what is a mechanical fitter?

A mechanical fitter is the engineering specialist responsible for putting together machine parts, installing, maintaining and repairing plants and equipment. Your work involves assembling parts made from metals or other materials to create production equipment and machinery.

As a mechanical fitter, you lay out the components of a machine and use the drawings or schematics to secure the parts according to specifications. Sometimes, you have to weld the pieces in place using gas or electricity. You also repair and install valves, tank linings and lead pipes.

Since you work with detailed drawings that contain measurements, you need precise measuring equipment. The measurements should be accurate to get the perfect fit. As a mechanical fitter, it is crucial to be familiar with the tools of the trade, like thermal heating, welding and cutting equipment and drilling machines.

what does a mechanical fitter do?

A mechanical fitter works in aviation, production, automobile and manufacturing industries to repair and maintain machines. Their problem-solving skills make them experts in troubleshooting manufacturing plants and identifying system faults.

Would working as a mechanical fitter suit your technical knowledge and detail-oriented skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a mechanical fitter role.

mechanical fitter jobs

average salary of a mechanical fitter

According to ONS, a mechanical fitter in the UK earns an average salary of £31,004 per year. Entry-level positions attract an average wage of £29,509 annually, while experienced mechanical fitters earn about £32,866 per year. Due to the working conditions, most employers provide healthcare insurance and insure employees from accidents. You can also enjoy additional perks like overtime pay for working long hours and bonuses at the end of the year.

how to increase your salary as a mechanical fitter

You can increase your compensation package as a mechanical fitter by improving your qualifications. If you have a certificate, consider pursuing a diploma or adding extra skills to your resume. Your work experience also increases your job prospects and salary bracket. Most organisations prefer candidates with hands-on experience and pay more if you bring additional transferable skills

Mechanical fitters work in diverse industries, and each sector has a unique pay structure. For instance, in the aviation industry, you are likely to earn more than those working in the automobile or manufacturing industry. 

Apart from the business sector, the company size and resources also influence your pay. Multinationals handle the assembling of complex equipment and often recruit the best skills since they can pay for the expertise. On the other hand, small businesses have limited resources and handle small projects.

Factory worker operating a column drill.
Factory worker operating a column drill.

types of mechanical fitters

Mechanical fitting is a branch of mechanical engineering that involves different roles, including:

  • fitting and turning: this includes constructing, fitting and assembling equipment components. The craftspeople use hand tools and machines to put together the metal pieces.
  • pipefitting: this involves attaching pipes to fixtures, walls and structures like radiators or tanks. A mechanical fitter uses brackets, welding tools and clamps to fit the pipes in place.
  • maintenance fitting: as a mechanical fitter, you participate in factory equipment maintenance. Your work involves locating defective or worn parts that need replacement or modifications. You use measuring instruments to find components that fit and replace worn-out parts.

working as a mechanical fitter

As a mechanical fitter, your job involves assembling various components of equipment and machines. Read on to discover some of the duties, responsibilities and daily routine of a mechanical fitter.


education and skills

Many routes are available for joining the mechanical fitter career. Some of the educational requirements you need include:

  • college course: you can get into a mechanical fitter job by taking a college course to learn the skills you need. Consider taking a Level 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering or a Level 3 Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology. The entry requirements for the Level 2 course are two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), while a Level 3 course requires 4 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4. A diploma course also puts you a step closer to your skills. You can pursue a Level 2 Diploma in Maintenance or a T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair.
  • apprenticeship: explore intermediate apprenticeships available for mechanical fitters, including engineer fitter and maintenance operations engineering technician. The entry requirements for apprenticeships are any GCSEs, including maths and English. You have to work 30 hours a week during the training to gain work experience.
  • work experience: besides educational qualifications, you need work experience to become a mechanical fitter. You can gain experience from vocational training and internships.

skills and competencies

To succeed as a mechanical fitter, you need the following skills:

  • problem-solving skills: as a mechanical fitter, problem-solving skills are crucial because your role involves solving malfunctions in machines or equipment. When solving a malfunction, you need creativity to improve efficiency and performance. It is also essential to identify a process for solving problems instead of experimenting with various solutions. Problem-solving skills help you come up with the best solutions for every malfunction.
  • collaboration and interpersonal skills: as a mechanical fitter, you work alongside other fitters to achieve a shared objective. You need team skills to collaborate with others and work together. Interpersonal skills make you a good listener and help you learn a few tricks.
  • maths skills: application of mathematics is crucial in mechanical fitting since you need to get accurate measurements for fitting. Math skills also help you identify errors faster and develop solutions
focused male looking down wearing protective gear at work
focused male looking down wearing protective gear at work


FAQs about working as a mechanical fitter

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