fitter vs mechanic

Fitter vs Mechanic: What sets these Trades apart & what they have in common 2024?

Two of the most vital and in-demand trades in the industrial sector are a fitter vs a mechanic, but how do they compare?

Although both trades are essential to maintaining the efficient operation of machines and equipment, there are some significant differences between the two.

You should be aware of the differences and similarities between fitters and mechanics if you’re thinking about a career in industrial maintenance and repair.


In short: fitters construct and modify parts and components using a variety of tools and equipment, including hand and power tools. While  On the other side, mechanics are often in charge of the upkeep and repair of vehicles including cars, trucks, and heavy machinery.

But that’s barely scratching the surface.

The two trades will be thoroughly compared in this blog post, covering their roles and obligations, knowledge and skill needed, tools and equipment utilised, educational and training requirements, career routes and growth chances.

Hopefully it will help you make a the right choice for your career path.

If you want to know why a Construction Plant Fitter Apprenticeship might be for you then read our other blog.

If not, read on.

fitter vs mechanic

Fitter vs Mechanic: Duties and Responsibilities

In a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, and transportation, fitters and mechanics are in charge of maintaining and repairing machinery and equipment.

However, depending on the business and the kind of equipment being repaired, the precise duties and responsibilities of each trade can change.

Fitters are typically responsible for:

• Assembly

• Installation

• Maintenance

While they will:

• Use blueprints

• Schematics

• And technical manuals to build and install new machinery

• Diagnose and repair existing machines

As we’ve covered above, fitters construct and modify parts and components using a variety of tools and equipment, including hand and power tools.

On the other side, mechanics are often in charge of the upkeep and repair of vehicles including cars, trucks, and heavy machinery.


They execute repairs and maintenance on engines, transmissions, brakes, and other systems after using diagnostic technology and specialised tools to identify the issue.

In order to maintain and repair sophisticated machinery and equipment, mechanics may collaborate with other tradespeople like electricians and fitters.

The tasks and obligations of fitters and mechanics have certain similarities as well as some distinctions. Both trades demand a thorough knowledge of mechanical systems as well as the capacity to identify and fix issues.

Both trades also call for a thorough awareness of safety procedures as well as the capacity to employ tools and equipment both effectively and safely.

fitter vs mechanic

Fitter vs Mechanic: Required Skills & Knowledge

To be a successful mechanic or fitter, you will need technical skills, problem solving skills and some practical experience.

Here’s a list of what we believe are key skills for a fitter vs a mechanic.


• Understanding of how mechanical systems function and the ability to read and understand schematics, technical manuals, and blueprints

• the capacity to build and modify parts and components using manual and power tools

• the capacity to recognise and address issues with machinery and equipment

• knowledge of safety guidelines and safe work procedures


• Understanding of how automotive systems operate Being able to identify and fix issues with engines, gearboxes, brakes, and other systems

• the capacity to diagnose issues using diagnostic tools and specialised equipment

• understanding of recommended maintenance plans for vehicles

• knowledge of safety guidelines and safe work procedures

Both fitters and mechanics need to have a keen eye for detail, be able to think critically, and be able to work both individually and in a team.

They must also have a strong commitment to workplace safety and be able to communicate clearly with customers and co-workers.

Is this beginning to sound like you?

Tools & Equipment used by Fitters and Mechanics

The kinds of tools and equipment that fitters and mechanics employ in their profession is one of the main distinctions between them.

Both fitters and mechanics employ a variety of hand and power tools, but the instruments each trade employs can change based on the job at hand.

fitter vs mechanic

The tools and equipment that fitters utilise range from hand tools like wrenches, pliers, and sockets to power tools like drill presses, band saws, and welding equipment.

Fitters can build and modify parts and components using specialised instruments like cutting torches and plasma cutters.


For example, in addition to power tools like impact wrenches, air compressors, and diagnostic tools, mechanics also employ manual tools like ratchets, sockets, and pliers.

Additionally, mechanics employ specialised equipment to diagnose and fix car issues, such as brake lathes and engine analysers.

Fitters and mechanics must both possess the skills necessary to operate their tools and equipment safely and effectively, as well as the knowledge necessary to use and maintain them properly.

For them to do their jobs successfully and efficiently and to guarantee their own and others’ safety in the workplace, they must keep their tools and equipment in good working order.

Education and Training

If you’re looking to do a fitter apprenticeship, we’ve got a really good idea of what is required to be a construction plant fitter apprenticeship HERE.

It’s not a million miles off a mechanic’s education too.

Here’s a few differences.


• A formal apprenticeship program for 4 years with in-class and on-site education

• Opportunity to do other programs or skills such as welding, machining and electrical systems

• Apprenticeship completion is preferred by most employers, but if you can gain on-the-job training it will also be a huge advantage to you


• A formal apprenticeship that will take you 3-4 years with on-site and in-class training and education

• Also opportunities to learn engine performance, gearbox and transmission repair and braking systems

• Some mechanics might decide to pursue certification in particular branches of vehicle maintenance, like brake systems, transmissions, and engine performance.

For both trades, the more advantage you can gain in your skills and knowledge will be a huge advantage to you in terms of employers looking at you for a job.

You will also continually need to up-skill with the latest tech and practices in each field to stay relevant and sharp.

Time waits for nobody and you don’t want to fall behind.

Fitter v Mechanic Careers and Opportunities

The world is your oyster with a fitter or mechanic apprenticeship.

There are big opportunities to progress and advance in both if you’re willing to look for them and work hard.

A career path for a fitter vs a mechanic can look similar to the below.

• You will begin as an apprentice, working under experience fitters/mechanics and learning the tricks of the trade

• With more experience there is possibility for advancement to a lead fitter/head mechanic, supervisor or manager role where you oversee others

• If you want to specialise in an area – welding, electrics, machining, engines, hydraulics etc – a more advanced specialised career role is possible


In conclusion, mechanics and fitters both practice professional occupations that are critical to the upkeep and repair of the machinery and equipment that power our businesses.

For more information, check out Generation Apprenticeships. 

Even while their precise tasks and responsibilities vary, they have many other characteristics, such as the requirement for a mix of classroom and on-the-job training, the use of specialised tools and equipment, and the chance for professional growth and progress.

Get in touch with us if you’re interested in an apprenticeship or check out our site for some of our machines.