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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.

Satisfying Aspects
- variety of work tasks and work situations
- dealing with people and making them happy when their equipment is working again
- working with little supervision
- working with tools and equipment

Demanding aspects
- not being able to find the problem in a machine
- not being able to source spares for old equipment
- dealing with over-demanding clients

A radio and television mechanic should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- enjoy working with his hands;
- have mechanical ability;
- have a thorough knowledge of electronics;
- work well without supervision;
- get along well with others;
- be bilingual;
- have hand and finger dexterity;
- have an eye for detail;
- have good colour vision and hearing.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate.
Some employers prefer higher qualifications.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics
Recommended Subjects: Electrical Technology, 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.

- 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

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