Get a head start on your mechanical engineering apprenticeship with Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3).  

You’ll learn the foundation skills covered in the first year of a mechanical engineering apprenticeship including: machining operations, welding, CAD drawing and operations completed within an engineering workshop.

Graduates will be working under limited supervision and will gain the knowledge and skills to work safely to apply basic mechanical and/or fabrication engineering related knowledge, understanding and applied skills as an operator and/or trade assistant.

  • Level:
  • Credit Value:
  • Awards:
    NZ Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3)
  • Location:
  • Method of Study:
    Full time
  • Holiday Duration:
    6 weeks
  • Teaching Duration:
    34 weeks
  • Total Duration:
    40 weeks
  • Start Date:
    Please enquire
  • $7,059

Core Elements

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • An understanding of relevant Health and Safety requirements and safety culture, when carrying out engineering tasks
  • Apply numeracy, literacy, and visualisation skills to perform engineering tasks
  • Perform a defined range of engineering tasks according to instructions using relevant materials, tools, and equipment
  • Set up and carry out a single process engineering job according to instructions
  • Apply an understanding of effective and efficient processes and principles to the engineering jobs being undertaken
  • Take responsibility for the appropriate quality of own engineering work and make corrections as required
  • Participate and communicate effectively within an engineering team

Programme Structure and Workload

This programme is delivered over one year, with students undertaking both theory and practical activities.  The programme course components reflect the Mechanical Engineering industry and use authentic practical learning and assessment methods to prepare students for a pre-trade qualification and/or employment. 

The delivery methods integrate theory and practical instruction using a mix of face to face, time-tabled tutor-facilitated classroom and engineering workshop sessions; as well as on-line teaching and learning interactions.  

Over the duration of the programme, you are encouraged to become independent and compile portfolios to evidence your learning progression and to scaffold on the tutor-directed activities.  Evidence is captured through: classroom activity participation, completion of tasks, some research, and reflection as well as via the student’s formative and summative assessments. The portfolio and project work are the major source of evidence for summative assessment purposes and tutor feedback is recorded.

Further Study Paths

Graduates of the New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3) will be eligible to progress and pathway into the New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4), New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Building Services (Trade) (Level 4) or the New Zealand Certificate in Dairy Systems (Engineering) (Level 4).

Career Opportunities

Career options may be:

  • Mechanical engineering fitter, turner, and fabrication
  • Automotive machining technician
  • Construction building industry
  • Extractive industry technician
  • Welder
  • Boilermaker

Entry Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 10 credits in literacy and numeracy (algebra, trigonometry and measurement recommended) NCEA Level 1 or be able to demonstrate suitable knowledge, skills or work experience.

  • Student must be physically capable of meeting the programmes requirements. Applicants are also required to attend an information session where students must demonstrate their ability, interest, motivation and commitment to succeed in the programme.
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must meet IELTS (or equivalent) Level 5 with no band lower than 5.


This is a Safety Sensitive Programme