New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3)

Programme highlights

Are you interested in electrical engineering as a career?  This Certificate will prepare you for work in electrical trades. 

This programme aims to prepare students for an apprenticeship and employment within the electrical industry by providing graduates who will be able to apply knowledge and skills to progress into further study.

You will gain introductory knowledge that underpins safe electrical installation, testing, commissioning, and servicing of electrical installations and equipment.

Graduates of this qualification are not electricians but will have an operational and theoretical knowledge of electricity production, distribution, and utilisation, and can carry out a limited range of prescribed electrical work safely and ethically under general supervision in accordance with the Electricity Act 1992.

Where ever possible students will be supported to undertake a minimum 40 hours of relevant work experience during the duration of the programme to enhance their learning.  The work experience is non-credit bearing. Where a student has been unable to find work experience the tutor will support the search for appropriate experience. Through the School’s industry engagement, opportunities do arise for students to gain work experience with companies within the Auckland area and these connections will be discussed with students to ensure an appropriate fit with the company.  Where appropriate opportunities may arise with MIT’s Facilities Management.

Key facts

Study Method 34 weeks (full-time) three days per week
Applications Close when the programme is full
Level 3
Credits 120
Fees Free* or $6,500 (approx.)
International Student Fees NZD$19,600 (approx.)
Study Location MIT Otara

*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

Graduates will be equipped with the skills, knowledge, and attributes to work in apprenticeships in the electrical industry in the field of their choice with guidance, mentoring, and supervision in accordance with the Electricity Act 1992.

Examples of roles that this qualification may lead to are Electricity Supply Electrical Apprentice, Domestic/Commercial Electrical Apprentice, or Industrial Electrical Apprentice, or apprenticeships in other electrical related sectors.

Graduates may also be able to work in areas such as electrical wholesaling or retailing as a counter sales person, or electrical meter readers.

Programme structure

Students complete the following courses:

Electrical Work Practices

To acquire fundamental operational and theoretical knowledge of electrical work practices

DC Fundamentals  

To introduce fundamental knowledge and principles of Direct Current (DC) electrical installation practices

Installation Fundamentals

To introduce fundamental knowledge and principles of electrical installation practices and associated legislation and standards

Electrical Applications 

To understand and apply fundamental knowledge of electrical theory and practice to the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and equipment

Electricity Systems 

To extend knowledge of electrical systems and applications of direct and alternating current

Electricity Supply and Distribution

To gain understanding of the fundamentals of the New Zealand electricity supply system and devices used to ensure the safety and protection of users and installations

Power Conversion

To understand the theory and application of electrical diagrams in terms of circuit design and lighting installations

Power Application  

To understand the theory and application of electrical machine protection, fault diagnosis, special power supplies and rotating machines.

Further study

This qualification provides one of two entry pathways into the electrical industry and is intended for candidates who do not have an electrical apprenticeship agreement.

The second entry pathway is through an apprenticeship agreement where candidates will be signed directly into the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4) [Ref: 2388].

On completion of this qualification graduates may progress to higher level qualifications within the electrical industry such as the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4) [Ref: 2388], or the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering [Ref: 112950].  Graduates may also progress to degree level programmes.

This qualification is not a prerequisite for the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4) [Ref: 2388].  However, credits gained for this qualification will contribute towards that qualification.

Programme Code NZ2387
Qualification NZ Certificate

Full time = one year 

Part time = three years

Start Dates July

Start dates

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

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following entry requirements:


NCEA Level 1

  • Mathematics a minimum of 10 credits
  • English minimum of 10 credits
  • Physics OR General Science 14 credits


Equivalent qualifications.


Applicants are not required to attend an interview, however a programme information session will be held to ensure applicants have selected the appropriate programme of study.

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/recommendations

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/ work site, at height or in confined spaces.

  • Drug and alcohol testing may be required in some sectors of this industry
  • Students should be working towards a Class 1 driver’s license
  • Successfully gained a First Aid Certificate by the end of the programme

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.