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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Assistants in Portland, Maine

If you want to be an electrical assistant, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 560 people work as electrical assistants in Maine. This is expected to grow by 5% to 590 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for electrical assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.7% over the next eight years. In general, electrical assistants help electricians by performing duties of lesser skill.

A person working as an electrical assistant can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $31,950 per year on average in Maine and about $12 hourly or $26,390 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Electrical assistants earn less than people working in the category of Electrical generally in Maine and less than people in the Electrical category nationally.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as an electrical assistant. Electrical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an electrical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Assistant

In general, electrical assistants help electricians by performing duties of lesser skill. They also duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Electrical assistants drill holes and pull or push wiring through openings, using hand and power tools. They also measure and bend wire and conduit, using measuring instruments and hand tools. Equally important, electrical assistants have to maintain tools and equipment and keep parts and supplies in order. They are often called upon to transport tools and supplies to work sites by hand or by truck. They are expected to examine electrical units for loose connections and broken insulation, and tighten connections using hand tools. Finally, electrical assistants dig trenches or holes for placement of conduit or supports.

Every day, electrical assistants 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 see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for electrical assistants to construct controllers and panels, using power drills, drill presses, taps, saws and punches. They are often called upon to string transmission lines or cables through ducts or conduits, under the ground or to towers. They also strip insulation from wire ends, using wire stripping pliers, and attach wires to terminals for subsequent soldering. They are sometimes expected to erect electrical system components and barricades, and rig scaffolds, hoists, and shoring. Somewhat less frequently, electrical assistants are also expected to clean work areas and wash parts.

They also have to be able to operate cutting torches and welding equipment, while working with conduit and metal components to construct devices associated with electrical functions and dig trenches or holes for placement of conduit or supports. And finally, they sometimes have to trim trees and clear undergrowth along right-of-way.

Like many other jobs, electrical assistants must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Electrician. Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Assistant Training

Southern Maine Community College - South Portland, ME

Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106-1698. Southern Maine Community College is a medium sized college located in South Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,654 students and an admission rate of 68%. Southern Maine Community College has an associate's degree program in Electrician which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

CompTIA PDI Certification: Servicing and supporting devices and technologies associated with the printing and document imaging industry requires extensive training to ensure qualified, able technicians.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

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.