An instrument mechanician manufactures and repairs instruments and recalibrates old instruments. The instrument mechanician plays a vital role in ensuring that automatic processes and plant systems operate correctly and efficiently.
The control of nearly all manufacturing processes depends on instruments that may be electrical, mechanical or hydraulic, which are responsible for measuring the pressure, temperature, position, level, mass or flow of solids, fluids and gases. Should the plant processes not operate according to specifications, the instrument mechanician diagnoses the fault and carry out repairs as quickly as possible.
Instrument mechanicians are trained to design, manufacture and repair almost any kind of instrument, whether electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, chemical or optical. To design specific research instruments, these mechanicians work according to sketches and instructions from scientists and engineers.
Schooling & School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate
Some employers prefer higher qualifications
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 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.
SA Institute of Measurement and Control
P O Box 93124
Tel: (011) 888-8332