Millwright and Technical Engineers

Local 2158


Local Union 2158 is affiliated with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America which was founded in 1881. Local 2158 is located in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Nature of the Trade

The work of Millwrights involves the assembly, erection, installation, and maintenance of all types of industrial equipment and machinery according to layout plans, blueprints, and other schematic drawings.

Millwrights have skills in the use of:

  • a variety of hand and power tools
  • welding and brazing of all types of metal
  • use of welding equipment
  • optic tooling
  • precision measuring tools
  • hoists and cranes

What is a Millwright?

If you like to work with machine tools and precision instruments, and have a keen eye for the perfect fit, you might consider becoming a millwright. Millwrights sometimes work to specifications requiring tolerances to a thousandth of an inch. In the old days before heavy metal machinery, millwrights carved out gears and shafts from wood for mills and small industrial plants. Today, millwrights are an elite group of construction workers who work primarily in metal and with machinery and equipment requiring precision.

What do Millwrights do?

Millwrights install conveyor systems, escalators, giant electrical turbines, and generators. Millwrights install and do maintenance on machinery in factories, and do much of the precision work in nuclear power plants. Millwrights are skilled construction mechanics who study and interpret blueprints, and then put their knowledge and expertise to work drilling, welding, bolting, and doing whatever else is necessary to assure that the cogs of industry are in perfect working order.

How do I become a Millwright?

Millwright training is available in most areas through local labor-management apprenticeship committees. These committees, made up of contractor and union representatives, make sure that you get proper instruction while you are working to earn a decent wage. To get the ball rolling, you can call 563-332-2158 or visit us and ask for further information. Remember, millwrights are members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, a proud organization with more than 650,000 members like yourself. Go for it!

The pay and benefits really add up

The rewards of apprenticeship training are the good wages and benefits you receive as a skilled building and construction tradesman. Union millwrights belong to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. You’ll be working for a good contractor with the protection of a union contract, which means you will probably have health insurance, pension, and welfare benefits. It pays to be the best you can be—an apprenticeship-trained millwright!

What is an apprentice?

An apprentice is someone who is learning a trade while working under the guidance of skilled workers called journeymen. Apprenticeship is on-the-job training. You earn while you learn, and are paid a wage from the first day you become an apprentice. Today, women are among those training as millwright apprentices, too. Beginning apprentices usually start at about half the journeyman rate of pay. But your wages will increase periodically, usually every six months, until you reach the full journeyman’s scale at the end of the apprenticeship period. In most cases, the length of your apprenticeship is four years, usually with no cost to you for training.

Is there something I can do to get ready?

If you are still in school, you should take classes in mathematics, drafting and mechanical drawing, metal or industrial shop, or any construction courses which familiarize you with construction technology. These classes will help you to develop the dexterity and practical thinking skills you will need as an apprentice millwright.

What are the hours and working conditions of a millwright?

Millwrights generally work eight hour days. Apprentices usually start out helping journeymen with basic tasks like material handling, and move into more sophisticated jobs as their knowledge and skills increase. Although millwrights work indoors much of the time on installation and maintenance work, their duties also involved working on the outside of buildings and other structures in situations often requiring the use of scaffolding. Quite often, millwrights are required to work split shifts and overtime, and to travel long distances for work. In such cases, the union sees to it that the millwright is compensated with overtime pay and travel allowance. Millwrights work with a variety of hand and portable power tools, and frequently cut, join, and fasten metal construction materials using welding equipment and oxy-acetylene torches.

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