Level 3

Electrician pre-trade apprenticeship

Start your career in the electrical trades as an apprentice electrician.

Programme highlights

­­Start your career in the electrical trades.

Become an apprentice electrician.

This programme will give you the skills you need to get your first job in this industry. You will gain introductory knowledge that underpins safe electrical installation, testing, commissioning, and servicing of electrical installations and equipment.

It is recommended you complete a minimum of 40 hours of relevant work experience.

When you graduate, you will be able to carry out some electrical work under supervision.

Please note: A small component of this programme is delivered by a sub-contractor.

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following entry requirements:


  • Candidates must have achieved NCEA (Level 1) with Mathematics and English subjects


  • Equivalent knowledge and skills for entry into this programme.

Special & discretionary admission

Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

You will need to complete the below nine courses (121 credits):

Workplace skills and safety  (15 credits)

Students will apply electrical workplace standards and health and safety practices. They will also achieve/maintain a first aid certificate

DC fundamentals (15 credits)

Students will apply fundamental theory and principles of Direct Current (DC) circuits and systems

AC fundamentals (15 credits)

Students will apply fundamental theory and principles of magnetism and electromagnetism anddemonstrate the safe use of the tools and equipment used in an electrical workplace

Cables, fittings and testing (15 credits)

Students will install, test and fault-find electrical cords, cables, and equipment in accordance with legislation

Supply systems (15 credits)

Students will apply knowledge of the New Zealand electricity supply system and methods used to ensure the protection of users and installations

Protection, plans and circuits (15 credits)

Students will apply knowledge of circuit protection, electrical drawing conventions, switching circuits and lighting

Installations (15 credits)

Students will apply knowledge of cable and wiring systems, damp situations and special installations

Transformers, electrical machines and isolation (15 credits)

Students will apply theories underpinning the operation of transformers, electrical machines, and isolation procedures

Capstone Test (1 credit)

Learners will demonstrate the knowledge of theory and practice for electrical workers in accordance with EWRB final closed-book examination (capstone assessment).

Learners will complete a final closed-book examination (Capstone Assessment) to measure their understanding and competency gained towards the end of the qualification. This examination is set and moderated by the Standard Setting Body (or Workforce Development Council) to prepare trainees for further training and assessments leading to relevant EWRB registration classes.

Note: Achievement of this capstone assessment alone does not entitle trainees to legally perform prescribed electrical work without supervision. Until registered and licensed under the Electricity Act 1992, trainees are assisting, and must work under supervision when carrying out prescribed electrical work.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Further training or study

The programme will provide Learners with the theoretical electrical knowledge that will allow them to continue on to higher level learning in the electrical and electronic field, including:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Theory and Practice Trade) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Trade (Level 4) with strands in General Electrical, and Electricity Supply, and/or
  • Higher-level qualifications in other electrical fields.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be able to enter an electrical apprenticeship as a first-year apprentice.

Graduates may be employed in entry-level positions in trades relevant to the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) registration classes, other electrical fields such as switchgear fitting, electronics, electricity supply industry, manufacturing, electrical wholesaling or retailing.

For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.

Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. Free study for Level 3 may be available for 16 to 24 year olds (Youth Guarantee). Free study for up to one year for Levels 3 and 4 may be available under Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT), a government-led training initiative to encourage young Māori and Pasifika people to gain trade qualifications. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.

Information is correct as at 15 March 2024. 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 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. 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 is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga 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.