How to Become a Millwright in Canada: An Industry Overview

Before we dive into the matter of how to become a Millwright in Canada, we first have to understand what a millwright does. We need to get a holistic understanding of the pay grade that they face in the industry, the work conditions, and so on. To begin, a millwright’s primary responsibilities include assembling, installing, dismantling, and just working with heavy machinery of all types. 

Typically, they work with very advanced machines in commercial manufacturing industries such as power generation, mining, construction, food processing plants, and even the automobile industry.

The Different Types of Millwrights and Millwright Licenses

There are essentially two broad classifications of millwright licenses, according to Michael Samson, an accounts manager, and recruiter at Pure Staffing Solutions. In an interview, he revealed that these categories are Industrial Millwrights which carry the license 433A and the other one is 426A, which is a Construction Millwright.

“Industrial Millwright 433A can work in any industry across Canada. The construction millwright is more specifically a certified program, designed for construction sites and other such work environments like power plants, the marine industry, and so on,” said Samson.

He went on to elaborate how there are also higher levels of classifications that specify where in Canada you can work. “There are two types of millwright categories, one is a Red Seal Millwright and then there are Journeyman Millwrights. The Red Seal Millwright is an interprovincial Millwright License. If someone has a Red Seal License can work anywhere in Canada. The Journeyman Millwright License holders can only work in certain provinces. E.g. if someone got a Journeyman License in Ontario, they can work only in Ontario.”

Samson went on to explain, “However, if the Journeyman Millwright knows the National Industry Standards, and they take an exam, they could qualify to work in other provinces as well. They will be given a Journeyman Red Seal License.”

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S.A

The Average Salary You Can Expect

The average pay for an industrial Millwright in Canada is $65,496 per year which comes to about $31 per hour. However, when we look at the Salary range, it can start anywhere from $47,000 per year to $80,000 a year. New apprentices who are just starting, get paid at the lower end of the pay scale. Once they get their licenses, it goes towards the higher end.

New millwrights also get an average bonus of $1,146. Keep in mind that it varies from company to company, some offer a signing bonus and some offer profit sharing.

Becoming a Millwright in Canada

As an example, Pure Staffing Solutions has one client who offers a $1,500 signing bonus and once they complete one year they get another $1,500. The commercial Automobile industry is a prime place for high salaries as they pay an average minimum of $40 per hour, one of the highest pay rates that a millwright can get in the country.

Becoming a Millwright Canada

There are a few different ways to go about it, if you are wondering how to become a millwright in Canada. While formal education isn’t the hard and fast rule, it does give you a significant advantage. The same is true of apprenticeships. While it is not necessary, it does equip you with a certain set of skills that allow you to gain a stronger career footing in the industry.

“Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career. – Meg Witman, American Business Executive

Becoming a Millwright in Canada


If you are taking the educational route, you need a minimum qualification of a high school degree or equivalent to get a job as a millwright. Having this means that you would be eligible to study higher, get the prerequisite training and write the exam in your quest to becoming a millwright in Canada.


This method goes hand-in-hand with education. If you want to work as a licensed millwright, then you need to do an apprenticeship. Samson explains it as follows, ” Once they have they (millwright aspirants) will be eligible to complete Millwright training. Typically, a Millwright completes 3 to 5 years of apprenticeship (in-field work and classroom studies). Also, each year of instruction includes 144 hours of technical instruction and up to 200 hours of paid, on-the-job training throughout the apprenticeship.”

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why even be here? – Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

Working Without a License

If you are not inclined towards the apprenticeship or educational path, you can always work as an unlicensed millwright. You should note that it is optional to have the license, but carrying one does have its perks.

“Even if you haven’t completed an apprenticeship program, but have hands-on experience and have worked with a company as an unlicensed Millwright you can challenge the exam directly and get the license,” said Samson.

Samson added, “Someone can work without a license, but if you have a license, your value in the market goes up. For example, some of our clients offer a bonus of an additional $1 or $2 on top of the industry standard for Millwrights with a Red Seal License. If you don’t have the license, you will only be paid the industry standard.”


At the end of the day, the choice is on you. When the question of how to becoming a millwright in Canada arises, the path is straight forward. It has a lot of benefits and even more so if you are fully qualified. Given the country’s booming industry and high levels of demand for skilled workers in this field, employment is not scarce. However, the competition is high.

Therefore, even if the path to becoming a millwright in Canada is quite straightforward, you need to be able to beat out the competition. That is where we come in. At Pure Staffing Solutions, we help you identify and get placed in the best companies. So, if you truly want to give it a shot, get in touch with us and get your career started!

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