New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

If you love cars, trucks and motorbikes, and want to kick-start a career in the automotive industry, our New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering is the perfect choice.

About the programme

Your training will cover everything you need to know to get started in the automotive industry— including vehicles and their systems, engines, brake systems, steering and suspension systems, electrical and electronic principles—and our strong partnerships with local businesses and industry representatives will help you get a foot in the door to a job.

As well as being an excellent steppingstone into the industry, this programme is also a great option if you want to learn the basics so you can work on your own car, truck, motorbike or boat.

Core elements

This programme will provide you with knowledge and skills in topics such as:

  • Automotive workshop safety
  • Basic workshop engineering tasks, tools and equipment
  • Engines, engine systems and driveline systems
  • Electrical and electronic principles, starting and changing systems, electronic controls, high voltage systems and HVAC
  • Brake systems, steering and suspension systems

Further study options

This qualification can lead on to New Zealand certificates in a range of related areas including light vehicle engineering, collision repair, automotive refinishing, automotive electrical engineering, heavy automotive engineering, motorcycle engineering, automotive diesel fuel technology, outdoor power equipment and heavy wheel alignment. See our website for more details.

Career opportunities

Upon successful completion of this qualification, you can progress to an apprenticeship or further study, leading to roles such as:

  • Automotive Engineering Technician
  • Automotive Heavy Engineering Technician
  • Road Transport - Agricultural, Plant and Equipment Technician
  • Automotive Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Motorcycle Engineering Technician
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Servicing Technician
  • Power Boat Servicing Technician

It’s also a useful qualification for other motor industry occupations, such as: Automotive Parts Person, Service Station Attendant, Automotive Dismantler or Motor Vehicle Salesperson

Programme structure and workload

This programme is delivered full-time over one year. Training, assignments and activities are held in classrooms and automotive workshops.

Entry requirements

To apply for this programme you must:

  • Have a minimum of 10 credits in literacy and numeracy and NCEA Level 2, or be able to demonstrate suitable knowledge, skills or work experience*
  • Be physically capable of meeting programme requirements
  • Meet general or academic IELTS 5 (with no band score lower than 5) or equivalent, if English is a second language
  • Attend an information session where you’ll be required to demonstrate your ability, interest, motivation and commitment to succeed in the programme

*If you’re over 20 years old and you don’t meet the academic entry requirement but can demonstrate your skills, education and/or work experiences, you may be eligible for special admission.

Special notes

Where students meet the entry criteria and the programme is over-subscribed, the following will apply in order:

  • Applicant accepts offer of place by returning their signed learner agreement
  • Applicant is waitlisted

Programme questionnaire

This programmes requires a questionnaire to be submitted with your enrolment. Please view the questionnaire here. Complete the questions and return it with your enrolment form and any other supporting documents that are required.


When you apply to study with Tai Poutini Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. Enrolling in programmes with Tai Poutini Polytechnic, means that you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.

You will be offered a place subject to meeting the entry and selection requirements and the availability of places on the programme. The Polytechnic reserves the right to not accept late applications, i.e., after the programme has started. The Polytechnic reserves the right to cancel, prior to commencement, any programme which does not attract a minimum number of students. The fees shown are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change. For further information visit here.

Get in touch

0800 800 411
International +64 3 769 9400