According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, millwrights are highly skilled workers who assemble and disassemble heavy machinery and equipment at construction sites or plants. Millwrights utilize blueprints and plans and work with engineers to complete job tasks, repair machinery and set machines and equipment according to specifications. Journeyman millwrights are workers who have acquired extensive experience and knowledge through formal apprenticeships and training programs.
Obtain a high school diploma or GED. To gain an edge over other apprenticeship candidates, take specialized courses from an accredited technical or two-year college specializing in industrial maintenance, industrial technology, mechanical drawing, math, computer programming, electronics or another related field.
Apply for a millwright apprenticeship through an employer, state labor office or local union office. Certified or recognized apprenticeship programs for millwrights are offered through the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. The United States Department of Labor offers registered apprenticeships for millwrights. The Registered Apprentice program allows sponsors, or employers, to connect with individuals interested in completing internships in specific fields, which helps ensure a well-trained work force.
Complete requirements for the millwright apprenticeship. Apprenticeship requirements can vary from employer to employer or state to state. Most programs take four to five years to complete and include formal classroom learning and on-the-job training. Apprenticeship programs can require candidates to complete both paid and unpaid instruction; hours are often tracked and monitored. Millwright apprentices may also have to take CPR and first aid courses to receive state certifications. Additionally, candidates must often demonstrate competency requirements through formal assessments and observations in order to successfully complete apprenticeship programs.
Complete a trainer course if required. Transition to trainer courses are typically offered in the last year of apprenticeships and prepare individuals to train and supervise apprentices.
Gain employment in the field. Millwrights who have completed apprenticeship programs are known as journeyman millwrights. Depending on the apprenticeship requirements, journeymen may continue with their present employers or gain employment in a different setting. Once employed, journeymen millwrights can continue taking coursework or specialized training. Millwrights joining the United Brotherhood of Carpenters must meet specific qualification requirements and can complete skill-upgrade courses and ongoing training.
Many states require candidates to be at least 17 years of age and physically able to complete job requirements. Candidates for apprenticeships may have to receive passing scores on general aptitude tests depending on the sponsor. In 2008, over half of all millwrights employed in the United States were union members. Union membership could be important to gaining employment in the field.