Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) as the Red Seal standard for the Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) trade.

Red Seal Occupational Standard Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Mécanicien industriel / mécanicienne industrielle (de chantier)

NOC: 7311

Designation Year: 1964

RSOS Products for Download

The Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Red Seal Occupational Standard is developed by Canadian trade representatives. It collects information about the trade as it is practiced across Canada.

This RSOS information is combined in several ways to generate several RSOS Products, each these is based on information contained in the complete RSOS, and is geared to user needs:



Red Seal Occupational Standard - Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) (PDF, 4.1 MB)

A complete description of all trade activities, skills and knowledge. The Standard defines the trade by collecting and organizing elements together.

Trade Profile - Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

A quick snapshot of all trade activities in the standard. It can be used to self-assess experience. It can be used to introduce a concise summary of all trade activities to those wanting to learn about the trade. It can also be used for gap analysis.

Curriculum Outline - Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

Organizes the Knowledge elements of the standard and provides recommendations for training levels. These are meant to assist in developing and delivering technical training curricula.

Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) (PDF, 542 Ko) Use this self-assessment tool to rate your own understanding and experience with the tasks of the trade that are on the Red Seal examination.

General Information

Description of the Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Trade

“Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title approved by the CCDA. This analysis covers tasks performed by industrial mechanics (millwrights) whose occupational title has been identified by some provinces and territories of Canada under the following names:














Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

x x x x x x x x x x x
Millwright x
Industrial Mechanic Millwright x

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) work on industrial and mechanical equipment and components. This equipment may include mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, fuel, lubrication, cooling and exhaust systems and equipment. Some components worked on include pumps, gear boxes, fans, tanks, conveyors, presses, generators, prime movers, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, robotics and automated equipment.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are responsible for assembling, installing, aligning, commissioning, maintaining, repairing, diagnosing, inspecting, dismantling, moving and decommissioning equipment. Servicing may include diagnosing irregularities and malfunctions, making adjustments, and repairing or replacing parts. Cleaning and lubricating equipment are also important maintenance tasks of the trade.

Other tasks that may be performed include welding, cutting, rigging and machining as required. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may prepare bases for equipment. In certain jurisdictions, industrial mechanics (millwrights) may assist other trades in troubleshooting and repairing other systems.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may refer to schematics, engineered drawings and manuals, both hard copy and electronic, to determine work procedures.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) work with a wide variety of tools. They may use hand and power tools and access equipment in installation and repair work. Larger machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, drill presses and grinders may be used in fabrication of machine parts. Rigging, hoisting/lifting and moving equipment such as cranes, jacks and powered mobile equipment (PME) are commonly used to position large machines or machine parts.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are employed in all sectors of industry that involve mechanical moving equipment including mining, petrochemical, power generation, manufacturing, forestry, and processing facilities (food, service) among others. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are involved with the installation, diagnosis, maintenance and repair of equipment and components.

The work environment for industrial mechanics (millwrights) is varied and may involve working in extreme or adverse conditions. They often work shift work. They may work in confined spaces, underground (in mines), at heights, with heavy equipment and around moving equipment. The work often requires considerable standing, kneeling and lifting of materials.

Key skills for people in this trade are mechanical aptitude, problem-solving, communication, job planning and organizing and the ability to use trade-related calculations. They have the ability to detect malfunctions through sensory tests which are often confirmed by condition-based monitoring. Other important attributes include good coordination, manual dexterity and spatial visualization.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) often possess overlapping skills with other tradespeople such as steamfitter/pipefitters, industrial instrument mechanics, power engineers, welders, machinists or industrial electricians. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may work in specialized areas of the trade such as vibration analysis, thermography, tribology (fluid analysis) and laser/optical alignment. With experience, they may advance to other positions such as mentor, supervisor, planner, superintendent, manager, instructor or trainer.

Essential Skills Summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

A series of CCDA-endorsed tools have been developed to support apprentices in their training and to be better prepared for a career in the trades. The tools can be used independently or with the assistance of a tradesperson, trainer, employer, teacher or mentor to:

Tools are available online or for order.

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the competency statements which support each subtask of the trade. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) read texts such as short descriptions and directions on labels for products. They read bulletins, manuals, work orders, reports and procedures when installing, operating, diagnosing, maintaining and repairing equipment. They also read emails and memos from supervisors, co-workers and suppliers about ongoing work.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) scan and locate data on labels, lists, tables and schedules. They may interpret graphs when monitoring equipment operation. They interpret or review schematics and engineered drawings of systems (pneumatic, mechanical, structural and hydraulic) to identify malfunctions. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may also retrieve and study data from scale drawings to identify location of equipment to be installed and verify location. They also complete forms such as purchase orders, maintenance forms, logbooks and work orders.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) write brief text entries in logbooks and in forms. They may write maintenance, repair and safe work procedures. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) write emails to supervisors, co-workers about ongoing work, and suppliers about equipment specifications. They may also write incident reports and update drawings.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) talk to suppliers, engineers and contractors about equipment specifications and access, orders, delivery and service times. They discuss work orders, equipment malfunctions and job task coordination with co-workers. They inform supervisors about work progress and may seek guidance and approvals from them. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may discuss work with clients, advise them about maintenance and propose equipment modifications. They also discuss safety, productivity, and procedural and policy changes at meetings with co-workers, supervisors, engineers and clients. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) communicate with other tradespeople and personnel from other departments.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) measure various physical properties of equipment. Calculations are required in multiple aspects of the industrial mechanics (millwrights) trade, such as pneumatic, mechanical, structural and hydraulic systems. They calculate distances, totals, maximums, minimums, tolerances, fits and quantities required. They also calculate loads, capacities, speeds, feeds and dimensions for mechanical components and systems. They perform calculations in order to adjust, level and align equipment according to specifications, and for diagnosing process variables. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) estimate weights and distances appropriate for rigging, hoisting, lifting and moving equipment and procedures.

Thinking skills are critical to the industrial mechanics (millwrights) trade. They may problem solve by fabricating or adapting parts from other machines when parts needed are not available for maintenance and repairs. They may choose among refurbish, repair and replacement options for worn and defective parts such as hoses, motors, valves and bushings. They take into consideration factors such as maintenance guidelines, performance and test results, safety, efficiency and durability of replacement parts. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) evaluate conditions of parts and equipment, and the safety of their work environment. They may assess feasibility of designs for small modifications to equipment, ensuring that designs meet technical specifications, performance requirements and jurisdictional regulations.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may use databases to perform queries on maintenance history, regulatory items and procedures. They may also enter data from completed work orders in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). They may use programs to aid in the adjustment of drawings with computer-assisted design (CAD) software and to control and monitor operation of manufacturing and machining equipment. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) use hand-held computerized alignment, leveling and vibration measurement tools. They may use word processing software to write, edit and format texts such as incident reports and maintenance procedures. They may access work orders, asset information and documents on tablets, phones and other electronic devices.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are required to work independently, with other industrial mechanics (millwrights) other tradespeople and personnel from other departments and jurisdictional organisations depending on the scope of the work.

Industrial mechanics (millwrights) read manuals and trade related documents to stay up to date on developments in their trade. They also attend training sessions (online or classroom-based) on new technologies, equipment and safety procedures. In addition, they learn informally by exchanging information with co-workers and suppliers.

Trends in the Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) Trade

There is a progression from analog to digital equipment that provides computer generated readouts and can be programmed to give accurate readings in less time. This technology allows for improved self-diagnosis and predictive maintenance and has reduced the length of mechanical outages and manpower required to complete outages. For example, the technology has reduced equipment down time for tasks such as alignment, diagnosis, assembly and repair. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) need to keep pace with changes in technology.

Advances in predictive maintenance have led to more advanced diagnostic equipment such as alignment equipment and vibration monitoring equipment. Acoustic monitoring technology is advancing rapidly. Fibre-optic scopes are increasingly used to view and troubleshoot internal components. Thermal imaging is advancing preventive maintenance based upon equipment heat signature. Ultrasound testing is becoming prevalent in the maintenance of piping systems. There is advanced diagnostic equipment for fluid power inspection such as handheld analyzers and clamp-on flowmeters.

Hydraulic tools are continuously evolving in ease of use and size. They are becoming safer and more efficient to use. Hydraulic technology is being used for broader applications such as bolt tensioning and torquing.

There is a move toward environmentally conscious hydroelectric construction projects such as “run of the river” that also minimize the human footprint. The emphasis is on building smaller units as opposed to one large unit. Windmill technology continues to advance. However in this case, the units are increasing in size to allow more production of energy. Waste management is another growing industry. These are all creating more work for industrial mechanics (millwrights) in the installation, diagnosis, maintenance and repair of these units.

The evolution of technology and the complexity of systems such as hydraulics, robotics and renewable energy systems (solar panels, wind turbines) are expanding the scope of work for industrial mechanics (millwrights).

There is a wider variety of materials available for use in the construction of machinery and components, such as new composite alloys, fibre-based composites and advanced plastics. More types of sealant and epoxy materials are available.

Preventive and predictive maintenance planning is seen as more important and scheduled shutdowns are more prevalent. The knowledge and use of a Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to manage labour and cost is essential. For example, Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology are becoming more common because of its cost effectiveness.

Some hand and power tools are ergonomically designed to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Many power tools are now cordless with improved battery life and light-weight design, making them more ergonomically friendly, resulting in fewer injuries. There is an increased use of powered mobile equipment (PME) such as scissor lifts, aerial work platforms (AWP) and lift trucks in the trade. This equipment is incorporating more safety features. Certification of the equipment and of employees’ competency is becoming mandatory. Jurisdictional regulations are becoming more stringent by requiring documentation for equipment operation and training.

Technological advances and worker education regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) has improved effectiveness and functionality, resulting in improved safety practices and procedures among tradespersons. Improved identification of hazardous materials through increased use of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) contributes to a safer work environment.

Quality assurance, reliability, maintainability and safety are critical elements of the standards for industrial mechanics (millwrights). Continuous changes in technology, environmental regulations and worker safety concerns have led to improved safe work practices.

Industry Expected Performance

All tasks must be performed according to the applicable jurisdictional regulations and standards. All health and safety standards must be respected and observed. Work should be performed efficiently and at a high quality without material waste or environmental damage. All requirements of the manufacturer specifications and client expectations must be met. At a journeyperson level of performance, all tasks must be completed with minimal direction and supervision. As a journeyperson progresses in their career there is an expectation they continue to upgrade their skills and knowledge to keep pace with industry and promote continuous learning in their trade through mentoring of apprentices.

Language Requirements

It is expected that journeypersons are able to understand and communicate in either English or French, which are Canada’s official languages. English or French are the common language of business as well as language of instruction in apprenticeship programs.


The CCDA and ESDC wish to express sincere appreciation for the contribution of the many tradespersons, industrial establishments, professional associations, labour organizations, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, and all others who contributed to this publication.

Special thanks are offered to the following representatives who contributed greatly to the original draft of the standard and provided expert advice throughout its development:

This standard was prepared by Apprenticeship and Regulated Occupations Directorate of ESDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the standards development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division and of Apprenticeship Manitoba, the host jurisdiction for this trade.