A wright is a skilled craftsman who builds complex structures out of wood, like a “shipwright” or a “wheelwright.” Millwrights can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks who were the first to use water power to grind grain in a mill. These early millwrights were highly skilled carpenters, designers and mechanics. Given their knowledge about gears and driveshafts, they are considered the first mechanical engineers.
Millwrights in Modern Times
This profession has changed with technology. Every industry from automotive to food processing requires a millwright. Today’s millwrights disassemble, transport, install, maintain, and repair machines that are very expensive and require precision placement and setup.
A millwright might work on pumps, turbines, conveyors and even monorails throughout their career. The job requires both mental and physical skills with a high regard for safety.
How Do You Become a Millwright?
The best way to become a millwright is to contact the local union and find someone to hire you as an apprentice. The apprenticeship program takes years of hands-on and classroom work. The rest of the time will be actual on the job training. You will be getting paid to learn.
When you are in the classroom 80% of the time will be spent performing the actual hands-on skills required when in the field. The rest of the time is spent studying the technical part of the job. If you did well in math, and took some drafting and industrial arts classes in high school, you might be way ahead of the curve.
What’s the Job Like?
A millwright performs tough, physical and dangerous work, sometimes in terrible weather. The pay will be low during your apprentice years. After completing the apprenticeship program, journeyman wages will be established and you will be in high demand. You will also have the added satisfaction knowing you are part of one of the most important, oldest, skilled trades on the planet.
Experience is the key when looking for someone to set up expensive machinery. If you are anywhere in North America, contact Ready Machinery Movers for professional moving of equipment. We’ve been moving and setting up heavy machinery for over 35 years. Find out more by calling 1-800-211-2500.