How To Become A Fitter & Turner

Wednesday, 28 April, 2021 - 11:52
Sakinah Samuels

Thinking of becoming a fitter and turner? Here's what you need to know. If you consider yourself good with metal and repairing parts, then a career in Fitting and Turning is a good choice for you.


Becoming a Fitter and Turner is a riveting career choice and offers many opportunities in South Africa. Here's what you need to know about going into the field as a Fitter and Turner. 

What is a Fitter and Turner?

Fitters and turners are people who are highly skilled in manufacturing and constructing components for machinery and can use power operated tools such as lathes, milling and drilling machines. They maintain and repair many different kinds of machines. They are also responsible for the assembling and fitting of new components and equipment. It is a highly skilled job.

What are the working conditions of a Fitter and Turner?

A Fitter and Turner generally works in noisy, dirty and sometimes crowded conditions. There are many physical demands in the job, such as: standing and crouching for periods of time, which can be tiring. A Fitter and Turner also occasionally works overtime on public holidays, as well as on weekends and nights.

What skills and abilities are required to become a Fitter and Turner?

  • Good at working with your hands
  • Must be very mechanically-minded
  • Must be able to take exact measurements and work accurately
  • Must be mathematically-minded
  • Must be able to concentrate under noisy working conditions
  • Be able to read three-dimensional drawings

What are the duties and tasks of a Fitter and Turner?

  • Assembles and fits components for machinery
  • Maintains and repairs machinery
  • Uses blueprints/plans to measure material for production
  • Monitors machinery and repairs faults
  • Fits parts required to complete the machine
  • Drills and taps holes
  • Overhauls valves
  • Tension and align V-belts
  • Uses machinery (such as lathe and milling machine) to manufacture components

Where can I study to become a Fitter & Turner?

TVET Colleges offer courses to become a fitter and turner. Through these programmes, you can develop the skills you need and become qualified. 

Visit the TVET Colleges website for more on South Africa's TVET Colleges.

Private institutions such as AIE offer fitting and turning courses.

Short courses are available from Courseye as well.

What are the minimum entry requirements to study Fitting and Turning at a TVET College?

At a TVET College, the entrance requirements for the Fitting and Turning course are:

NC(V) Programme:

  • A Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

NATED Programme:

  • N1 admission - Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.
  • N4 admission - Grade 12 Certificate with a pass in Mathematics + college requirements set per programme; OR an NC(V) Level 4 Certificate in Engineering and Related Design.

What should I do if I want to study Plumbing?

  • Contact your nearest TVET College to enquire about entrance requirements
  • Visit Fitting & Turning training centres
  • Contact DHET Career Development Services for free career advice on 086 999 0123 or
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