Career Development

What Does a Millwright Do?

Find out what a millwright does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a millwright.

Millwrights are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing industrial machinery. They commonly work on assembly lines or in factories where they install equipment such as cranes, conveyor belts, and other heavy machinery.

Millwrights may also be called upon to repair existing equipment when it breaks down or becomes damaged. In either case, their job is to ensure that all of the equipment at their workplace is working properly so that production can continue as expected.

Millwright Job Duties

Millwrights have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing new equipment and machinery, or repairing existing equipment or machinery
  • Performing maintenance on machinery and equipment to ensure it is operating efficiently
  • Reading blueprints and other schematics to determine how equipment should be configured or how materials should be assembled
  • Maintaining and repairing equipment used for lifting heavy loads such as cranes and forklifts
  • Operating cranes and other heavy machinery to install or remove equipment from buildings or from the ground
  • Maintaining power equipment or machinery used in manufacturing plants, including boilers, turbines, compressors, and generators
  • Maintaining and repairing heavy equipment used in industrial settings such as bulldozers and cranes
  • Installing and repairing plumbing systems such as water heaters, pipes, and valves
  • Cutting and shaping materials such as steel or concrete using saws and other tools

Millwright Salary & Outlook

Millwrights’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $100,000 ($48.08/hour)

The employment of millwrights is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for millwrights is projected to increase as demand for manufactured goods increases and existing machinery and equipment needs repair or replacement. Millwrights will be needed to install, maintain, and repair the complex machinery used in manufacturing facilities.

Millwright Job Requirements

Millwrights typically need to have the following background:

Education: A high school diploma or GED is often the minimum requirement for a millwright job. However, many millwrights choose to pursue a two-year associate degree in industrial maintenance technology. This degree provides a strong foundation in the principles of industrial maintenance and repair.

Training & Experience: Millwrights receive most of their training through their apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs last four years and include 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers and educational institutions offer millwright certificates that certify the individual has completed a period of training for this occupation. However, there is no official certification or licensure needed to become a millwright.

Millwright Skills

Millwrights need the following skills in order to be successful:

Machinery repair: Millwrights often work with machinery that’s already been repaired by someone else. They need to understand how to repair machinery and how to identify the parts of a machine. This can help them identify what needs to be repaired and how to do it. It can also help them identify when a machine needs to be replaced.

Electrical knowledge: Millwrights use electrical knowledge to understand electrical systems and how to repair them. They also use this skill to identify the correct wiring for a machine and to ensure the machine is safe to operate. Electrical knowledge can also help them identify the correct tools for electrical repairs.

Problem-solving skills: Millwrights use problem-solving skills to troubleshoot machinery and equipment. They may need to identify the source of a problem and find a solution to repair it. For example, if a piece of machinery isn’t working, a millwright may need to find the problem and fix it. This may involve using tools and following a set of instructions to identify the problem and repair it.

Mechanical aptitude: Millwrights use mechanical aptitude to understand how machines work and how to repair them. This can include understanding how to read diagrams and schematics to identify the parts of a machine and how they work together. It also includes knowing how to use tools and equipment to repair machines.

Physical stamina: Millwrights often work long shifts and may be on their feet for most of the day. Physical stamina can help them work efficiently and avoid fatigue. They may also lift heavy equipment and materials, so physical stamina can help them complete their work safely.

Millwright Work Environment

Millwrights work in a variety of settings, including factories, power plants, and construction sites. They may be exposed to noise, dust, and dangerous machinery. They may also work in confined spaces. Millwrights typically work full time, and some overtime may be required. The work can be physically demanding, and millwrights must be able to lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions.

Millwright Trends

Here are three trends influencing how millwrights work. Millwrights will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

As the construction industry becomes more technical, the need for millwrights with more technical skills will grow. This means that millwrights will need to be able to not only understand how to build structures, but also how to install and maintain the equipment that is used in those structures.

This trend will require millwrights to be more educated in areas such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. In addition, they will need to be able to work with a variety of different materials, such as steel, wood, and plastic.

The Importance of Collaboration

The importance of collaboration is becoming increasingly evident in the workplace. As businesses become more globalized, it is essential for employees to be able to work together across borders and cultures.

Millwrights are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they have experience working with a wide range of people and in a variety of settings. By developing their communication and teamwork skills, millwrights can ensure that they are prepared for the future economy.

A Greater Focus on Safety

As the world becomes more industrialized, the focus on safety has increased. This is especially true in the construction industry, where accidents can result in serious injuries or even death.

Millwrights are in a unique position to capitalize on this trend, as they are responsible for installing and maintaining many of the safety devices that are now required by law. By becoming certified in these areas, millwrights can ensure that they are providing a valuable service to their clients.

How to Become a Millwright

A millwright career can be a great choice for someone who wants to work in the manufacturing industry. As a millwright, you’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of different machines and equipment. You’ll also be able to move between jobsites, which means that you’ll get to see different parts of the country.

To become a millwright, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as some experience working with machinery. You’ll also need to be able to read blueprints and understand mechanical drawings.

Related: How to Write a Millwright Resume

Advancement Prospects

Millwrights who have completed an apprenticeship or have several years of experience can advance to supervisory or lead worker positions. Some millwrights may become independent contractors. With additional training, millwrights can become industrial machinery mechanics or millwright instructors.

Millwright Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for a Millwright to install, maintain, and troubleshoot industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. The Millwright will be responsible for reading and interpreting blueprints and schematics, as well as performing preventive maintenance on machines. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of hand and power tools, as well as welding and cutting equipment. He or she will be able to work independently with minimal supervision, and be able to troubleshoot and solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Install, maintain, and troubleshoot a wide variety of machinery and mechanical equipment
  • Read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and manuals to determine work procedures
  • Dismantle machines using hand and power tools, and examine parts for wear or defects
  • Clean, lubricate, and adjust parts, components, and machinery
  • Align and level machinery, using hoists, jacks, hand tools, plumb bobs, and straightedges
  • Join pipes, hoses, and tubing, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, and welding equipment
  • Assemble and install electric motors, generators, alternators, industrial storage batteries, and hydraulic and pneumatic equipment
  • Install, program, calibrate, maintain, and repair electronic equipment, such as programmable controllers and devices
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, planers, and grinders, to repair or fabricate machine parts, jigs, fixtures, and tools
  • Repair and replace broken or missing parts, using hand tools, power tools, and precision-measuring and alignment instruments
  • Start up and shut down plant equipment systems and machinery
  • Confer with engineers, production personnel, programmers, and others to resolve maintenance problems and recommend improvements to reduce downtime and improve efficiency

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of millwright apprenticeship program
  • 5+ years experience as a journeyman millwright
  • Proven experience with installation, maintenance, and repair of industrial machinery
  • Working knowledge of hydraulics, pneumatics, and electrical systems
  • Strong mechanical aptitude and troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to read and interpret technical manuals and blueprints

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field
  • 10+ years experience as a journeyman millwright
  • Leadership experience in managing teams of millwrights
  • Experience with computer-controlled machinery and equipment
  • Familiarity with safety standards and OSHA regulations

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