Industrial machinery works around the clock to manufacture food products, generate power, and move suitcases at the airport.
Industrial machinery maintenance workers, mechanics, and millwrights make sure industrial machinery stays on the job.
Machinery maintenance workers do basic maintenance and repairs, such as cleaning and lubricating machinery, performing basic diagnostic tests, and testing damaged parts.
Using computerized diagnostic equipment and expertise, industrial machinery mechanics detect and fix mechanical problems; just listening to a machine’s vibration, they can distinguish a worn belt from a weak motor bearing.
Millwrights install and disassemble industrial machines as well as conduct repairs.
They often move machines within a facility, carefully categorizing and sequencing every part.
They use cranes and forklifts to bring the heavy parts to the new location.
In addition to hand tools, these workers use welding and cutting equipment, and precision-measuring devices.
Because of the high risk of injury on the job, safety precautions and protective equipment such as hardhats, steel-toed shoes, and earplugs are essential.
Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers typically work regular, full-time hours, although overtime is common, especially for mechanics.
Millwrights may have more variable schedules with downtime between projects, as they usually work on a contract basis to assemble or disassemble machines.
While all 3 need a high school education to enter the field, machinery maintenance workers typically receive on-the-job training; industrial machinery mechanics need a year or more of training; and most millwrights learn their skills in a 4-year apprenticeship— although an associate’s degree in industrial maintenance may suffice.