Sewing Machine Mechanic

Sewing machine mechanics service, maintain and repair sewing machines in clothing factories. This role serves as a very important link in the production chain, as the factory cannot function at optimum production whilst a machine is out of order.

Some of the tasks that the sewing machine mechanic has to perform include:

  • adjusting machine parts
  • regulating the length and stroke of the needle
  • setting the timing
  • dismantling machines and replacing worn or broken parts
  • inspecting shafts and belts and repairing broken transmission belts and motors
  • installing new specified parts on machines.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 17 years old
  • technical and mechanical aptitude
  • able to work efficiently with your hands
  • responsible and able to make decisions
  • able to work in a team, as well as independently

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate
some employers prefer higher qualifications

What to Study

There are two courses sewing-machine mechanics can follow:

Two-year part-time course: offered 2 nights a week over a period of 2 years. The course provides complete technical training in the setting of machines, the installation of accessories to machines, fitting and turning, as well as three-phase and single-phase electric motors. The course is practically-orientated and there are usually 10 to 12 students per class. On successful completion of the course, the student receives a Diploma in Sewing-Machine Mechanics and Maintenance.

Ten-week part-time course: offered 2 nights a week over a period of 10 weeks. During this course, students learn how to maintain and operate one specific machine in a clothing factory. After successful completion of the practical exams, the student receives a certificate in Sewing-Machine Mechanics and Maintenance. The specific machine that they studied during the course is indicated on the certificate. Both the above-mentioned courses are offered by the Clothing Industry Training Board.


  • clothing factories
  • machine manufacturers
  • large boutiques
  • self-employment, with enough experience can work on a contract basis
Employment prospects in this line of work are good. The clothing industry usually requires more qualified mechanics than are available.

Further Information

Textile Federation
P O Box 53
Bruma, 2026
40 Seventh Avenue
Edenvale, 1609
Tel: (011) 454-2342 Fax: (011) 454-2654

Getting Started

  • arrange to visit your nearest CITB regional office and speak to the principal of the training centre
  • arrange to speak to sewing machine mechanics and watch them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

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