Study automotive and become a mechanic

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

Programme highlights

Are you interested in the automotive industry?

With a combination of in-class and online learning, this qualification will prepare you for a career in automotive engineering, working on cars and trucks to heavy industrial machinery.

You will gain a solid foundation with the skills, knowledge and capabilities to work safely using tools and equipment in automotive engineering such as engines, driveline systems, electrical and electronic brakes, steering and suspension systems.

With a shortage of qualified mechanics in New Zealand, your skills will be in demand.

Aspects of this programme are physically demanding, please talk with an Ask Me! agent if you face fitness or mobility challenges.

You may be required to complete literacy and numeracy assessments as part of this programme.

Automotive staff profiles

Key facts

Start month(s)

January, July

Study location(s)

MIT TechPark

Level 3
Domestic fees

$7,100 (approx)

Click here to see individual course fees

Youth Guarantee (fees-free*)

Available (eligibility criteria applies)

Click here to find out more

Programme code NZ3097

Full-time for 1 year (36 teaching weeks)

Study method

In-class and online

Credits 120
International fees Not available to international students
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (fees-free*)

Available (eligibility criteria applies)

Click here to find out more

Qualification leads to

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

Entry requirements


Open entry for domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

English language entry requirements

You will need English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English (an assessment may be required if your first language is not English).


Programme structure

You will need to complete the below four courses (120 credits):

201.326 Automotive workshop safety, tools and equipment (25 credits)

You will learn safety, first aid, fire and safety procedure, chemicals, gas, hazardous materials.

  • Safe working practices, good work habits, policies and procedures, PPE, warning notices, precautions
  • Industry engineering tasks, tools and equipment, may include but is not limited to: spanners, sockets, screwdrivers, torque wrench, locking devices, bolts, nut studs, power drill, drill press, cutting fluid, taps, dies, die nuts, grinder, welding
  • Tools for electrical and electronic service and repair
  • Safe working practices for working with electronics, including protecting electronics.

201.327 Automotive engines and drivelines systems (30 credits)

You will learn about Vehicle servicing and component replacement.

  • Petrol and diesel engines: Two-stroke, four-stroke engines, power, torque
  • Drivelines: Driveshafts, drive axle, joints and bearings, VIRM requirements, final drives, differential mechanisms
  • Transmission, manual and semi-automatic operation, and construction
  • CVT gearboxes
  • Cooling systems, cleanliness pH, freeze protection, flushing system, refill, bleeding
  • Cambelts
  • Lubrication: Oils, grease, lubricants, and specifications
  • Air-conditioning: Refrigeration, compression, condensing, expansion, evaporation
  • Clutch
  • Intake systems, induction systems, emissions/exhaust.

201.328 Automotive electrical and electronic systems (40 credits)

May include, but is not limited to:

  • Ignition systems
  • Electronic fuel injection
  • Batteries
  • Basic Electrical theory
  • Hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles
  • Electrical principles, testing and repair of automotive electrical circuits
  • Automotive charging and starting systems
  • Automotive lighting
  • Airbags/seat belts
  • Diesel injection/fuel systems.

201.329 Automotive brakes, steering and suspension systems (25 credits)

  • Wheels, tyres, wheel balancing
  • Brake system: May include but not limited to: bleeding hydraulic brakes, park brake, service brake, brake lines, brake cylinders, pads, shoes, rotors, drums, Disc brakes, Drum brakes, brake fluid, air braking systems, heavy commercial brake systems
  • Steering and suspension: may include but is not limited to: components, manual, power-assisted, four-wheel/all-wheel systems, front and rear suspension, ball joints, bushes, linkages, wheel bearings, struts, shock absorbers, springs, control arms, stabiliser bars, control arms heavy steering and heavy suspension.

Key dates and timetables

To find the key dates and timetables of this programme, please view the trades calendar.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge to work in an entry level position in any area of the automotive industry. For potential salaries visit

MIT is becoming Te Pūkenga

Vocational education in Aotearoa is changing to better meet the needs of learners like you.

As part of this transformational change, MIT will next year become fully part of Te Pūkenga, a national network delivering skills training in a wide range of locations throughout Aotearoa. This means that while you’re applying with MIT now, from Semester 1, 2023 when you enrol you’ll become a Te Pūkenga learner.

The new system has the success and wellbeing of learners at its heart, and a review of all programmes is currently underway to help support this, including the programme that you’ve enrolled with. The aim is to make qualifications more portable, consistent and closely aligned with the needs of industry, and more in tune with where the world is headed.

As the programme review is ongoing, the courses outlined may be liable to change over time. Rest assured that we’ll notify you of any material changes to delivery that might impact what you’re studying, where you’re studying or the ways you’re learning.

Information is correct as at 6 September 2022. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and 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 in this publication are based on the indicative 2023 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2023 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2023 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2023 are based on the 2022 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2023. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. 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 Limited is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.