If education is not useful, what is it?Alfred North Whitehead

Maintaining a citizenry that is well-versed in the Science, Technology, Engineering , and Mathematics (STEM) is a key element of the public education agenda of the United States

Right now the U.S. is experiencing a major disconnect between the growing number of STEM sector jobs in our country and the STEM education of our children—our future STEM professionals. In the last 10 years, STEM sector jobs grew three times as fast as other industry sectors.  In contrast, our children’s STEM education is sadly falling behind. In 2011, only 30% of all U.S. high school graduates were ready for college-level science, and only 45% were ready for college math. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 3 million jobs each month go unfilled because of a major lack of STEM professionals. This is an astonishing gap.

Meanwhile, middle class jobs in the U.S. are at an all-time low. The recent “Great Recession” hit the middle class harder than other classes, as the already-struggling manufacturer and union job sectors were culled even farther. The problem is that the U.S. is moving away from industry and manufacturing, and towards a service and information economy.  According to an article in The Atlantic Monthly, “for more than 30 years, the American economy has been in the midst of a sea change, shifting from industry to services and information, and integrating itself far more tightly into a single, global market for goods, labor, and capital.”

For our children to be successful in the 21st century economy, they must be educated properly. Many educators have recognized the necessity of focusing on STEM education and STEM curricula. But Team Metric believes that improving STEM education must necessarily include single measurement instruction, using the universal system- the modern metric system.

Team Metric is proposing a complete switch in education from teaching our children to intuitively think in customary measurement units with supplemental instruction in metric units. To teaching only metric units and training our children to intuitively think in the modern metric system. This is the most foundational and immediate change necessary to increase student opportunity while removing obstacles towards not only STEM-based professions, but the exact occupations working to solve our immense challenges in energy, health, environmental protection and national security.

What is the role of the modern metric system in their child’s future employment opportunities? How many jobs in the United States work in mostly, or exclusively, in metric units? 

Healthcare (and related professions)

healthcare is the number one growing employment sector in the U.S. and this sector uses only Metric unit measurements. Currently 1 in 8 Americans, or 20% of our workforce (39 million jobs), work in this sector. These job include doctors; nurses; technicians for, and makers of, medical diagnostic equipment; researchers, salespeople, and workers for all aspects of pharmaceutical research and distribution; home health workers; medical assistants; EMTs and Paramedics; dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants; healthcare social workers; physical therapists; and more.

Veterinary medicine

The field of veterinarian medicine includes the areas of public health, biomedical research, and food safety for animals, and accounts for 483,200 jobs . Most of these occupations are growing between 20-33% faster than other sectors.

The United States Armed Forces

The U.S. military is the largest organization in world. We have 1.4 million active duty personnel and a further 1.3 million people in seven reserve components, for a total of 2.7 million jobs .

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related occupations

STEM occupations account for 5% of our workforce, or 9.97 million jobs. American technology icons who are metric-only include IBM, Xerox, and Kodak, among many others.


The manufacturers and repair facilities of cars, bikes, buses, tractors, trains, industrial building equipment, recreational vehicles, and newer airplanes use the metric system, accounting for 4.5% of the workforce, or 540,000 jobs . This number includes the entire  U.S. Automotive Industry and its supply chain, in addition to the American icons John Deere and Caterpillar construction equipment.

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

The 39,200 jobs  in the jewelry industry are metric-only. Diamonds are weighed by metric carat, and measured in millimeters.

Alternative Energy

The alternative energy sector, which is a rapidly-growing field, accounts for 853,370 jobs and is metric-only. This industry measures in “joules,” which are both a unit of work and energy, equal to a newton-meter (N-m).

Energy sector

The energy sector predominately utilizes metric units.


Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.2 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing. Manufacturers in the U.S. perform two-thirds of all private-sector R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector. Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the 10th largest economy in the world . The breakdown of metric and non-metric companies/ occupations is unclear.

International manufacturing

Examples of international companies that are metric-only and that have offices in the U.S. include Proctor and Gamble, Cyanamid and DuPont, Black and Decker, Buerk Tool & Machine and Stride Tool.

Additive and Precision Manufacturing  

Believed to be the future of manufacturing, advance manufacturing  is predominately a metric sector. Advanced manufacturing is not limited to emerging technologies; rather, it is composed of efficient, productive, highly integrated, tightly controlled processes across a spectrum of globally competitive U.S. manufacturers and suppliers. Example, Stratasys, who we believe might be the largest additive manufacturer in the U.S. told Team Metric, “Because we are working in a global market our products should use the metric system to better reach the majority of the markets we are in. All our new products will be built using metric units” (Stratasys’ Lead Engineer, Tom Smith). Video about additive (3-D) manufacturing 

Chefs and Head cooks

Chefs and head cooks account for 97,370 U.S. jobs .   It’s obvious that foreign chefs, even in the U.S., cook in grams and liters, however, there has been a significant increase in American chefs now working and learning in metric units. They have made the switch because of measurement consistency: cups measure volume, whereas grams measure mass (i.e. weight). Cooking and restaurant business is a sector rapidly trending towards metric measurement.

Occupations that use metric-only are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

The following is a snapshot taken November 2012 of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S., according to the Department of Labor (DOL). Defined by the DOL as a projected growth rate of 29% or more and a projected increase in employment of 50,000 or more positions.

Fastest-Growing Professions:

Metric occupations (Utilizes Metric units):

  • Personal Care Aides
  • Home Health
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Medical Assistants
  • EMT and Paramedics
  • Medical Secretaries
  • Dental Assistants
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Dental Hygienists

Mixed occupations (works in both Metric and Customary units depending on products)

  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Mechanics
  • Coaches and Scouts

Mixed occupations (either uses Metric units such as sciences or is measurement-neutral as in Art History)

  • Doctoral degree professions

Measurement-neutral occupations (defined as occupations in which one can be successful intuitively thinking in either metric units or customary units)

  • Market Research Analysts and Specialists
  • Financial Advisors
  • Software Developers

Customary Units (use mostly Customary Units):

  • Cement Masons and Concrete finishers
  • Cost Estimators (housing, buildings)