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Career and Education Opportunities for Millwrights in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for millwrights. Currently, 1,670 people work as millwrights in Washington. This is expected to grow by 3% to 1,730 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for millwrights, which sees this job pool growing by about 1.4% over the next eight years. Millwrights generally install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.

Millwrights earn approximately $24 hourly or $51,910 per year on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $47,570 annually. Millwrights earn more than people working in the category of Specialized Equipment generally in Washington and more than people in the Specialized Equipment category nationally.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as a millwright. Given that the most common education level for millwrights is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a millwright if you already have a high school diploma.


Millwright video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, millwrights install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.

Millwrights assemble and install equipment, using hand tools and power tools. They also lay out mounting holes, using measuring instruments, and drill holes with power drill. Equally important, millwrights have to move machinery and equipment, using hoists, dollies, rollers, and trucks. They are often called upon to insert shims, adjust tension on nuts and bolts, or position parts, using hand tools and measuring instruments, to set specified clearances between moving and stationary parts. They are expected to align apparatus and equipment, using hoists, jacks, hand tools, squares, rules, micrometers, and plumb bobs. Finally, millwrights attach moving parts and subassemblies to basic assembly unit, using hand tools and power tools.

Every day, millwrights are expected to be able to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for millwrights to level bedplate and establish centerline, using straightedge and transit. They are often called upon to signal crane operator to lower basic assembly units to bedplate, and align unit to centerline. They also shrink-fit bushings and wheels to specified items, using portable gas heating equipment. They are sometimes expected to position steel beams to support bedplates of apparatus and equipment, using blueprints and schematic drawings, to establish work procedures. Somewhat less frequently, millwrights are also expected to operate engine lathe to grind and turn machine parts to dimensional specifications.

Millwrights sometimes are asked to connect power unit to apparatus or steam piping to equipment, and test unit to review its mechanical operation. They also have to be able to attach moving parts and subassemblies to basic assembly unit, using hand tools and power tools And finally, they sometimes have to signal crane operator to lower basic assembly units to bedplate, and align unit to centerline.

Like many other jobs, millwrights must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • Commercial Diver. Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanic. Repair, install, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.
  • Machine Repairman. Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
  • Mechanical Door Repairer. Install, service, or repair opening and closing mechanisms of automatic doors and hydraulic door closers. Includes garage door mechanics.
  • Medical Equipment Repairer. Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.
  • Musical Instrument Mechanic. Repair percussion, stringed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.
  • Rigger. Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.
  • Vending Machine Mechanic. Install, service, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, or slot machines.
  • Watch and Clock Repairer. Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks.


Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.


Level I Machine Lubrication Technician: Common job titles for the individual who would become Level I MLT certified include Lubrication Technician, PM Technician, Millwright, Mechanic, etc.

For more information, see the International Council for Machinery Lubrication website.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.