A Career in Fitting and Turning

What Does a Career in Fitting and Turning Involve?

If you enjoy working with tools, a career in fitting and turning might just suit you. This career path involves fixing machinery, fitting parts and ensuring that equipment runs efficiently. It is all about maintenance and repairs.  

What Does a Fitter and Turner Do?

A fitter and turner maintains and repairs various machinery. They also assemble and fit new components for machinery. They use blueprints to measure and manufacture metal parts and materials for different machinery and equipment.

Fitters and turners have to ensure that all the parts needed to complete a machine is fitted and in good working order. After assembling new machinery, they monitor, test and repair any faulty parts and fittings that may arise.       

How to Become a Fitter and Turner?

To become a qualified fitter and turner, you have to do theoretical and practical training. Theoretical training can be done at a TVET college like College SA. Our fitting and turning programme has three levels, N1, N2 and N3. This programme lays the theoretical foundation on which your practical experience will build. To study the Fitter and Turner N1 – N3 programme you have to be at least 16 years of age, have studied Grade 9 Maths and Science and be able to read and write English. Once you have completed the NATED programme, you will be awarded an accredited National Certificate.

Once you have completed your theoretical training, you can apply for an apprenticeship or learnership to do your practical training. Practical training can take anything from three to four years to complete.

There is also a Trade Test that you have to write to become certified. Trade tests are regulated by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and can be written at national trade test centres around the country.

To learn more about the Trade Test, visit Artisan Training.

Who Can Study a Fitter and Turner Course?

Anyone who loves working with their hands should consider studying a fitter and turner course. However, you have to possess the following character traits:

  • The ability to multi-task
  • Able to take initiative
  • Solve problems independently
  • Strongly motivated and efficient
  • You will get to see the results of your work
  • This career path has a high earning potential (depending on the field you specialise in)
  • There are many job opportunities, including overseas
  • You get to do what you love – work with your hands
  • You will have to get used to standing, bending and squatting, which could be tiring
  • This job is not glamorous; you will get dirty and have to work in noisy environments
  • Depending on whom you work for, you will be required to work overtime occassionally

What are the Rewarding Aspects of this Career?

  • You will get to see the results of your work
  • This career path has a high earning potential (depending on the field you specialise in)
  • There are many job opportunities, including overseas
  • You get to do what you love – work with your hands

What are the Demanding Aspects of this Career?

  • You will have to get used to standing, bending and squatting, which could be tiring
  • This job is not glamorous; you will get dirty and have to work in noisy environments
  • Depending on whom you work for, you will be required to work overtime occassionally

Salary Information

According to Payscale South Africa, the average salary for a fitter and turner is R241, 362 per year. This comes down to an average monthly salary of R20, 530. Remember, knowledge and work experience plays a big part in earning potential. You will most likely start with a lower salary in an entry-level position.