How to Become a Millwright

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Machinery can be very complex. Trained professionals are required for the proper construction and maintenance of all machines. Millwrights install, repair, replace, and dismantle machinery and heavy equipment used in various industries.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a millwright do?

Millwrights work with equipment that is used in manufacturing plants, mining operations, construction sites, and generation of power (natural gas turbines, wind power, and hydroelectric damns). They read blueprints and work with many different materials such as wood, steel, and other metals. They examine, assemble, and position new equipment and machinery. They align wheels and gears, attach motors, fit bearings, and connect belts. Millwrights also perform preventative maintenance to machines and equipments such as repairing and replacing worn parts and ensuring proper lubrication. They use a variety of hoisting and rigging devices including cables and pulleys and cranes and hydraulic-lift trucks to lift and move machinery. They also use welding machines, cutting torches, hydraulic torque wrenches, lathes, and grinding machines. Millwrights often collaborate with other professionals to determine the best placements of machines in facilities.

What kind of training does a millwright need?

Millwrights must have at least a high school diploma or GED and complete formal training. Most millwrights complete apprenticeship programs that combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Apprenticeship programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. Some complete programs at community colleges or vocational and technical schools. Millwrights typically complete courses in mathematics, science, mechanical drawing, and blueprinting reading. Apprenticeships train prospective millwrights on erecting, moving, repairing, and dismantling machinery. Millwrights must keep their skills current and most complete additional training to keep up to date on technological advances.

What are the prospects for a career as a millwright?

Employment of millwrights is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 6% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased need to install new equipment and dismantle outdated machinery will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be great because many experienced millwrights are expected to retire or leave the field for other reasons. Millwrights with machining, welding, and mechanical experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do millwrights make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of millwrights earn annual salaries between $46,658 and $62,166. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $72,375 (2).

A career as a millwright is a great choice for individuals interested in the construction and maintenance of a variety of machines and equipment. Millwrights must have mechanical aptitude and a solid understanding of how complicated machines are constructed. They must have good physical strength and agility to be able to lift heavy materials. They must be able to follow and give detailed instruction and be accurate and precise in their work. Millwrights must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to effectively work independently and as part of a team.

Joshua T Osborne

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