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Career and Education Opportunities for Craftsmen in Portland, Maine

If you want to be a craftsman, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 160 people are currently employed as craftsmen in Maine. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 17% to 130 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for craftsmen, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.2% over the next eight years. In general, craftsmen create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.

Craftsmen earn about $12 hourly or $26,730 annually on average in Maine and about $13 per hour or $29,080 per year on average nationally. Earnings for craftsmen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Maine and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Craftsmen work in a variety of jobs, including: ceramic artist, china painter, and metal arts production artist.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a craftsman. The most common level of education for craftsmen is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a craftsman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Craftsman

Craftsman video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, craftsmen create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.

Craftsmen develop functional or decorative objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials. They also design product packaging, display and pricing strategies. Equally important, craftsmen have to attend craft shows to market products. They are often called upon to advertise products and work, using media such as internet advertising and brochures. They are expected to design creative concepts for craft objects. Finally, craftsmen fabricate patterns or templates to guide craft production.

Every day, craftsmen are expected to be able to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for craftsmen to apply finishes to objects being crafted. They are often called upon to design designs using specialized computer software. Somewhat less frequently, craftsmen are also expected to research craft trends and customer buying patterns so as to inspire designs and marketing strategies.

Craftsmen sometimes are asked to develop prototypes or models of objects to be crafted. And finally, they sometimes have to talk with customers to gauge customer needs or obtain feedback.

Like many other jobs, craftsmen must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Craftsman Training

Bates College - Lewiston, ME

Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240. Bates College is a small college located in Lewiston, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,776 students and an admission rate of 29%. Bates College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME

University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

University of Maine at Farmington - Farmington, ME

University of Maine at Farmington, 224 Main St, Farmington, ME 04938-9978. University of Maine at Farmington is a small university located in Farmington, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,191 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Maine at Farmington has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated four students in 2008.

Maine College of Art - Portland, ME

Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101-3494. Maine College of Art is a small college located in Portland, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 369 students and an admission rate of 80%. Maine College of Art has 6 areas of study related to Craftsman. They are:

  • Crafts/Craft Design, Folk Art and Artisanry, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Printmaking, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Metal and Jewelry Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Decorative Artist: The Certified Decorative Artist applicant must pay the required fees and submit one piece of work for judging.

For more information, see the Society of Decorative Painters website.

LICENSES

Taxidermist

Licensing agency: Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Address: Bureau of Administrative Services, Director, Licensing and Registration, 41 State House Station, 284 State Street, Augusta, ME 04333-0041

Phone: (207) 287-2751
Website: Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Bureau of Administrative Services Director, Licensing and Registration

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.