What is a Millwright? What Do They Do?


A Millwright installs, repairs, dismantles and reassembles, and moves machinery in a factory, power plant, or construction site setting. They typically work as contractors rather than employees and can experience downtime between jobs as they have variable schedules and can spend as little as a few days or a couple of weeks on any given contract.

What Does a Millwright Do?

Beyond this, Millwrights have a range of duties that they are expected to perform at a job site, plant, or factory. Millwrights are the go-to person for large machinery needs and perform a variety of maintenance tasks that require a highly skilled worker.

Millwrights must know how to read blueprints and extremely technical instructions regarding the machinery they’re repairing or assembling. Millwrights are also responsible for dismantling machinery in order to make room for new machinery that replaces the old machinery when it breaks down or for project changes that require a different type of machinery. When dismantling machinery, Millwrights have to prepare each part for transport to a new site or location, and this requires extensive labeling and safe packaging to prevent damage or lost parts.

They’re also called when machinery develops a defective part or parts. They must dismantle the machinery enough to get to a malfunctioning part, replace it, then put the machinery back together.

Millwrights perform the initial installation of large machinery and are responsible for repairing it as necessary. They also adjust parts as required to ensure optimal and safe functioning of the machinery.

Installing or dismantling machinery of this kind can take days or even weeks and is incredibly complicated. Millwrights are responsible for understanding every single part of the machinery as well as how the parts work together to make up the hole.

How To Become a Millwright

The first step to becoming a Millwright is earning a two-year associate’s degree in Industrial Maintenance. This degree will provide the necessary foundation for the next step.

Once you’ve completed your education, you’re ready to receive on-the-job training through an apprenticeship. This process can last between three and four years. During the apprenticeship, you will learn how to set up and dismantle, clean, repair, and start machinery. You’ll also learn and master the mathematics, welding, electronics, blueprint reading, and pneumatics skills necessary for the job.

Once you’ve completed this apprenticeship, you are ready to look for work and are considered fully qualified as a Millwright. In order to become a successful Millwright, you must be physically able to handle the difficult manual labor and must be incredibly organized.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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