Millwrights and industrial mechanics install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. Although millwrights were historically responsible for building watermills and windmills primarily out of wood, their roles have evolved with the times and they now work with steel and other materials and must often combine the skills of other mechanical trades to install machinery or assemble machines with pre-fabricated parts. 

Millwrights are typically highly knowledgeable about construction and demobilization and often shift projects and priorities quickly in any construction project. One week they may be setting up conveyor belts, and the next week they may be installing industrial water treatment systems. Because of their training and expertise, Millwrights are generally chose to work on tasks that involve setting heavy machinery.

  • Install, align, dismantle and move stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment such as pumps, fans, conveyors, furnaces and generators according to layout plans.
  • Install, troubleshoot and maintain power transmission, vacuum, hydraulic, and pneumatic system and programmable logic controls.
  • Construct foundations for machinery and direct other workers to construct foundations.
  • Inspect and examine machinery and equipment to detect and investigate irregularities and malfunctions.
  • Operate hoisting and lifting equipment such as cranes, jacks, and tractors to position machinery and parts during the installation, set-up, and repair of machinery.
  • You have strong communication, reading and math skills.
  • You are able to take measurements with exact precision and accuracy.
  • You enjoy coupling your computerized technical skills with your mechanical skills to create a finished product.
  • You enjoy physical labour applied through different tasks and projects.
  • You have a passion for following technological innovations as they are applied to industrial machinery and processes.


Careers in the BC shipbuilding & ship repair industry usually begin with an apprenticeship in a Red Seal trade or with a job directly at a shipyard. Many get their start in shipbuilding as a shipyard labourer prior to being accepted into an apprenticeship program.

Discuss possible career steps with your school counsellor, career counsellor, or a union hall representative and consider high school trades programs and post-secondary pre-apprenticeship programs as a great place to start learning about the trades. 

ACE-IT High School Program (Millwright/Machinist)


Most apprenticeships require you to have a high school diploma and to complete a foundations certificate as a prerequisite prior to starting your apprenticeship. Check with available training providers to learn their specific eligibility requirements. 

There are different pathways you can take in order to become a millwright. In order to be eligible for industry certification as a millwright, you can complete a three to five-year apprenticeship program or you can apply a combination of over four years of practical work experience as a millwright, plus some high school, college or other industry courses.


Red Seal trade certification allows for movement between provinces.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program


Employer sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through an application process. Union sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through their trade union and can be recruited by employers based on the needs of a shipyard.


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.