What Is A Millwright? Not Industrial Machinery Mechanic As You May Think

What is a millwright? Originally, millwrights were the craftsmen who built mills powered by water and wind. Still, the millwright’s duties are much different in modernity. They often undertake comprehensive industrial and mechanical projects. 

But do not confuse their job title with industrial machinery mechanic when you read this far. The difference between these two occupations, job description, salary, skill list, and path to becoming a millwright, will be revealed in this article.

The Difference Millwright Vs. Industrial Machinery Mechanic

These two titles are often used interchangeably and have many same duties, such as operating power tools, checking equipment, repairing and maintaining heavy machinery, and ensuring good working order.

The difference between a millwright and an industrial machinery mechanic comes down to the scope of their work. They both work with heavy machinery, but millwrights typically have a broader focus.

To clarify, millwrights work on equipment upkeep, repair, construction, and transportation. Meanwhile, industrial machinery mechanics focus more on equipment maintenance and repair. Their responsibilities include keeping machines in proper working order, identifying problems, and providing solutions before everything becomes chaos.

By and large, all of the complex machinery in an industrial site requires installation and servicing from specialized workers. If you are interested in a job in an industrial facility, try reading industrial machinery’s job overview: Is Industrial Machinery/Components A Good Career Path? Now You See! to make the final satisfactory decision on your career path.

The Difference Millwright Vs. Industrial Machinery Mechanic

These two titles are sometimes interchangeable – Source: archive.worldskills.org

Millwright Job Description

What Is A MillWright?

Millwrights are highly skilled craftsmen who install, assemble and repair industrial equipment and machinery. On a typical working day, they use specialized tools to operate, disassemble, fix, and maintain the equipment.

A Common Workday

In general, the primary duties of a millwright may include:

  • Lay the foundation for a new machine or supervise its construction.
  • Build and install new machinery.
  • Review and follow machinery manuals: Read highly technical and complex instructions and blueprints on machinery.
  • Repair machinery and equipment.
  • Disassemble machinery parts when transporting or repairing, then reassemble them.
  • Adjust and align moving parts with the help of specialized tools such as micrometers, plumb bobs, etc.
  • Replace defective machinery parts as needed.
  • Move machinery and equipment.
Millwright Job Description

Millwright is not just men’s work – Source: www.mstc.edu 

Millwright Skill List

In fulfilling their role, millwrights need to have many specific skills, including, but not limited to:

Knowledge-based Skills

  • Operation monitoring: Monitoring gauges, dials, or other indicators to ensure the proper operation of the machine.
  • Installation: Installing machines, equipment, wiring, or programs to meet standards and specifications.
  • Blueprint reading: Reading blueprints and other related documents that provide a crucial guide to the equipment that is being installed, maintained, repaired, or dismantled.
  • Equipment maintenance: Performing routine maintenance and determining when and what kind of maintenance is necessary.
  • Troubleshooting: Identifying causes of operating errors in a machinery system, then correct them.
  • Repairing: Repairing machines, equipment, or systems using specialized tools.
  • Quality control analysis: Carrying out tests and inspections of products, services, or procedures to access the quality or performance.
  • Industrial math: Performing critical calculations to find the best approach to a matter with the equipment. Industrial math is essential to understand voltage, loads, and other measures to make sure machinery works properly.
  • Manual dexterity and motor coordination: Manipulating small objects and handling welding and wiring efficiently.
  • Systems evaluation: Identifying system performance measures or indicators and actions needed to enhance or correct it.
  • Systems analysis: Determining how a system should function and how to handle changes in conditions.

Besides technical skills, it would help if the millwrights possess the following interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal Skills

  • Critical thinking: Using logic and reasoning to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to problems.
  • Communication: Communicating clearly with coworkers, mechanics, and supervisors, especially in a loud environment. Therefore, millwrights may have to communicate with the use of hand signals. Written documentation such as reports is another common means of communication for work orders, maintenance, and inspection.
  • Time management: Efficiently planning and controlling how much time to spend on particular activities and how much time is suitable for an equipment installation.
  • Organization: Keeping detailed records well-organized, making them easier to find and interpret. Proper organization is critical when unpacking parts or dismantling and categorizing parts of machinery.
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills: Diagnosing and assessing problems, then analyzing and finding feasible solutions.
  • Attention to detail: Paying attention to detail when repairing and maintaining machinery.

In general, these skills help millwrights be best prepared to deal with unexpected incidents, of course, they do not fire unless fired upon. In particular, skills such as organization, attention to detail, problem-solving and analytical skills help them take the initiative when problems arise instead of handling every trouble passively.

Interpersonal Skills

These skills help the millwright take the initiative when problems arise rather than do not fire unless fired upon – Source: alis.alberta.ca

Other Skills

  • Physical strength: Carrying objects weighing up to 50 pounds. They also have to move around the worksite, crouching, kneeling, and bending as needed.

How Much Does A Millwright Make: A Typical Millwright’s Salary and Compensation

According to Indeed.com, the average hourly wage for a millwright in the United States is $23.89. The typical additional compensation is about $9,000 overtime per year, with many benefits such as disability insurance, health insurance, and paid time off. Therefore, 72% of over 2000 millwrights in the U.S. are satisfied with their income and compensation. But if you want to increase your income even more, do not miss out on these practical Hints To Persuade Your Manager.

In addition, how much does a millwright make in best-paying states? Here is a list of the top 5 states where millwrights earn most, according to the latest data in May 2018 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

StateHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
New Mexico$34.64$72,040
New Jersey$32.63$67,860
New York$31.28$65,060

Top 5 highest-paying states for millwrights in the United States – Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Much Does A Millwright Make: A Typical Millwright’s Salary and Compensation

How much does a millwright make in the United States? – Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How To Get MillWright Jobs?

How To Get MillWright Jobs?

What is a millwright apprenticeship? – Source: www.ntc.edu 

Millwright requirements

To become a qualified millwright, you need to achieve certain education levels and undergo in-depth training for this role.


Firstly, you need to get a high school diploma or equivalent to become a millwright. Find out the entrance knowledge to join the field in our best pick.

Some millwrights also pursue a certificate or associate’s degree in industrial maintenance. More specifically, the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Industrial Maintenance Technology is a 2-year degree that provides you with comprehensive knowledge of equipment installation, preventative maintenance, replacement, and repairs. To clarify, AAS courses cover topics such as technical mathematics, electrical principles, blueprint reading, and CAD fundamentals.


To get hands-on experience in this occupation, millwrights generally complete a 3-to-5-year apprenticeship program. So what is a millwright apprenticeship? It is a program with each training year including 144 hours of technical instruction and up to 2000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Apprentice millwrights practice reading blueprints, diagnosing machinery problems, carrying out essential maintenance, installing new equipment, and dismantling machinery.


Some educational institutions offer millwright certificates to those who have finished a period of training for this trade. However, there is no official certification or license required to work as a millwright.

Extra Tips to Get A Millwright Job

Prepare Your Resume

Create a resume that highlights your experience as a millwright apprentice and any other work experience you have gained. When describing your previous duties, emphasize skills such as mechanical knowledge, attention to detail, and technical troubleshooting.

Take Advantage of Your Connections

Networking with those you worked with during your apprenticeship. This may help you make valuable contacts that lead to suitable positions.

Conclusion: What Is A Millwright?

To conclude, millwrights handle the assembly and setup of these machines, whereas industrial machinery mechanics perform the maintenance and repair work involved. Also, if you decide to follow this, you do not need to worry about the cost of living as your salary can fully cover them. Hope that with the skill list and path to becoming a millwright given above, you can assess your suitability for this job and make the right choice about your career.

In case you are worried about factors making you hate your chosen path, maybe our 5 Tips To Stop Hating Your Job would help you.

Explore more job descriptions, salaries, and other related information in our Job overview – What The Job Entails – Plan Your Way to Success section. Visit Jobandedu for more.

Emma Anderson

Emma Anderson is a career consultant and freelance writer for JobandEdu by night. Layla assists students, and new hires in determining a suitable career path and walk them through the application process. She decides to pursue writing since she thinks everyone should have access to information about potential careers, such as the application process and the company's culture. She's into writing, driving her with stuff that interests her in all her good reads.