How Do I Become an Industrial Mechanic?

Dan Cavallari

An industrial mechanic, also known as a millwright, is a person who builds and maintains machinery on a job site or in a factory. In order to become an industrial mechanic, it is likely that you will need at least a high school education, though this may not always be necessary. Candidates with a college degree have an advantage over less educated candidates, but if you cannot afford such an education, there are other ways to become an industrial mechanic. An apprenticeship is the best way to do so, and it may not cost you much money at all.

Arc welding may be performed during industrial maintenance.
Arc welding may be performed during industrial maintenance.

An apprenticeship will help you become an industrial mechanic over the course of several years as you work with more experienced millwrights who will teach you the skills necessary to do the job. The training will take place mostly on-site, and you will do hands-on work to learn the trade. Some of the training will also take place in a classroom, where you will learn basic principles of electronics, physics, and other subjects relevant to the job. While you participate in an apprenticeship that will help you become an industrial mechanic, you will likely get paid less than a more experienced mechanic, but you may also be eligible for health benefits or retirement savings. It may be necessary to join a millwright union in order to get an apprenticeship.

Industrial mechanics often learn on the job from experienced millwrights.
Industrial mechanics often learn on the job from experienced millwrights.

Preparation can be done before an apprenticeship if you want to become an industrial mechanic. While in high school, you may want to consider paying close attention to math and science courses, as they can lend you relevant information that will pertain to the job duties of a millwright. You can also take a job as a laborer with a construction company or in a factory; candidates with such experience are more likely to be chosen for apprenticeships than people with no experience at all. Working such jobs may also afford you the opportunity to job shadow a current millwright who may be able to give you a leg up on the competition.

After an apprenticeship is complete, you may be hired by the company that provided the apprenticeship. While you are an apprentice, you should be sure to work hard and show that you have a strong work ethic. This will encourage potential employers to pay close attention to you and perhaps offer you full-time work once your apprenticeship is complete.

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