To become a Fitter and Turner in South Africa, students should focus on specific subjects from Grade 10 through Grade 12. Here’s a detailed guide on the subjects required, APS score requirements, and additional insights for aspiring fitters and turners.

Grade 10 Subjects Requirements

In Grade 10, students should choose subjects that build a strong foundation in mathematics, physical sciences, and technical skills. These subjects include:

  • Mathematics: Critical for problem-solving and understanding complex mechanical concepts and calculations.
  • Physical Sciences: Provides a foundation in physics and chemistry, essential for understanding material properties and mechanical processes.
  • Engineering Graphics and Design: Helps in understanding technical drawings and design, which are crucial for creating and interpreting mechanical components.
  • Mechanical Technology: Offers hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge about mechanical systems and machinery.
  • Information Technology (IT): Useful for developing skills in using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other technological tools.


Grade 12 Subjects Requirements

Continuing with these subjects into Grade 12 is crucial. At this stage, students should aim to excel in the following:

  • Mathematics: Advanced mathematical skills for precise measurements, calculations, and problem-solving in mechanical engineering.
  • Physical Sciences: In-depth understanding of physics principles applied to mechanical processes and material properties.
  • Engineering Graphics and Design: Advanced skills in interpreting and creating technical drawings and designs.
  • Mechanical Technology: Further development of practical and theoretical knowledge about mechanical systems, machining, and fabrication.
  • Information Technology (IT): Proficiency in using CAD software and other technological tools for design and manufacturing.

APS Score Requirements

For entry into fitter and turner programs at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges or universities of technology in South Africa, students typically need to meet certain APS (Admission Point Score) requirements. These can vary by institution, but a general guideline is:

  • Minimum APS of 18-24: This range is usually required for entry into National Certificate (Vocational) or diploma programs in mechanical engineering or related fields. Specific requirements may vary by institution.
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Further Education and Training

After completing Grade 12, aspiring fitters and turners can pursue further education and training at:

Choosing the right subjects in Grade 10 is crucial as they shape the foundation of your career as a fitter and turner. Mathematics and Physical Sciences are essential for understanding the technical and scientific aspects of mechanical engineering. Engineering Graphics and Design provides valuable skills for creating and interpreting technical drawings, which are crucial in this field. Mechanical Technology offers hands-on experience and practical knowledge about mechanical systems and processes. Information Technology skills are increasingly important for using CAD software and other technological tools in modern manufacturing.

Can I Still Become a Fitter and Turner in South Africa Without These Subjects?

Mathematics

Mathematics is essential for a Fitter and Turner, as it involves precise measurements, calculations, and problem-solving in mechanical engineering. If you didn’t excel in Mathematics, it might pose challenges in understanding technical specifications and machining processes. However, many South African TVET colleges offer remedial math courses and bridging programs to help you develop these skills.

Key Point: Not having advanced Mathematics can be a disadvantage, but supplementary courses and practical training can help you catch up.

Physical Sciences

Physical Sciences provides an in-depth understanding of physics principles applied to mechanical processes and material properties. If you didn’t take Physical Sciences, you might find it difficult to grasp certain technical concepts. However, targeted learning through TVET courses and practical workshops can help you gain the necessary knowledge.

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Key Point: Lack of Physical Sciences background can be mitigated through targeted learning and practical experience.

Engineering Graphics and Design

Engineering Graphics and Design is crucial for interpreting and creating technical drawings and designs, which are fundamental skills for a Fitter and Turner. If you didn’t study this subject, you might struggle with reading and creating technical diagrams. However, many TVET colleges and technical schools in South Africa offer courses in engineering graphics and design.

Key Point: Not having Engineering Graphics and Design can be a disadvantage, but additional training can help you develop these skills.

Mechanical Technology

Mechanical Technology involves practical and theoretical knowledge about mechanical systems, machining, and fabrication. If you lack this background, you might find it challenging to understand and operate mechanical equipment. However, South African TVET colleges offer comprehensive programs in mechanical technology that can provide the necessary training.

Key Point: Mechanical Technology is beneficial but not essential, as these skills can be learned through formal education and hands-on training.

Information Technology (IT)

Information Technology (IT) proficiency, particularly in using CAD software and other technological tools for design and manufacturing, is becoming increasingly important for Fitters and Turners. If you didn’t take IT, you might struggle with the technological aspects of the job. However, there are many resources available to learn these skills, including online courses and software tutorials.

Key Point: IT skills are essential, but you can learn to use design software through online courses and practical experience.

Qualifications for Becoming a Fitter and Turner in South Africa

  1. N1-N3 Certificates: TVET colleges in South Africa offer N1 to N3 certificates in Fitting and Turning, which cover basic to intermediate theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
  2. National Certificate (Vocational): NC(V) qualifications at levels 2-4 in Engineering and Related Design offered by TVET colleges provide comprehensive training in mechanical technology and related fields.
  3. Apprenticeship Programs: Registered apprenticeship programs provide hands-on training and theoretical knowledge, leading to a qualification as a certified Fitter and Turner. Companies like Eskom and Transnet offer such apprenticeships.
  4. Trade Test: After completing the necessary theoretical training and practical experience, candidates must pass a trade test administered by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) to become a qualified artisan.
  5. Short Courses and Certifications: Various institutions offer short courses in specific areas like CNC programming, CAD software, and advanced machining techniques.