New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) with a strand in Carpentry

Programme highlights

If you’re keen to become a builder but don’t already have an apprenticeship, this qualification can help get you into the construction industry.

This practical, project-based programme will provide you with a solid foundation of all the knowledge and skills required to begin a career in building.

Included are the basics in workplace safety, trade terminology and concepts as well as the fundamentals in construction and installation processes and techniques. You will also complete a series of projects ranging from the preliminaries, foundations and support structure through to the interior linings and finishing work for a building. All completed work must also meet the appropriate consenting, quality and compliance requirements.

As a graduate of this programme you can go on to become an apprentice carpenter or a labourer under supervision. You will also be able to continue your studies with the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).

This programme will be held at our well-equipped workshops in Otara and Mangere where you will work with experienced tradesmen who will introduce you to all the basic skills for the trade.

Key facts

Study Method 12 months (full-time)
Applications Close when the programme is full
Level 3
Credits 120
Fees Free* or $6,100 (approx.)
International Student Fees NZD$19,600 (approx.)
Study Location MIT Otara; MIT Mangere

*Free Study for Level 3 may be available for 16 to 19 year olds (Youth Guarantee). Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs may also apply. Visit for more information. Information is correct at December 2016. Programme fees may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted on this website are based on the indicative 2017 fee structure. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. If your fees are paid by credit card, a credit card fee will be payable in addition to programme fees. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is accredited under the provisions of the Education Act 1989.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed for people who are beginning a career in the construction trade sector.  On complete you will have entry level skills to enter the construction trade as an apprentice or labourer working under supervision.

Programme structure

Workplace Safety Frameworks and Practices: This course aims to introduce students to the legislative frameworks and requirements for workplace safety in the construction industry and requires students to select and consistently apply safe working practices and effective communication skills as they undertake project based work

Skills for Construction Trades: Students will identify, read, and use specifications and drawings and calculation skills that underpin effective practice in the construction industry

Carpentry terminology and concepts: This course aims to introduce students to fundamental carpentry concepts and carpentry terminology when carrying out carpentry tasks

Building Technology and Properties: In this course students will explain a range of basic building technologies and outline the properties of building materials/products and linings that are used in a variety of carpentry projects

Construction and Installation Processes and Techniques: Students will identify and apply a range of construction processes and installation processes and techniques when carrying out carpentry tasks

Carpentry Project: Preliminaries: Students will complete preliminary work  for building site layout  for a identified building project

Carpentry Project: Foundations and Support Structure: Students will identify and carry out foundation and support structure work for a identified building project

Carpentry Project: Frames, Structures and Exterior Envelope: Students will complete frame and related structures and exterior envelope work for a defined carpentry project

Carpentry Project:  Interior Linings and Finishing: Students will complete interior lining and finishing work and comply with consenting, quality and compliance requirements for a defined carpentry project

Further study

Upon graduating you could enter an apprenticeship with the ITO, or remain with MIT to complete the next level qualification.  Apprenticeships in the construction industry include New Zealand Certificates Level 4 in Carpentry (via MIT or ITO).

Qualification NZ Certificate

Full time

Start Dates February and July

Start dates

To find the start date of your programme intake listed above, please view our Academic Year and Key Dates

Offered by

Faculty of Engineering and Trades - School of Building and Construction

Entry requirements

Applicants entering trade study should be working towards a full drivers licence.

Have completed the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2) Multiskills or equivalent.

NCEA Level 1 OR Equivalent

  1. Mathematics a minimum of 10 credits
  2. English minimum of 10 credits

English Language entry requirements

Applicants must have sufficient competence in the English language to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English. International students will demonstrate this by meeting the current NZQA requirements:


Other Requirements

Applicants must be physically capable of completing the practical aspects of the programme, by being able to work effectively, efficiently and safely in a trade workshop/ worksite, at height or in confined spaces.

It is highly recommended that the student achieves:

  • Site Safe Certification by the end of the programme.
  • Applicants should be working towards or have a Class 1 full drivers licence.

International students

Test your English level to help you plan.

Take our free online English test to get a basic indication of your English level. This will help you understand what programmes you can apply for and what preparation you may require before you start your programme of study.

Find out now.

Provisional Entry

Students who have attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the minimum entry requirements for a programme will be eligible to be enrolled as a student where their previous educational, work or life experience indicates they have a reasonable likelihood of success. Students who have not attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the required minimum entry requirements for a programme may also be eligible to enrol in exceptional circumstances. Such decisions will be made by the Faculty Dean.

Need help?

For help with choosing a programme or for further information about studying at MIT please contact our Information and Application Centre.