Moulders cast molten metal into moulds to produce solidified castings.

They first prepare and shape the sand in which the mould is to be formed. They then prepare the core or inside of the casting by means of a core box and place the pattern into the moulding box. They pack sand firmly around the pattern to impress its form in the sand ensuring that moulding boxes cover the top faces. Heavy castings are formed by holes being dug in the ground and lined with sand or brickwork. The pattern is then removed and the mould dusted. Once the mould is dry, molten metal is poured through runners into the mould.

After the cast metal has cooled down, the mould is broken away and the edges of the solidified casting are smoothed before it is finally machined. Because moulds are exposed to very high temperatures and pressure during the moulding process the moulds must be of a high standard. Moulders work in foundries.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • feeling for forms and structure
  • aptitude for mathematics
  • able to read three-dimensional drawings
  • patient and practical
  • able to work accurately
  • good health, strength and stamina
  • good coordination and eyesight

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 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..


  • automobile manufacturing industry
  • foundries and mines
  • industrial plants
  • government undertakings
  • metal and related industries
  • shipyards
  • Transnet

Further Information

The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA)
6th Floor, Metal Industries House
42 Anderson Street, Marshalltown
Johannesburg, 2001
Tel: (011) 298-9400

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a foundry
  • arrange to speak to a moulder about this career
  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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