Motor Mechanic

Motor mechanics maintain and repair motorcars, buses, trucks and other vehicles. They receive information regarding the faults of the vehicle from owners.

They take the vehicle for a test drive and use electronic equipment to identify, confirm and locate the problem. After determining the cause of the problem they prepare a quotation for cost of repair.

Motor mechanics may take out broken or damaged parts of vehicles, order new parts, or alternatively, repair or replace the broken or damaged parts. Where necessary they will adjust brakes; replace shock absorbers; tighten bolts; align wheels; solder leaks in the radiator; replace oil, oil filters and air filters; and adjust lights, heaters, mirrors and windscreen wipers.

Personal Requirements

  • minimum age 16 years old
  • enjoy working with his hands
  • mechanical aptitude and ability
  • manual dexterity
  • communicate efficiently with people
  • practical and responsible
  • integrity
  • good health and physical strength
  • good eyesight, hearing and coordination

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate
Some employers prefer higher qualifications

What to Study

Diploma: TVET colleges, such as Northlink, KZN Coastal. Alternatively, register with an employer providing suitable training.

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.


  • service stations of new and used car dealers
  • independent repair shops
  • vehicle service stations
  • vehicle parts wholesalers and distributors
  • bus and transport companies
  • organisations that maintain their own vehicles
  • government departments
  • a motor mechanic with the necessary experience and capital, can start a business

Further Information

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

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a garage as an assistant to a motor mechanic
  • arrange to speak to a motor mechanics about this type of career
  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

A PACE Career Centre Product. © All rights reserved | Developed by Netgen (Pty) Ltd. Disclaimer: Please see disclaimer