How to Become a
Millwright

Man in working uniform using a drill at a construction site

Do you have a strong mechanical aptitude, like to work with your hands and enjoy physical work? If this sounds like you, then you might consider a career as a Millwright. Read on to get information about the education, training and any other requirements that Millwrights need to begin working in this position.

What Does a Millwright Do?

A Millwright, also referred to as an Industrial Mechanic, generally works on machinery in a factory or construction setting. They install, assemble, maintain and make any repairs to mechanical equipment and move and set up machinery as needed. Millwrights work in a wide range of settings, such as processing plants, construction sites, machine shops, manufacturing companies or power plants.

It is important that Millwrights possess strong technical and analytical skills. Common Millwright duties and responsibilities include:

  • Physical tasks, such as dismantling, moving and assembling equipment

  • Technical tasks, such as repairing and replacing parts on various types of machinery

  • Communication tasks, such as explaining problems with machines to supervisors and plant managers

Millwright Skills

In addition to technical skills, Millwrights should have strong oral and written communication, problem-solving, troubleshooting and organizational skills. They should possess an eye for detail and have good listening skills to hear any unusual noises emanating from machines. They should also have the ability to read and understand technical manuals.

Other key Millwright skills include:

  • Math proficiency

  • Strong eye-hand coordination

  • Ability to lift heavy machinery and stand or crouch for long periods of time

How Do You Become a Millwright?

Education and Training

After reviewing online job postings for Millwrights, we have concluded that most employers require that job candidates hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Some might prefer prospective Millwrights to possess a 2-year technical degree or certificate in a related discipline.

An associate's degree might be earned in mechanical engineering, industrial maintenance technology or machine tool technology prior to entering this field. These types of programs will typically contain classes in mathematics, mechanical design, fabrication and machine tool applications. Those seeking to enter this field might also obtain a technical certificate in these subjects or in such areas as machine manufacturing technology or applied technical management. Many of these types of programs include an internship.

It is essential that Millwrights complete an apprenticeship program. These apprentice programs are generally offered through employers but also through unions or state labor departments. These apprenticeships generally last up to three or four years and combine instruction with hands-on learning experiences under an experienced Millwright.

Finding a job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Millwrights can expect a 15 percent employment growth rate between 2014 and 2024. It is expected that a rise in the use of manufacturing machinery will continue, fueling the need for Millwrights. Those who have completed an approved apprenticeship program and possess an educational background in industrial machinery or a related area have the best chances to obtain a position in this field.

It is helpful to present a quality resume when applying for a job as a Millwright. Use our library of Millwright resume samples to help you ensure that you create an effective resume.

Once your resume is complete, search online for Millwright job opportunities. Draw on your network of professionals you might have met during your apprenticeship or through your educational internship.

Insights from a Millwright

Here is some insight into what you can expect from a career as a Millwright directly from professionals in the field.

What is the common career path for a Millwright?

A Typical Millwright doesn't need a bachelor's degree. A High School diploma will do. However, after obtaining your High School Diploma, it is important to become part of an apprenticeship program to gain some experience. Companies in this industry usually look for people with experience. You could also apply for an associate's degree in industrial maintenance which can help you gain experience.

What should someone consider before becoming a Millwright?

Things to consider before becoming a Millwright is if you like to work long hours and working even on weekends. You have to be ready to work under different types of conditions: dry, wet, indoors, outdoors, hot and wet. It is a very physical job with lots of pushing, pulling and lifting. You also need to take the appropriate safety precautions to avoid injuries.

What type of person excels in this job?

People who are dependable, cooperative, love working with machines and have a good eye for assembling perfectly, you can be a good Millwright.

What are some of the most important skills for Millwrights to have?

Good coordination skills and manual dexterity, good physical condition, willingness to work under any condition and a keen eye for assembly.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Millwright?

Millwrights are part of one of the oldest and respected jobs in the world. Every single industry needs a Millwright, meaning that you can have a stable career that can last.

How Much Do Millwrights Get Paid?

Millwrights realize a median hourly wage of $24.71. At the lower end of this pay range, Millwrights earn $15.49 per hour. Those being paid at the top end of this range make an hourly wage of $36.71.

Top 10 States for Millwright Salary

Millwrights in the following states make the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.

    Alaska

    $31.66

    Wyoming

    $31.04

    Washington

    $30.71

    Kansas

    $29.96

    Michigan

    $29.45

    Massachusetts

    $29.38

    Ohio

    $28.62

    New York

    $28.61

    New Mexico

    $28.59

    New Jersey

    $28.11

    Millwright Resources

    The following resources have been assembled to help you further research the responsibilities of a Millwright as you contemplate this as a career option. You can learn more about the daily tasks and expectations associated with being a Millwright.

    On the Web

    NCCER Blog
    Hosted by The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), this blog provides information about training, industry news and more.

    Smith Industries Ltd. Blog
    Hosted by a Vancouver-based machine shop, this blog provides information about industry news and trends and what it means to work in this type of environment.

    Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation (IMPO) Magazine
    A monthly online publication providing Millwrights and related professionals with industry trends, safety information and technological news.

    Industry Groups

    The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP)
    This nonprofit organization provides mechanics, engineers, Millwrights and similar professions with networking, education and certification opportunities.

    Industrial Supply Association (ISA)
    An industrial trade association, ISA provides Millwrights and related professions with various resources, such as webinars, educational courses, conventions, industry news and online articles and videos.

    Millwright Books

    Audel Millwrights and Mechanics Guide 5th Edition
    An extensive guide covering troubleshooting and repair tips and strategies for new and old equipment.

    Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Third Edition
    Written by an industrial engineering professional, this book explores everything from troubleshooting processes to safety procedures for those working in this industry.