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Career and Education Opportunities for Plasterers in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for plasterers. The national trend for plasterers sees this job pool growing by about 6.6% over the next eight years. Plasterers generally apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials.

The average wage in the general category of Carpentry and Masonry jobs is $15 per hour or $31,432 per year in Maine, and an average of $17 per hour or $35,836 per year nationwide.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can study to be a plasterer, among twenty-three schools of higher education total in the Portland area. Given that the most common education level for plasterers is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a plasterer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Plasterer

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

In general, plasterers apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials. They also may also set ornamental plaster.

Plasterers clean and ready surfaces for applications of plaster or similar materials, such as by drywall taping. They also develop decorative textures in finish coat, using brushes or trowels or stones. Equally important, plasterers have to mix mortar and plaster to desired consistency or direct staff who perform mixing. They are often called upon to apply coats of plaster or stucco to walls or partitions of buildings, using trowels, brushes, or spray guns. They are expected to apply weatherproof, decorative coverings to exterior surfaces of buildings. Finally, plasterers set up guide wires on exterior surfaces of buildings to indicate thickness of plaster or stucco and nail wire mesh or similar materials to the outside surface to hold stucco in position.

Every day, plasterers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices. It is also important that they lift, push and move large and heavy objects.

It is important for plasterers to rough the undercoat surface with a scratcher so the finish coat will adhere. They are often called upon to mold and install ornamental plaster pieces and trim. They also cure freshly plastered surfaces. They are sometimes expected to spray acoustic materials or texture finish over walls and ceilings. Somewhat less frequently, plasterers are also expected to apply insulation to building exteriors by installing prefabricated insulation systems over existing walls or by covering the outer wall with insulation board and a base coat.

And finally, they sometimes have to clean and ready surfaces for applications of plaster or similar materials, such as by drywall taping.

Like many other jobs, plasterers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Brick and Block Mason. Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.
  • Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
  • Tile Setter. Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plasterer Training

York County Community College - Wells, ME

York County Community College, 112 College Drive, Wells, ME 04090. York County Community College is a small college located in Wells, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,074 students. York County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.

Central Maine Community College - Auburn, ME

Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn, ME 04210-6498. Central Maine Community College is a small college located in Auburn, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,426 students. Central Maine Community College has an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

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.