Industrial Mechanic

Millwrighting involves the installation, maintenance,repair and troubleshooting of stationary industrial machinery, as well as mechanical equipment in factories, production plants and recreational facilities.

Millwrights, on a typical job, will read diagrams and schematic drawings and service manuals to determine work procedures, operate rigging equipment to pick and place machinery and parts, fit bearings, align gears and shafts, attach and align motors, connect coupling and belts, perform predictive and operation maintenance using laser alignment tooling, vibrational analysis and distructive/non-distructive testing, service and repair hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, and may do some tack welding, fabrication of machinery and equipment.

Millwrighting has changed from the past of maintaining flour mills. Today, it is challenging, lucrative and stimulating. The reward of a career as a millwright can also be transferable into further education or related trades.

Traits and Talents

The millwright trade is most rewarding for those who enjoy variety, security and doing precision work with machinery and equipment. To be a successful millwright, one should possess the strength and stamina required to work with heavy equipment weighing in excess of 20 kegs, good coordination and manual dexterity, the ability to read and visualize blueprints, the ability to comprehend, analyze and troubleshoot mechanical systems and the ability to perform well in a team environment.

Education and Training

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required. 
  • Completion of a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or A combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in industrial machinery repair or millwrighting is usually required to be eligible for trade certification. 
  • Industrial mechanic trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and territories. 
  • Construction millwright trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Ontario. 
  • Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified industrial mechanics or millwrights.  

The Workplace

Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • Read blueprints, diagrams and schematic drawings to determine work procedures 
  • Install, align, dismantle and move stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment, such as pumps, fans, tanks, conveyors, furnaces and generators according to layout plans using hand and power tools 
  • Operate hoisting and lifting devices such as cranes, jacks and tractors to position machinery and parts during the installation, set-up and repair of machinery 
  • Inspect and examine machinery and equipment to detect and investigate irregularities and malfunctions 
  • Install, troubleshoot and maintain power transmission, vacuum, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and programmable logic controls 
  • Adjust machinery and repair or replace defective parts 
  • Operate machine tools such as lathes and grinders to fabricate parts required during overhaul, maintenance or set-up of machinery 
  • Clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on machinery 
  • Construct foundations for machinery or direct other workers to construct foundations 
  • Assemble machinery and equipment prior to installation using hand and power tools and welding equipment. 

Skills for Success

The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

  • Reading
  • Numeracy 
  • Problem Solving 

Sample Job Titles

  • Machinist 
  • Machine tool operations 
  • Fitter/Welder 
  • Industrial mechanic 
  • Millwright

Companies and Sectors

  • Bottling plants 
  • Mines 
  • Pulp and paper 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Construction