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Career and Education Opportunities for Plumbers in Portland, Maine

If you want to be a plumber, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,910 working plumbers in Maine; this should grow by 2% to 2,970 working plumbers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for plumbers are expected to grow by about 15.3%. In general, plumbers assemble, install, and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes.

Plumbers earn approximately $19 per hour or $41,100 annually on average in Maine. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $45,640 annually. Plumbers earn more than people working in the category of Plumbing generally in Maine and more than people in the Plumbing category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can study to be a plumber, among twenty-three schools of higher education total in the Portland area. Plumbers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a plumber if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Plumber

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

In general, plumbers assemble, install, and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes.

Plumbers assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing and welding equipment. They also set up pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters, and fixtures such as sinks and toilets, using hand and power tools. Equally important, plumbers have to trim openings in structures to deal with pipes and pipe fittings, using hand and power tools. They are often called upon to fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to uncover and locate leaks. They are expected to measure and bend pipe to required angles, using hand and power tools or machines such as pipe cutters, pipe-threading machines, and pipe-bending machines. Finally, plumbers study building plans and inspect structures to gauge material and equipment needs, to determine the sequence of pipe installations, and to develop installation around obstructions such as electrical wiring.

Every day, plumbers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for plumbers to keep records of assignments and produce detailed work reports. They are often called upon to clear away debris in a renovation. They also perform complex calculations and planning for special or very large jobs. They are sometimes expected to ready written work cost estimates and negotiate contracts. Somewhat less frequently, plumbers are also expected to trim openings in structures to deal with pipes and pipe fittings, using hand and power tools.

Plumbers sometimes are asked to locate and mark the position of pipe installations and fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers and levels. They also have to be able to direct staff working on pipe cutting and preassembly and placement of plumbing systems and components and set up underground storm, sanitary and water piping systems and extend piping to connect fixtures and plumbing to these systems. And finally, they sometimes have to set up oxygen and medical gas in hospitals.

Like many other jobs, plumbers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plumber 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 Plumbing Technology/Plumber which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Standard Journeyman Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Residential Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Journeyman Plumber: This certification is designed to test the knowledge that a journey level plumber has of the Uniform Plumbing Code published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Journeyman Pipefitter-Steamfitter: The NITC journey level pipefitting/steamfitting certification is based on a written examination that consists of 100 multiple choice questions.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Installer 6010: This examination is covered under NITC's scope of accreditation by the American Standards Institute (ANSI).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Specialist 6005: Candidates shall have successfully completed twenty-four (24) hours of training covering all facets of piped medical gas and medical-surgical vacuum systems.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Maintenance Personnel 6040: Candidates must have completed thirty-two (32) hours of training in the maintenance of medical gas/vacuum systems, and have a minimum of one (1) year experience in the maintenance of medical gas/vacuum systems.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Bulk Medical Gas Systems Installer 6015: Certification to this standard shall be through a method approved by the firm's Quality Control Unit (QCU).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

IAPMO Mechanical Inspector: IAPMO's National Personnel Certification Program for Inspectors, Plans Examiners and Code Administrators is a nationally recognized, comprehensive testing and certification program that assesses the knowledge of construction codes as an indicator of competence and professionalism.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Automatic Sprinkler System Layout: This certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the layout and detailing of automatic sprinkler systems which must meet existing and proposed code and statutory requirements.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LICENSES

Plumber, Journeyman

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

Plumber, Journeyman in Training

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

Plumber, Master

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

Plumber, Trainee

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

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.