What will I learn?

This project-based qualification will provide you with the knowledge and skills to enter employment in the electrical industry. If you want to become an electrician, this is the ideal pre-apprentice preparation. Upon successful completion of this Level 3 certificate, you will need to enter an apprenticeship agreement and complete the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4) which is also available at Otago Polytechnic.

Alternatively, you may gain employment in non-registration areas of this industry such as electronic security, appliance servicing and automation. There is the opportunity for progression and promotion within these areas with further study and/or industry exams.

Otago Polytechnic is the only provider of this Level 3 certificate in the Otago region and our lecturers have strong industry connections. Benefit from their expertise and experience and enjoy the chance to gain a theoretical knowledge by undertaking practical, hands-on work.
Further study options:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Diploma in Engineering - Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology

Your workload:

You will be expected to complete up to 30 hours of contact time at the Polytechnic and up to 15 hours of additional self-directed study per week. 100 hours of work experience will also be needed.

You will study

This programme provides the electrical industry with people who have introductory knowledge of safe electrical installation, testing, commissioning, and servicing of electrical installations and equipment. It provides pre-entry foundation knowledge of electrical engineering and is suitable for those who wish to enter the industry but do not yet have an electrical apprenticeship agreement.

Upon successful completion of this qualification, you will have an operational and theoretical knowledge of electricity production, distribution, and utilisation, and will be able to carry out a limited range of prescribed electrical work safely and ethically under supervision in accordance with the Electricity Act 1992.

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
NZ$23,400.00 (US$ 16,729) per year
Start date

Expected February 2022


Otago Polytechnic

Dunedin Campus,

Forth Street,


North Dunedin,

9016, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For international students

You must have achieved the New Zealand Certificate in Educational Achievement (Level 2) in mathematics, English, and physics or general science, OR equivalent qualifications.

As part of the selection procedure you will be required to undertake an interview.
International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements.

IELTS test: Overall Academic IELTS 5.5 with no individual band score lower than 5.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years); TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.