Fitter and turner


Fitters and turners use machine tools to create and modify metal parts according to set specifications in order to fit components for machinery. They ensure the finished components are ready for assembly.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to fitter and turner:

tool turner
tool engineering fitter
machine tool turner
assembly line turner
assembly line fitter
tool and die fitter
tool engineering turner
machine tool fitter
electrical turner
tool and die turner
tool fitter
engineering turner

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a fitter and turner.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Fitter and turner is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Fitter and turner career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to fitter and turner.

metal products assembler
motor vehicle body assembler
plastic products assembler
aircraft assembler

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of fitter and turner. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of fitter and turner with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

avionics inspector
motor vehicle engine inspector
rolling stock engine inspector
vessel engine inspector
aircraft maintenance engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of fitter and turner.

  • Metal forming technologies: The variety of technologies and techniques, such as forging, pressing, stamping, rolling and others, used for the forming processes of metal product manufacturing.
  • Types of metal: Qualities, specifications, applications and reactions to different fabricating processes of various types of metal, such as steel, aluminium, brass, copper and others.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of fitter and turner.

  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Manipulate metal: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of metal.
  • Carry out measurements of parts: Operate measurement instruments to measure parts of manufactured objects. Take into consideration specifications of manufacturers to perform the measuring.
  • Operate metal fabricating machines: Set up and operate fabricating equipment to bend, cut and straighten pieces of metal.
  • Operate drill press: Operate a semi-automated, semi-manual drill press to drill holes in a work piece, safely and according to regulations.
  • Cut metal products: Operate cutting and measuring instruments in order to cut/shape pieces of metal into given dimensions.
  • Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
  • Fabricate metal parts: Fabricate metal parts, using equipment such as drill presses and engine lathes.
  • Tend lathe: Tend a lathe designed for cutting manufacturing processes on metal, wooden, plastic materials and others, monitor and operate it, according to regulations.
  • Perform metal work: Work with metal and iron materials in order to assemble individual pieces or structures.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fitter and turner. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Manufacturing of metal structures: The production of metal structures for construction.
  • Metal joining technologies: The various technologies used for the joining and assembling of fabricated metal workpieces.
  • Screw types: The various types of screws that can be manufactured, such as a cap screw, setscrew with hollow head, machine screw with oval head, machine screw with Philips head, flat-head wood screw, lag screw, self-tapping screw, and others.
  • Rivet types: The various types of rivets used in manufacturing, such as solid head rivets, blind rivets, drive rivets, semi-tubular rivets, oscar rivets, flush rivets, and others.
  • Metal coating technologies: The various processes and technologies used for to coating and painting fabricated metal workpieces.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fitter and turner. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Design metal components: Design metal components in response to a need. Provide support by writing documents, manuals, metallurgical investigations, and reports in support of customer liaison.
  • Assemble metal parts: Align and arrange steel and metal parts in order to assemble complete products; use the appropriate hand tools and gauges.
  • Join metals: Join together pieces of metal using soldering and welding materials.
  • Assemble electrical components: Assemble switches, electrical controls, circuit boards and other electrical components by using hand and soldering equipment.
  • Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
  • Operate handheld riveting equipment: Operate various kinds of tools and equipment used in riveting processes, such a pin hammer and a rivet set, handheld squeezers, a hammer and bucking bar, a pneumatic hammer, a rivet gun, and others.
  • Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
  • Heat metals: Heat steel and metals in fire; adjust and regulate heat controls to reach appropriate pouring temperature.
  • Tend computer numerical control lathe machine: Tend a computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathe and turn machine designed for cutting manufacturing processes on metal, wooden, plastic materials and others, monitor and operate it, according to regulations.
  • Develop assembly instructions: Develop a code of letters and numbers to label diagrams for assembly instructions.
  • Set up the controller of a machine: Set up and give commands to a machine by dispatching the appropriate data and input into the (computer) controller corresponding with the desired processed product.
  • Tend riveting machine: Tend a metalworking machine designed to join metal pieces by automatically shooting mechanical fasteners, rivets, into them, monitor and operate it according to regulations.
  • Apply polishing lubricants: Apply the appropriate lubricant matching the kind of metal of the processed metal workpiece during polishing processes, such as was or kerosene.

ISCO group and title

7223 – Metal working machine tool setters and operators

  1. Fitter and turner – ESCO
Last updated on September 22, 2022

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