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Automotive Electrician
Automotive electricians manufacture, install, repair and maintain electrical systems and equipment in motor vehicles.

Motor vehicles have two electrical systems, namely an ignition system and an accessory system. The ignition system consists mainly of the battery, distributor, induction coil, high-tension wires and spark plugs. The starter motor, alternator or generator, voltage regulators, lights, windscreen-wipers, hooters, indicators, electrically operated windows, aerials, radios, tape players, revolution counters and fuel gauges are part of the second system.

Automotive electricians are mainly concerned with accessory systems which comprise the starter motor, generator, lights, windscreen wipers, indicators, hooters, as well as electrically operated windows, aerials, and radios.

They also have a thorough knowledge of ignition systems since defects in accessory systems may have a detrimental effect upon vehicles' electrical systems as a whole. Automotive electricians do a fair amount of routine work such as replacing bulbs and setting regulators. Specialized work includes tracing faults with special equipment.

Satisfying Aspects
- good salaries and benefits
- the satisfaction of solving difficult problems
- working with your hands

Demanding aspects
- working in a standing or stooped position
- the possibility of injury whilst on the job

An automotive electrician should be/have:
- 16 years old and older
- mechanically and practically minded
- able to think logically and clearly
- able to work accurately and have self-discipline
- good health and manual dexterity
- good vision and colour discrimination
- reliable and punctual
- safety conscious, to avoid unnecessary accidents like electrical shocks
- business sense and good judgement
- care about the quality of work and customer satisfaction

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

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics

Automotive electricians receive their training by entering into a learnership with any approved employer in the automotive industry.

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 contract between learner, employer and training provider, which provides for the achievement of a qualification, run over approximately 3 one-year periods.

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.

- motor car manufacturers
- garages
- electrical equipment repair shops
- shops specialising in fitting car radios and tape recorders and speed control systems
- self-employment, with enough capital to start own business

3rd Floor, Block B
Metropolitan Park,
8 Hillside Road,
Parktown, 2001
Tel: (011) 551-5202 Fax: 0866 730017