What an Industrial Mechanic Does
There are many factories, all filled with different types of machines relevant to whichever industry they’re used for. Those machines break down, and it takes an industrial mechanic, machine mechanic, or millwright trained in the ways of factory machines to get them back up and running. All three work with machinery:
- Industrial machine mechanic: Using the technical manuals that come with the machine, it’s up to you to predict an issue before it happens. You may work with robotic welding arms, hydraulic lifts, and other types of preventative measure machinery.
- Machinery maintenance worker: You’ll use basic tools to perform the necessary repairs on malfunctioning machines.
- Millwright: You do a lot of heavy stuff like installing new machines, taking on older ones that can take days to repair, and providing maintenance to keep everything running smoothly.
Your day will include:
- Reading the technical manuals included with the machinery in order to understand its parts and their function.
- Taking apart the malfunctioning machine.
- Examining the parts to find the culprit.
- Repairing or replacing bad parts.
- Performing diagnostics on machinery.
- Making sure all machines are working at optimal capacity.
You’ll work in factories, plants, and construction sites. These can be dangerous jobs. Make sure to have the proper protective equipment.
How to Become an Industrial Mechanic/Machinery Maintenance Worker/Millwright
To get into any of the professions, you need either a high school diploma or GED.
Most hiring personnel will prefer if it you have an associate’s degree in industrial maintenance. Your courses will include math, welding, and hydraulics.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have the physical capacity to be able to do the work.
- You’ll have one year of on-the-job training, minimally.
- If you want to become a millwright, you will be expected to go through an apprenticeship, which will take 3-4 years.
- Each year, you will have 144 hours of classroom learning, and 2,000 hours paid on-the-job training.
- You can find apprenticeships through employers, unions, contractors, and your state’s labor department.
Salary and Job Outlook
In 2017, the median annual pay for millwrights, machine mechanics, and industrial mechanics was just over $50K. The top 10 percent of those in the professions earned over $76K.
The salary breakdown for each job specifically is:
- Millwrights: $53K
- Machine mechanics: $45K
- Industrial mechanics: $51K
The top paying industries are manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade.
Average employment growth is expected through 2026. There will be over 23K positions opening for industrial mechanics, 5,000 for machine mechanics, and 3,900 for millwrights.