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Diesel Mechanic
Diesel mechanics diagnose and repair the mechanical and electrical faults of diesel vehicles and machinery.

Diesel mechanics diagnose engine trouble, dismantle the engine when necessary, and replace or repair defective parts. They reassemble the engine and repair mechanical and electrical faults in construction machinery.

In most cases electrical diagnostic equipment is used to locate problems - experienced diesel mechanics are able to locate a problem by listening to the noise in the engine. Mechanical parts are replaced or minor adjustments made.

Diesel mechanics also complete job cards, furnish information on the parts that should be ordered and assist in training learners. They often perform administrative and managerial tasks. Working conditions of the diesel mechanic vary according to the place of employment - for instance, a well-equipped workshop or farm, ship or construction site.

Satisfying Aspects
- variety of work tasks
- working with your hands
- the challenge of diagnosing and solving problems
- the opportunity to specialize

Demanding aspects
- the possibility of injury or accidents on the job
- working in awkward or cramped positions
- having to work in dirty, noisy workshops
- dealing with impatient, critical or rude customers

Diesel mechanics should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- enjoy working with their hands;
- have mechanical aptitude and ability;
- be able to communicate with people;
- be practical and responsible;
- have good eyesight and hearing;
- have good eye-hand coordination;
- have manual dexterity;
- possess physical strength and good health and stamina.

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate.
Some employers demand higher qualifications.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Mechanical Technology

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a 4-year contract between company and apprentice, comprising a 12-week theoretical training, which includes 4 subjects at national exam level.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification in a certain field. The learnership programme includes a theoretical and a practical component. It usually takes about a year to complete. The training takes place on-site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets on-the-job experience whilst training.

3. FET 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 (this 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 FET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest FET College. FET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MERSETA or CHIETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.

Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption.

- Service stations of new and used vehicle and tractor dealers
- Independent repair shops
- Vehicle service stations
- Vehicle parts wholesalers and distributors
- Bus and transport companies
- Organisations that maintain their own vehicles
- Government departments
- Carbonated soft-drink Industry
- Self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business

The Transport Education and Training Authority
Private Bag X 10016
Randburg, 2125
Tel: (011) 781-1280 Fax: (011) 781-0200

The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation
of South Africa (SEIFSA)
P O Box 1338
Johannesburg, 2000
Tel: (011) 298-9400 Fax: (011) 298-9500