Armature Winder

Armature winders locate and repair or replace the broken parts of electric motors, or where the coils are burnt out or damaged, and to repair or replace them, or completely rewind all the coils. 

Wire coils constitute one of the most important parts of any electrical machine. Armature winders use various kinds of testing instruments to locate damaged coils.  Once the damaged coil is found, a decision has to be made as to whether to repair the damaged coil or whether a complete rewind of the machine is necessary.

When the machine is dismantled, it is cleaned to remove all dirt, since even a speck of metal can cause short-circuiting in a coil.  Armature winders work from diagrams of the relevant motor on which they are working, that give details of the arrangement of coils, the number of turns required for each, etc.  Sometimes they have to draw the diagrams themselves. Every coil is thoroughly checked and recorded in detail.

To wind coils with the correct number of turns and shape, coil-winding machines are used. The coils are then checked and fitted into the slots of motors and generators connecting them according to specified circuit requirements. The motor is finally assembled, ensuring that the insulation around the wires is not damaged. The motor or generators are then ready for use again.

Armature winders work at benches usually in well-lit workshops. Working conditions have to be kept very clean. The work can be rather monotonous when coils must be rewound, since the process must be watched the whole time. This can lead to eye-strain.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • mechanical and practical aptitude
  • some mathematical ability
  • ability to think logically
  • neat, methodical work habits
  • good concentration
  • manual dexterity and mental alertness
  • good health, vision and colour discrimination

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 9 Certificate but employers prefer higher educational qualifications.

What to Study

There are 3 ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a fixed contract between company and apprentice, ranging in duration from between 18 months and 4 years. At the end of the contract, the apprentice writes a trade test leading to professional certification.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme ranging from about a year to 3 years. A learnership comprises theoretical and practical training. Practical training is conducted on site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets experience whilst training.

3. TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (NCV) similar to the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a TVET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest TVET College. TVET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MerSETA or ChietaSETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.


  • steel and engineering companies
  • the electricity supply industry
  • motor vehicle manufacturers
  • motor vehicle repair companies and garages
  • independent armature winding shops

Further Information

MerSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services)
95 7th Avenue,
Corner Rustenburg Road, Melville
Johannesburg, 2109
Tel: (010) 219-3000

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in an armature winding shop
  • make an appointment to speak to an armature winder about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

Informal Sector Armature Winder

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