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Maintenance Mechanic Apprenticeship
Did you know?*
- Maintenance Mechanics usually train in 4-year to 5-year apprenticeships; some learn through community college programs coupled with informal paid on-the-job training.
- Despite projected slower-than-average employment growth, well-qualified applicants should have excellent job opportunities.
- About 50 percent of Maintenance Mechanics belong to labor unions, one of the highest rates of membership in the economy.
*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Maintenance mechanics, millwrights, and machine repairers fabricate, install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings. They keep machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of an establishment in repair. They assemble, install and set equipment such as shafting, motors, generators, air compressors and conveyors using hand and power tools. They align machines and equipment using manual hoists, jacks, and hand tools. Duties may involve pipefitting, boiler making, insulating, welding, machining, carpentry, repairing electrical or mechanical equipment, installing, aligning and balancing new equipment, and repairing buildings, floors and stairs.
- Maintain and repair all types of machines and equipment, including bearings, friction/anti-friction; belts and chains; print reading/schematics; coupling alignment; gear boxes; bench work; pumps, rebuilding and overhauling, including scrape and alignment; conveyor maintenance; exhaust fans and blowers; roll changes; electric motor replacement; overhead crane repair; robotics diagnostics; fabrications (fiberglassing, sheet metal, guards/rails).
- Install machines and equipment--including print reading/schematics; couplings and alignment; rigging and hoisting; start-up and debugging new equipment; grouting and masonry; form building/carpentry; optical alignment/laser masonry; form building/carpentry; optical alignment/laser transit; demolition; robot installation; painting; structural layout/fabrication (structural steel, etc.); fabrication (fiberglassing, sheet metal, guards/rails).
- Apply hydraulics/pneumatics principles to Pumps, valves, cylinders and actuators, lubricants and coolants; trouble shoot, repair and rebuild; compressor repair, piping, tubing and hoses.
- Using knowledge of metallurgy perform flame cutting and heating; welding; heat treating; blacksmithing.
- Conduct preventive maintenance inspections: Visual/audible inspection; vibration analysis; fluid analysis; diagnostics.
- Apply safety and orientation procedures for operating mobile and power lift equipment; safety; housekeeping, tool and parts crib; general computer operations.
- Perform machine operations including grinders; drill press; saws; lathes; milling machines; misc. machines; alter and repair fixtures and tools; sharpening tools.
- Additional work processes may be used to meet local needs, including engineering; turbine and generator repair; dam and river boom repair; electrical; machine building; buildings and facilities; elevator maintenance and repairs; boiler repair, furnace repair, general carpentry; overhead doors; overhead cranes; HVAC.
Maintenance mechanics, millwrights, and machine repairers employed in manufacturing often work in a factory setting either inside or outside in all weather conditions. They must work at heights, in awkward positions, confined spaces, and areas where there may be risks. They use protective equipment to avoid common hazards; such as: safety belts, protective glasses and hard hats.
- 4 year training program
- 8,000 hours on-the-job training
- 576 hours paid related instruction
- Apprentice must complete Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and Transition-To-Trainer Courses
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
- Entry requirements vary by employer
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Physically able to perform trade
- Applicants apply directly to participating employers
- Designs- Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints and drawings.
- Mechanical- Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- English Language- Knowledge and comprehension of the English language including reading, writing, and speaking.
- Mathematics- Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and their applications.
- Computers- Knowledge of computer hardware and software, including their applications.
- Level of Educational Attainment- Possess High School Diploma or equivalent and/or test at a certain level as determined by the employer.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment- Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
- Equipment- Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job. Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Complex Problem Solving- Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Installation- Installing equipment and machines to meet specifications.
- Instructing- Teaching others how perform specific tasks and how to perform machine and equipment maintenance, repair, and related activities.
- Active Listening & Learning- Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking- Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Troubleshooting- Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Reading Comprehension- Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Time Management- Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Physical Ability- The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers in order to manipulate or assemble objects. The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects. Ability to work at heights on ladders and to lift up to 40 lbs. The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
- Information Ordering- The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision- The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Reasoning- The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events) and to convey the information to others.
- Problem Sensitivity- The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Visualization- The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Communication- The ability to communicate orally and in writing.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Maintenance Mechanic trade in the United States, visit:
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook