ARE you interested in levers, gears, pulleys, valves or metal work? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Then you should consider a trade in the mechanical engineering field.
Some of the trades that fall within this sector include fitting and turning; motor mechanical; welding and boilermaking.
A fitter and turner refers to a person who manufactures mechanical parts (turner) and assembles (fitter) those parts together to manufacture a mechanical device.
Fitters and turners work according to specifications of engineering drawings and sketches and, in some instances, from examples of components that they have to manufacture.
They are responsible for the dismantling and fitting together of component parts. They will, for example, take a gearbox apart and inspect the gears for possible mistakes and damage. The damaged parts will be repaired and the gearbox fitted together again.
A motor mechanic specialises in automobile maintenance, repair, and sometimes modification. They may be knowledgeable about working on all parts of a variety of car makes or may specialise either in a specific area or in a specific make of car. In repairing cars, their main role is to diagnose the problem accurately and quickly. They often have to quote prices for their customers before work starts or after partial disassembly for inspection.
They use both electronic means of gathering data as well as their senses. Their job may involve the repair of a specific part or the replacement of one or more parts as assemblies.
A welder specialises in welding and cutting materials. The welded materials can be metals (such as steel, aluminium, brass, and stainless steel) or varieties of plastic or polymer. Welders have to have good dexterity and attention to detail, as well as some technical knowledge about the materials being joined and best practices in the field.
A boilermaker fabricates and assembles structural metal products, such as framework or shells for machinery, ovens, tanks, stacks, and metal components for buildings and bridges according to job order, and erection instructions, and blueprints. They build, erect, repair, test and maintain all types of boilers.
They also develop layout and plans sequence of operations, applying knowledge of trigonometry, stock allowances for thickness, machine and welding expansion, and physical properties of metal; locate and mark bending and cutting lines onto work piece; set up and operate fabricating machines, like bending brakes and drill presses; hammer, manipulate steel and grind work pieces to cut, bend, and straighten metal; preheat work pieces, using hand torch or furnace; position, align, fit, and weld together parts; design and construct templates and fixtures; fabricate and assemble sheet metal products.
These trades can get one employed in both the private and public sector. To become a qualified artisan contact a training centre or FET college. – ETC marketing and communication coordinator, Kerryn Lloyd