|Program Levels||Certificate programs or paid apprenticeships|
|Field(s) of Study||Millwright training|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Program Length||2 years for certificate programs; 4 years for paid apprenticeships|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||15% growth|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)||$51,390|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Millwrights install, maintain and remove heavy machinery for industrial mills. They work indoors in shops or factories and perform specific tasks such as planning machine installations and alignments, fabricating machinery from constituent parts, fitting pipes, and dismantling old machinery.
Millwrights can be trained through a certificate program or an apprenticeship. Applicants to millwright certificate programs must have a high school diploma and transcripts. Due to the physically intensive nature of the field, all applicants should also be able to perform regular manual labor. Applicants should have basic math and reading skills, which may be remedied with general education courses. Certificate programs can usually be completed in two years at technical or community colleges.
Most millwrights, though, are trained in apprenticeships. Let's take a deeper look at what to expect from an apprenticeship.
As with certificate programs, applicants must have a high school diploma and transcripts and be able to perform regular manual labor. Prerequisites for apprenticeships vary from employer to employer. Apprenticeships typically take four years and are completed in workplace settings. Apprenticeships in this field are sponsored by industries. Students who pursue this track are paid while they receive on-the-job instruction. Millwrights receive much of their instruction in on-the-job or laboratory settings. Additional specific classroom instruction may cover theoretical topics that help potential millwrights to understand relevant machinery and tasks. Courses may cover the following topics:
- Blueprint reading
- Mill maintenance
- Occupational job searching
- Trade/industrial math
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects that the total employment for millwrights will grow 15% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS stated that the median annual wage for all millwrights was $51,390. At that time, leading employers of millwrights included building contractors, paper mills, and wood product manufacturers.
Millwrights may be promoted to supervisory or team leadership positions. Promotion is usually contingent on experience and the completion of additional coursework, according to the BLS.
Millwrights may complete a certificate program or, more commonly, an apprenticeship where they are taught on the job.