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Become A Millwright

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Working As A Millwright

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Stressful

  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Millwright Do

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers maintain and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery, such as conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment. Millwrights install, dismantle, repair, reassemble, and move machinery in factories, power plants, and construction sites.

Duties

Industrial machinery mechanics typically do the following:

  • Read technical manuals to understand equipment and controls
  • Disassemble machinery and equipment when there is a problem
  • Repair or replace broken or malfunctioning components
  • Perform tests and run initial batches to make sure that the machine is running smoothly
  • Adjust and calibrate equipment and machinery to optimal specifications

Machinery maintenance workers typically do the following:

  • Detect minor problems by performing basic diagnostic tests
  • Clean and lubricate equipment or machinery
  • Check the performance of machinery
  • Test malfunctioning machinery to determine whether major repairs are needed
  • Adjust equipment and reset or calibrate sensors and controls

Millwrights typically do the following:

  • Install or repair machinery and equipment
  • Adjust and align machine parts
  • Replace defective parts of machinery as needed
  • Take apart existing machinery to clear floor space for new machinery
  • Move machinery and equipment

Industrial machinery mechanics, also called maintenance machinists, keep machines in good working order. To do this task, they must be able to detect and correct errors before the machine or the products it produces are damaged. Industrial machinery mechanics use technical manuals, their understanding of industrial equipment, and careful observation to determine the cause of a problem. For example, after hearing a vibration from a machine, they must decide whether it is the result of worn belts, weak motor bearings, or some other problem. These mechanics often need years of training and experience to be able to diagnose all of the problems they find in their work. They may use computerized diagnostic systems and vibration analysis techniques to help figure out the source of problems. Examples of machines they may work with are robotic welding arms, automobile assembly line conveyor belts, and hydraulic lifts.

After diagnosing a problem, the industrial machinery mechanic may take the equipment apart to repair or replace the necessary parts. Mechanics use their knowledge of electronics and computer programming to repair sophisticated equipment. Once a repair is made, mechanics test a machine to ensure that it is running smoothly. Industrial machinery mechanics also do preventive maintenance.

In addition to working with hand tools, mechanics commonly use lathes, grinders, or drill presses. Many also are required to weld.

Machinery maintenance workers do basic maintenance and repairs on machines. They clean and lubricate machinery, perform basic diagnostic tests, check the performance of the machine, and test damaged machine parts to determine whether major repairs are necessary.

Machinery maintenance workers must follow machine specifications and adhere to maintenance schedules. They perform minor repairs, generally leaving major repairs to machinery mechanics.

All maintenance workers use a variety of tools to do repairs and preventive maintenance. For example, they may use a screwdriver or socket wrenches to adjust a motor’s alignment, or they might use a hoist to lift a heavy printing press off the ground.

Millwrights install, maintain, and disassemble industrial machines. Putting together a machine can take a few days or several weeks.

Millwrights perform repairs that include replacing worn or defective parts of machines. Millwrights also may be involved in taking apart the entire machine, a common situation when a manufacturing plant needs to clear floor space for new machinery. In taking apart a machine, each part of the machine must be carefully disassembled, categorized, and packaged.

Millwrights use a variety of hand tools, such as hammers and levels, as well as equipment for welding, brazing, and cutting. They also use measuring tools, such as micrometers, measuring tapes, lasers, and other precision-measuring devices. On large projects, they commonly use cranes and trucks. When millwrights and managers determine the best place for a machine, millwrights use forklifts, hoists, winches, cranes, and other equipment to bring the parts to the desired location.

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How To Become A Millwright

Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights typically need a high school diploma. However, industrial machinery mechanics need a year or more of training after high school, whereas machinery maintenance workers typically receive on-the-job training that lasts a few months to a year.

Most millwrights go through an apprenticeship program that lasts about 4 years. Programs are usually a combination of technical instruction and on-the-job training. Others learn their trade through a 2-year associate’s degree program in industrial maintenance.

Education

Employers of industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights generally require them to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers prefer to hire workers who have taken high school or postsecondary courses in mechanical drawing, mathematics, blueprint reading, computer programming, and electronics. Some mechanics and millwrights complete a 2-year associate’s degree program in industrial maintenance.

Training

Industrial machinery mechanics may receive more than a year of on-the-job training, while machinery maintenance workers typically receive training that lasts a few months to a year. Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers learn how to perform routine tasks, such as setting up, cleaning, lubricating, and starting machinery. They may also be instructed in subjects such as shop mathematics, blueprint reading, proper hand tools use, welding, electronics, and computer programming. This training may be offered on the job by professional trainers hired by the employer or by representatives of equipment manufacturers.

Most millwrights learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of relevant technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. On the job, apprentices learn to set up, clean, lubricate, repair, and start machinery. During technical instruction, they are taught welding, mathematics, how to read blueprints, how to use electronic and pneumatic devices, and how to use grease and fluid properly. Many also receive computer training. 

After completing an apprenticeship program, millwrights are considered fully qualified and can usually perform tasks with less guidance. 

Employers, local unions, contractor associations, and the state labor department often sponsor apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work
Important Qualities

Manual dexterity. When handling very small parts, workers must have a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights use technical manuals and sophisticated diagnostic equipment to figure out why machines are not working. Workers must be able to reassemble large, complex machines after finishing a repair.

Troubleshooting skills. Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights must observe, diagnose, and fix problems that a machine may be having.

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Millwright Career Paths

Millwright
Maintenance Supervisor Supervisor Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Supervisor Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman Superintendent
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Electrician Owner Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Maintenance Manager Maintenance Director
Director Of Plant Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Owner Facilities Manager Chief Engineer
Assistant Director Of Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Owner/Operator Maintenance Manager
Plant Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Pipe Fitter Foreman Production Supervisor
Assistant Plant Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pipe Fitter Journeyman Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Sheet Metal Mechanic Hvac Technician
Maintenance Lead Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Sheet Metal Mechanic Shop Foreman
Senior Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Lead Mechanic
Mechanics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Crew Leader Lead Person
Maintenance Lead Person
6 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Maintenance Electrician
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Mechanic Mechanics Supervisor
Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Foreman Shop Foreman Senior Mechanic
Senior Maintenance Mechanic
9 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Electrician Industrial Electrician
Plant Maintenance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
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Millwright Demographics

Gender

Male

91.2%

Unknown

5.2%

Female

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

67.1%

Black or African American

12.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Carrier

8.3%

Portuguese

6.3%

Russian

6.3%

German

4.2%

French

4.2%

Polish

4.2%

Italian

4.2%

Romanian

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Occidental

2.1%

Dakota

2.1%

Mandarin

2.1%

Navajo

2.1%
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Millwright Education

Schools

Lee College

9.0%

Tulsa Welding School

7.2%

The Academy

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

6.7%

A-Technical College

6.2%

Brazosport College

5.7%

Universal Technical Institute

5.4%

Kirkwood Community College

5.1%

IVY TECH STATE COLLEGE - KOKOMO - Health Sciences

4.6%

Fox Valley Technical College

4.1%

Henry Ford College

4.1%

Lane Community College

3.9%

Angelina College

3.9%

Lower Columbia College

3.6%

Technology Center

3.6%

Linn-Benton Community College

3.6%

Southwestern Illinois College

3.3%

Portland Community College

3.3%

Sinclair Community College

3.3%
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Majors

Precision Metal Working

17.3%

Industrial Technology

13.0%

Business

11.3%

Automotive Technology

8.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

7.1%

General Studies

6.1%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Mechanical Engineering

4.0%

Education

3.4%

Engineering

2.8%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.8%

Construction Management

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Computer Science

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

52.4%

Associate

17.2%

Certificate

13.4%

Bachelors

10.7%

Diploma

4.2%

Masters

1.6%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$19,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
McDermott International
Highest Paying City
Houston, TX
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.6 years
How much does a Millwright make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Millwright in the United States is $32,665 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $55,000.

Real Millwright Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Millwright Bay Cast, Inc. MI Dec 01, 2011 $67,619
Millwrights MHT USA LLC Peachtree City, GA Feb 11, 2011 $66,000
Millwrights MHT USA LLC Peachtree City, GA Sep 04, 2008 $66,000
Millwrights MHT USA LLC Peachtree City, GA Jan 07, 2009 $66,000
Millwrights Ingersoll MacHine Tools Rockford, IL Aug 29, 2014 $65,416
Millwrights Buhler Inc. Plymouth, MN Sep 25, 2009 $65,042 -
$83,100
Millwrights ECO Electrical Service, Inc. Reston, VA Dec 16, 2013 $62,610 -
$73,045
Millwrights Natron Wood Products LLC (Aka Jasper Wood Products LLC) OR Jan 15, 2016 $59,876
Millwrights Natron Wood Products LLC (Aka Jasper Wood Products LLC) OR Feb 04, 2016 $59,876
Millwrights Mysica Progressive Company, LLC DBA Wingate Inn Atlanta, GA Apr 26, 2013 $52,350
Millwrights Right Way Industrial Services, LLC Ghent, KY Jan 27, 2014 $51,132 -
$52,175
Millwright Natron Wood Products LLC (Aka Jasper Wood Products LLC) OR Apr 04, 2014 $48,064

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Top Skills for A Millwright

  1. Conveyor Systems
  2. Heavy Machinery
  3. Motor Control Centers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed general maintenance on hydraulic pumps, motors, conveyor systems and power and free rail in the automotive manufacturing plants.
  • Disassemble and reassemble heavy machinery.
  • Project Complete Fabricate and insulation of conveyors/rigging/handrails/install new boilers and hardware
  • Performed direct repair and preventative maintenance on industrial machinery.
  • Constructed foundations for machinery using hand tools, building materials, tying reinforcing steel and placing and finishing concrete.

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