New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3)

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: This programme is available for delivery under a sub-contracting agreement with ETCO.

Key facts

Start Month(s) February, July
Study Location(s) MIT Otara
(MIT TechPark from mid-2020)
Level 3
Domestic fees Free* or $7,000 (approx.)
Youth Guarantee Available
Programme Code NZ2387

One year (full-time)

Study Method Three days a week
Credits 120
International Fees Not Available to International Students
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship Available
Qualification 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.

International students: English Language Entry Requirements

For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules

International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 is required. Equivalent acceptable evidence can be seen at the following NZQA link:

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
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.

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

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

To find the start date of your programme intake listed above, please view the trades calendar.

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 October 2019. 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 2020 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2020 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2020 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2020 are based on the 2019 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2020. 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 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.