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Career and Education Opportunities for Tile Setters in Portland, Maine

Tile setter career and educational opportunities abound in Portland, Maine. The national trend for tile setters sees this job pool growing by about 14.3% over the next eight years. In general, tile setters apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

The income of a tile setter is about $16 hourly or $34,470 per year on average in Maine. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $39,210 annually on average. Incomes for tile setters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Home and Office Installation in Maine, and better than the overall Home and Office Installation category nationally.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Portland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a tile setter. Tile setters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a tile setter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Tile Setter

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

In general, tile setters apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

Tile setters clear away and remove cracked or damaged tile. They also mix and spread plaster, concrete, mortar, cement, mastic, glue or other adhesives to fashion beds for tiles, using brushes, trowels and screeds. Equally important, tile setters have to finish and dress the joints and wipe excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponges. They are often called upon to lay and set mosaic tiles to generate decorative wall, mural and floor designs. They are expected to trim and shape tile to fit around obstacles and into odd spaces and corners, using hand and power cutting tools. Finally, tile setters ready surfaces for tiling by attaching lath or waterproof paper, or by applying a cement mortar coat onto a metal screen.

Every day, tile setters are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for tile setters to level concrete and allow to dry. They are often called upon to measure and mark surfaces to be tiled, following blueprints. They also mix and apply mortar or cement to edges and ends of drain tiles to seal halves and joints. They are sometimes expected to trim tile backing to required size, using shears. Somewhat less frequently, tile setters are also expected to finish and dress the joints and wipe excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponges.

and decide on and implement the best layout to attain a desired pattern. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on and order tile and other items to be installed, such as bathroom accessories and cabinets, according to given requirements.

Like many other jobs, tile setters must be thorough and dependable 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.
  • Carpet Installer. Lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.
  • Insulation Installer. Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.
  • Plasterer. Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Tile Setter 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 a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated one student 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.