The skills required for these trades are very similar but it is the application of these skills that is different, for example, they may be used to maintain, repair and overhaul equipment and machinery or to make parts to build equipment and machinery. An important part of the fitters ‘Toolkit’ is the mental skill of fault diagnosis and fault finding. In all sections of the engineering industry, fitters carry out the essential work of producing and fitting parts of machinery and equipment together which may produce such things as chocolate bars, newspapers and fish fingers, from wings to aircraft and anything from buckets to earth moving equipment etc.
Fitters use engineering drawings to understand the shape and size of components and interpret the way they should connect together. They use all sorts of hand and powered tools to carry out their duties. The crucial operation in fitting is getting the correct clearance between moving parts. There are gauges which can be used to help but experienced fitters can also tell by the feel of the movement in parts fitted together that the components are a good fit. It can also be seen, therefore, that the trade the fitter covers is a very wide range of mechanical work, from maintaining and repairing heavy mechanical plant and equipment to fitting together and building up precision made parts.