients height, weight and age.

Information Technology

Coding while developing websites

Manufacturing and Production

3D modeler understanding shape and size when creating a package for a new perfume.  Not only must the package fit together o ensure the contents are secure, they need to work out how best to cut the design on the chosen card to get as many packages and the least waste to increase profit margins.

Sales, Hospitality and Services

Mixing hair dye, counting customer change

Science, Engineering and Mathematics

Being able to read and understand maps when looking at a location to build a new bridge across water.  Engineers will look for areas that reduce the required span, ensure access is flat or uncomplicated and that the depth of the river or sea bed is shallow.

Transportation and Warehousing

HGV driver ensuring that they are working within their prescribed legal driving working hours and taking breaks when they are required to.  Drivers must also be aware of the size and weight of their load to ensure they comply with regulations and move loads to ensure even distribution on their lorry.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about your career options and growth sectors in Aberdeen and Scotland, click here:

Use the links below to find out more about which careers might be right for you:

North East Scotland College (NESCol)

University of Aberdeen (UOA)

Robert Gordon University (RGU)

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)

Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS)