Domestic Appliance Mechanician

Domestic appliance mechanicians test appliances and locate faults with the aid of various diagnostic techniques, testing equipment and specialized tools. Readings from these instruments are interpreted and evaluated to diagnose the problem.

Appliances can vary from kettles to microwave ovens and can include toasters, vacuum cleaners, freezers and stoves.

After repairing appliances, mechanicians test them to see if they are in proper working order. They listen for excessive vibrations and make sure that appliances do not overheat, for example. In the case of automatic machines with programmes, they let the machine run through a programme to make sure it is in good working order.

They must adhere to basic safety measures in order to ensure that it works safely and that a high standard of service is obtained from the appliance. Domestic appliance mechanicians sometimes manufacture their own components or attachments, using sketches and diagrams of electrical circuits and mechanical components.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 9 Certificate.
Some employers prefer higher 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.

Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption


  • engineering factories
  • repairing companies
  • large manufacturing concerns
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business

Further Information

The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA)
P O Box 1338
Johannesburg, 2000
Tel: (011) 298-9400 Fax: (011) 298-9500

Getting Started

  • consult the Registrar of Manpower Training with regard to training programmes in your area
  • try to obtain vacation work at a service company or manufacturing concern
  • work at repairing domestic appliances as a hobby or part-time job

Programmes by Study Institutions

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