Radio and Television Mechanic

Radio and television mechanics trace defects and repair radios and television sets which may be defective for various reasons, for example parts that have worn out or bad connections as a result of heat or dampness.

They find the source of the problem by checking tubes, observing the picture and sound, and looking for broken connections. They use wiring diagrams and special testing equipment to find and fix complex problems. They may set up, install and adjust TV antennas and receivers and instruct customers on the proper use of this equipment.

Radio and TV mechanics also install and repair components in stereo systems, videotape machines, car radios and public address systems. They may make simple adjustments to appliances in customers’ homes. Most of the work is done indoors in a workshop, but these mechanics are frequently expected to travel to clients’ homes.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • enjoy working with your handsmechanical ability
  • thorough knowledge of electronics
  • able to work well without supervision
  • get along well with others
  • hand and finger dexterity
  • an eye for detail
  • good colour vision and hearing

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • Grade 9 Certificate.
  • Some employers prefer higher qualifications

What to Study

There are three 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.


  • television and radio manufacturers
  • radio and television repair workshops
  • stores that sell radios, television sets and other electronic sound equipment
  • government undertakings
  • self-employment, with enough experience can practise this trade on a private basis or start own business

Further Information

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

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a radio and TV repair shop
  • arrange to speak to a radio and TV mechanic about this type of career
  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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