Millwrights work in the construction industry, usually collaborating with contractors. Their primary responsibility is to install, dismantle, and move the machines and heavy equipment necessary for building. This requires millwrights to follow layout plans and blueprints to place the equipment in the proper locations to facilitate the building of various structures. Typical tasks include constructing foundations or base plates for large equipment. Millwrights are also required to level and align electric motors and other machinery.
Millwrights work with steel or other materials and must be knowledgeable in a variety of mechanical trades. Using lathes, milling machines, and grinders, millwrights move, assemble, and repair construction equipment such as conveyors, tram rails, and gear boxes. They are also often responsible for the maintenance and repair of major machinery. Tasks can include lubrication of the machinery, bearing and seal replacements, and preventative maintenance.
Millwright Job Education Requirements
Millwrights must have a fundamental knowledge of fluid mechanics and components such as valves, pumps, and compressors. They must be able to read blueprints and should be able to understand and execute technical instructions. Knowledge of electrical principles, hydraulics, industrial rigging, and fabrication is also necessary. Usually, millwrights receive on-the-job training or participate in an apprenticeship program that lasts between three and four years. In either scenario, a millwright's training typically consists of 2,000 hours of field work and 144 classroom hours. An associate degree in industrial maintenance is also required by some employers.
Millwright Job Market
Millwrights are often employed by building equipment contractors and non-residential building constructors. Foundries, sawmills, and motor vehicles parts manufacturing companies are also typical employers for millwrights, and applicants in 2013 found the most employment opportunities in Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and California. Job opportunities for millwrights are expected to increase by over 18% by 2022, while construction managers are expected to see a 16% growth during the same time. After gaining years of field experience, many millwrights are eligible to serve as teachers in vocational programs in high school and post-secondary institutions. In these employment positions, millwrights can teach courses in fabrication and metal work.
Millwright Job Salary Information
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a millwright was $51,130. The lowest 10 percent of millwrights earned about $30,000 annually, and the top 10 percent earned over $73,000 annually. Millwrights in Washington, Wyoming, New York, New Mexico, and Alaska earned the most money in 2013.