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National Certificate N1-N3: Fitting and Turning

Fitter and Turner Career Path

Fitter and Turners play an important role in our society. According to National Scarce Skills List, fitter and turners are listed as one of the top skills shortage in South Africa. The salary of a fitter and turner is also very competitive and they earn an average salary of R228,507 per year and up to R412,013 according to Payscale. Thus the fitting and turning salary per month works out to R20 000 up to R34 000

What is a fitter and turner?

The most common question you get from a prospective student wanting to study fitting and turning is ‘what does a fitter and turner do

Fitting and turning is responsible for studying blueprints, plans of various machines, and drawings. They use the information to construct, assemble, manufacture, and fit parts of machines together. Fitters and turners do regular maintenance tasks as it is their responsibility to maintain and repair different machinery in the workshop.


The following are the common duties that are done by fitter and turners:After qualifying as a fitter and tuerner you will be able to analyzing the blueprints for mechanical systems and determining specifications of the components that need to be constructed.

  • Ability to construct structural components from raw materials.
  • Use of  welding equipment to fuse structural components.
  • Testing and inspection of fabricated components to ensure that they are the correct size.
  • Ability to use shears, power saws, cutting torches, and chipper knives to cut structural components as needed.
  • Creating a suitable maintenance schedule and performing system maintenance accordingly.
  • Conducting diagnostic testing on malfunctioning systems to determine the root cause of the malfunction.
  • Replacing damaged or defective structural components as needed.
  • Adhering to all work-site safety rules and regulations.

Mechanical Fitter

Fitter and turner are also referred to as a mechanical fitter. A mechanical fitter works similary as a fitter and turner. The duties of a mechanical fitter are:

  • Conduct scheduled, planned maintenance of equipment
  • Participate in development of a maintenance plan and maintenance schedules
  • Conduct routine inspections in accordancewith maintenance plan/schedule and maintenance task lists
    Report on routine inspection findings on maintenance schedules, and prioritise follow upwork
  • Identify equipment requiring maintenance during walkabouts and operator interactions
  • Conduct Unscheduled Repairs of Mechanical Plant Equipment
    Ensure 95% availability of equipment through planned maintenance
  • Do fault finding on equipment faults
    Capture all downtime for breakdowns on spreadsheets and/or visual charts
  • Perform Modifications and Upgrades of Equipment

Fitter and Turner Requirements


To qualify as a fitter and turner you need to obtain both theoretical and practical aspects of the course. We only offer the theoretical aspects at ET College. After completion of your studies, you will obtain a National Certificate-Engineering studies be it in N1, N2 or N3.



Fitting and Turning Course Requirements


N1: Grade 9 or 10 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or relevant experience or an equivalent qualification

N2: N1 Engineering Studies or 11 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or an equivalent qualification

N3: N2 Engineering Studies or Grade 12 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or an equivalent qualification

NQF Level Status

 N1 – SAQA ID 67109– NQF LEVEL 1

N2 – SAQA ID 67375– NQF LEVEL 2

N3 – SAQA ID 67491– NQF LEVEL 3


Fitting and Turning Subjects / Course Modules

  • Mathematics N1-N3
  • Engineering Science N1-N3
  • Fitting and Machining Theory N1-N2
  • Mechanotechnology N3
  • Engineering Drawings N1-N3


Assessment and Duration

 There are two types of assessments: The internal assessment conducted by the college and the national assessment which is the final exam.

  • Internal assessment comprises of two tests-Test 1 and Test 2 and the student must obtain a minimum pass of 40%. This assessment qualifies you to sit for the final exam. This assessment is marked by the college.
  • Final assessment which is the national exam from the DHET. The exam is a single exam written mostly in the morning at a specified exam centre. The assessment is marked by DHET.

National Exams are conducted by Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and also monitored by Umalusi. The course takes from 3-6 months or 1-2 trimesters. You can write all the subjects at once or split them. There are three trimesters in a year:

  1. Trimester 1: January to April 
  2. Trimester 2: May to August
  3. Trimester 3 September to December


Achievement and Award

The following certificates are awarded by upon successful completion of each level:

  • Certificate of Achievement N1: Engineering Studies
  • Certificate of Achievement N2: Engineering Studies
  • National N3 Certificate: Engineering Studies

How to Register for Fitting and Machining N1-N3 course

We offer the course through distance learning or what some call home study or correspondence. We support you with study material and you only come for the final exams. Download our forms to get all the necessary information from fees, study material, exam venues etc.


Download forms here

Let Us Help You Further

Complete the form and we will send you information on registration times, fees, career opportunities and any other relevant information that will be of benefit to your career. Fill the form for further assistance. 

You can also send us an email to

Work Based Learning (Work Intergrated Learning)

Get practical skills for your career and advance yourself. This will enable you to gain world of work experience. DHET has a plaform that allows current students or those who have finished their studies to register so as to be matched with a relevant employer.

Register for employment opportunities on the following link: Work Experience Registration

The DHET has a career portal that helps learners make informed decision concerning their careers before registering. If you still want more advice concerning your field of study get more information on the following link: National Career Advice Portal

Interested in becoming a qualified artisan. Then register on the following link: Becoming an Artisan