Fitter & Turner

Fitters and Turners are highly skilled craftspeople who manufacture, construct, assemble and fit components for machinery, vehicles, installations and other apparatus or articles. Fitter and turners are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of such equipment. Fitters and turners first select and mark off the material required according to exact measurements on blueprints, drawings or a model. They then shape the rough piece of metal into its final form with power-operated tools such as lathes, milling, drilling and planing machines. Finally they fit the parts required to complete the machine or article and inspect and test the final assembly for true fit.T

Career Outlook

A Fitter and Turner is responsible for fitting and assembling parts made from metal and other materials to make production machinery. 

He lays out, positions and secures parts and assemblies according to specifications, welds components using electricity or gas and installs or repairs equipment such as lead pipes, valves, floors and tank linings. They work from detailed drawings using hand and machine tools.  Precise measuring is necessary. Their working environment can be very noisy, dirty or dangerous.

The field of engineering machining is characterized by work-to-order, low volume manufacture of components using different machining methods for use in a variety of industries. People working in the engineering machining field require specialized technical skills and knowledge, as well as highly developed hand skills in order to adapt to and meet the requirements of the constantly changing products that must be manufactured.

Essential Fitter and Turner Trade Skills
– Be meticulously accurate
– Enjoy working with his hands
– Be practical
– Have mathematical aptitude
– Be patient and even-tempered when setting up a machine and watching the machine while the turning is in progress
– Concentrate under noisy working conditions
– Be responsible
– Be able to read three-dimensional drawings

Entry Requirements

It is assumed that candidates embarking on learning towards this qualification are in possession of a minimum
Grade 12 with
– Mathematics (not Maths Literacy)
– Physical Science
– Technical Drawing
– Mechanical Technology


N2 Technical qualification with relevant subjects:
– Mathematics
– Engineering Science
– Industrial Electronics
– Fitting Theory


– NCV Level 4
– Completed 7 subjects
– (50% or higher is required)

Course Outline

The course consists of the following modules:

– Introduction to the fitting and turning trade
– Workplace health, safety and environmental protection

– Freehand drawing
– Code of practice for engineering drawing (symbols and abbreviations)
– Drawing instruments and equipment
– Dimensioning methods
– Isometric drawings
– Assembly and detailed drawings

– Engineering tools and equipment
– Types and applications of screw threads
– Types and function of locking devices and fasteners

– Engineering materials
– Principles, equipment & methods of arc welding, gas cutting, brazing & silver soldering

– Static and dynamic seals and gaskets
– Types and application of valves
– Types and application of pumps
– Types and functions of conveyors

– Rigging (slings, block and tackle, chain block, steel ropes)
– Rigging concepts
– Loads selection and limitations

– Drives (direct and indirect)
– Terminology of drives
– Functions and working principle of drives

– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of gearboxes
– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of clutches
– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of brakes

– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of lubrication systems
– Types and application of bearings

– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of hydraulic systems
– Mechanical working principles, types and applications of pneumatic system

– Diagnostic equipment
– Diagnostic techniques
– Diagnostic testing

– Principles, methods and techniques of fabrication
– Principles, methods and techniques of machining work pieces with a centre lathe
– Principles, methods and techniques of machining work pieces with a milling machine
– Types and working principles of pedestal grinding machine
– Principles, methods and techniques of machining work pieces with surface and cylindrical grinding machines

Institutional Training

This program provides for delivery in a variety of modes, including:
– Self-paced delivery
– Classroom delivery
– Workplace experience
– Simulated workplace delivery
– combined delivery with other related units

Learning Activities during Institutional Training
During the knowledge modules learners will be required to participate in various interactive activities, which were designed to equip them with the knowledge required. Some of the classroom learning activities may ask them to check their answers with their facilitator or to check them in the learning activities.

During the practical skills modules learners will be required to demonstrate that they can put their knowledge to practice by doing practical tasks in a well-equipped workshop and controlled learning environment. Progress will be monitored by the facilitator and eventually learners will be assessed against prescribed criteria to declare them competent against these practical modules.
Total duration of institutional training required for knowledge and practical skills modules is ten months. During these ten months we will focus on the assessment requirements they need to meet as well as the background knowledge required for successful engineering skills.
Individual learning progress will allow learners to complete the training at their own paste depending on previous exposure to similar knowledge and experience.

Workplace Experience
During the workplace skills modules learners will be mentored and monitored in an accredited workplace under the supervision of a mentor or subject matter expert to ensure that he/she is able to fault find, dismantle, maintain and repair mechanical equipment.

Trade Test
Once all the above modules have been addressed, the learner will be able to apply for trade test at Durnacol Skills Hub.


Employment opportunities exist at employers such as:

– Factories
– Mines
– Industries
– Private engineering businesses
– Companies such as Arcellor Mittal, Eskom and Sasol
– Self-employment


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