Free^ electrician pre-trade apprenticeship

New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3)

As part of the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) to rebuild New Zealand's economy, this programme is now free^. For terms and conditions, more information, and other programmes covered by this scheme, click here.

Due to high demand, we are unable to take any more applications for July 2021. We recommend applying early for January 2022.

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. 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.

Key facts

Start month(s)

January, July

Study location(s)

MIT TechPark

Level 3
Domestic fees


Youth Guarantee (fees-free*) Available (eligibility criteria applies)
Programme code NZ2387

Full-time for 1 year (40 teaching weeks)

Study method

Three days per week

Credits 120
International fees Not available to international students
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (fees-free*) Available (eligibility criteria applies)
Qualification leads to

New Zealand Certificate

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following entry requirements:


NCEA Level 1, including

  • A minimum of 10 credits in mathematics;
  • A minimum of 10 credits in english; and
  • 14 credits in physics or general science;


  • 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.

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/ worksite, 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 licence
  • Successfully gained a First Aid Certificate by the end of the programme

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 Director/Head of School.

Programme structure

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

523.305 Electrical Work Practices (15 credits)

To acquire fundamental operational and theoretical knowledge of electrical work practices

523.306 DC Fundamentals (15 credits)

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

523.307 Installation Fundamentals (15 credits)

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

523.309 Electrical Applications (15 credits)

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

523.309 Electricity Systems (15 credits)

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

523.310 Electricity Supply and Distribution (15 credits)

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

523.311 Power Conversion (15 credits)

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

523.312 Power Application (15 credits)

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

Key dates and timetables

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

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.

For potential salaries visit

Further training or 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.

Information is correct as at February 2021. 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 2021 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2021 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2021 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2021 are based on the 2020 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2021. 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 Act 1989. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.

^Free study for this qualification may be available to you under the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). Visit for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student and meet any other entry criteria as required. Some costs may also apply. Free study is subject to funding confirmation.