As families in Maine recover from the recession and buy homes in record numbers, a shortage of skilled workers such as electricians threatens the big rebound in housing construction. Demand is so high that companies are increasing salaries and wages to compete for workers according to an April 2016 article in the Press Herald. Another article in this paper, published in May 2016, is called “Skilled-worker shortage crimps new construction in Maine.”
Building construction made the list of industries expected to gain the most jobs in Maine in the ten-year period leading up to 2024 according to the state’s Center for Workforce Research and Information.
Between January and March of 2016, there were 152 single-family housing starts in 14 communities from Freeport to Saco. This represented an increase of more than 50% more than during the same period in 2015 in Maine according to Construction Data New England.
These figures do not include rentals such as multi-family housing which are even being built in places like Cape Elizabeth and Gorham. The largest amount of new rental housing has been in Portland, however. More than 800 new rental units have been planned in Portland in recent years and should provide numerous opportunities for skilled electricians.
Salaries for Residential Electricians in Urban and Rural Maine
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the range of salaries earned by electricians throughout Maine. Highly skilled master electricians can expect to earn salaries at the highest end of these ranges (2015):
Salaries for Specialty Electricians in Portland, Lewiston, and Rural Northeast Maine
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salaries for a number of different types of specialized electricians that work in Maine’s largest cities and the rural Northeast part of the state (2015). Those with the most education and experience tend to earn salaries at the upper end of the ranges shown here:
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers:
- Lewiston-Auburn: $55,630 – $73,740
- Portland-South Portland: $61,110 – $78,220
Electrical and Electronics Repairers Specializing in Commercial and Industrial Equipment:
- Portland-South Portland: $66,880 – $76,420
- Northeast Maine rural area: $55,400 – $63,040
Electrical and Electronics Repairers Specializing in Transportation Equipment:
- Northeast Maine rural area: $48,250 – $60,430
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers:
- Portland-South Portland: $49,570 – $62,180
- Northeast Maine rural area: $43,680 – $63,180
The statewide average for electricians in these specialized roles is shown in the table below:
Salaries for Electrician Apprentices Throughout Maine
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary data for the occupational classification for “Electrician’s Helpers” in Maine’s major cities and its rural areas. This information is shown here to represent the wages earned during an electrical apprenticeship; 2015: