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A millwright, or industrial mechanic, is a tradesperson who installs, maintains and repairs stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. They interpret drawings, follow layouts and assemble parts until they are in perfect working order. Millwrights and industrial mechanics work in a variety of industries, and can pursue complementary training and develop extra skills in steel fabrication, welding, machining, electronics, hydraulics or pneumatics.
Construction millwrights are mostly engaged in the initial installation of industrial plant machinery and equipment. Industrial mechanics are more concerned with the post-installation maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment.
Industrial mechanics and millwrights may be cross-trained in a second trade such as pipefitting, welding, machining or electrical maintenance. A day in the life of a millwright might involve installing a giant turbine for an industrial mechanic to maintain and keep humming.
You should finish high school before pursuing a career as a millwright or industrial mechanic. Then you will need to complete a three- to five-year apprenticeship program or a combination of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses over five years.
Certification is required by all provinces. An interprovincial Red Seal endorsement is also available to allow your skills to be officially recognized across Canada.
Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses.
If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the Red Seal program for information on how to get started.
Machinists are precise people. They enjoy making complex parts with and without the help of computers. Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to cut or grind metal, plastic or other materials to make or modify parts or products — all to exact dimensions. Machinists also work as machining and tooling inspectors who inspect machined parts and tooling in order to maintain quality control standards.
Are you a techie at heart who takes pride in producing high-quality manufactured products? If the answer is yes, then you could be a machinist. Your workspace is a workshop. Many machinists spend their days transferring complex mechanical engineering drawings from a computer screen to computerized machinery. This means you move back and forth between the worlds of computers and precision machines.