Sewing Machine Mechanic

Sewing machine mechanics service, maintain and repair sewing machines in clothing factories. This role serves as a very important link in the production chain, as the factory cannot function at optimum production whilst a machine is out of order.

Some of the tasks that the sewing machine mechanic has to perform include:

  • adjusting machine parts
  • regulating the length and stroke of the needle
  • setting the timing
  • dismantling machines and replacing worn or broken parts
  • inspecting shafts and belts and repairing broken transmission belts and motors
  • installing new specified parts on machines.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 17 years old
  • technical and mechanical aptitude
  • able to work efficiently with your hands
  • responsible and able to make decisions
  • able to work in a team, as well as independently

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate
some employers prefer higher qualifications

What to Study

There are two courses sewing-machine mechanics can follow:

Two-year part-time course: offered 2 nights a week over a period of 2 years. The course provides complete technical training in the setting of machines, the installation of accessories to machines, fitting and turning, as well as three-phase and single-phase electric motors. The course is practically-orientated and there are usually 10 to 12 students per class. On successful completion of the course, the student receives a Diploma in Sewing-Machine Mechanics and Maintenance.

Ten-week part-time course: offered 2 nights a week over a period of 10 weeks. During this course, students learn how to maintain and operate one specific machine in a clothing factory. After successful completion of the practical exams, the student receives a certificate in Sewing-Machine Mechanics and Maintenance. The specific machine that they studied during the course is indicated on the certificate. Both the above-mentioned courses are offered by the Clothing Industry Training Board.


  • clothing factories
  • machine manufacturers
  • large boutiques
  • self-employment, with enough experience can work on a contract basis
Employment prospects in this line of work are good. The clothing industry usually requires more qualified mechanics than are available.

Further Information

Textile Federation
40 Seventh Avenue
Edenvale, 1609
Tel: (011) 454-2342

Getting Started

  • arrange to visit your nearest CITB regional office and speak to the principal of the training centre
  • arrange to speak to sewing machine mechanics and watch them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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