National Certificate in Engineering

National Certificate in Engineering

National Certificates in Engineering are the qualification pathway for careers in engineering trades. There are a number of different specialisations, including:

  • National Certificates in Electrical Engineering form the qualification pathway for electricians, electronics trades workers, line mechanics, lift technicians and industrial electrical engineering technicians.
  • National Certificates in Fabrication Engineering provide training for people working as fabricators, sheet metal workers, boiler makers and fitter-welders.
  • National Certificates in Mechanical Engineering are the trade qualifications for occupations such as fitter and turners, welders, maintenance and diagnostic engineers, toolmakers, precision machinists and machine tool setters.

National Certificates are offered at Levels 2 to 5 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, and generally involve a mixture of course work and on-the-job learning assessed in the workplace:

  • Level 2 certificates are pre-trade (introductory) qualifications for people who want to find an engineering-related apprenticeship.
  • Level 3 certificates are an intermediate stage on the training pathway, and are typically completed in the second or third year of a three to four year programme.
  • Level 4 certificates typically represent the end point of the main trades qualification pathway, for example, registration as an electrician.
  • Level 5 Advanced Trade certificates are for qualified tradespeople who want to further develop their knowledge and skills.
  • New Zealand Diplomas in Engineering are another option for further training.

Entry requirements for National Certificates vary:

  • NCEA Level 1 Maths, English and Technology (especially Materials Technology and Design & Visual Communications) are recommended.
  • Some courses may require at least 10 NCEA Level 1 credits in each of literacy (English) and numeracy (Maths).
  • Higher level certificates will generally require you to be working in a relevant engineering job.

Most certificates are offered by the relevant Industry Training Organisation (ITO), often with the course work component completed through a polytechnic or institute of technology. Pre-trade qualifications can be completed at most polytechnics.

Find out more about Industry Training Organisations

Find out about the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering

<< Back to Engineering Pathways diagram
<< Back to Engineering jobs overview


People who have a
National Certificate in Engineering

  • Simon Galea

    Electrical Engineer, Simon Galea at work

    Louis Cuttance

    Project Engineer, Louis Cuttance at work

    Matt Johnston

    Project manager, Matt Johnston at work

    Nathan King

    Senior Project Manager, Nathan King at work
  • Elikena Prescott

    , Elikena Prescott at work

    Gavin Williams

    Design Engineer, Gavin Williams at work

    Dominic Lauten

    Mechanical Engineer, Dominic Lauten at work

    John Pocock

    Sheet Metal Fabricator , John Pocock at work

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation