Explore your options

Mechanics, automotive engineers and auto electricians are needed all over the country to service an industry that is growing all the time. Study automotive enginnering and you’ll learn all about anti-lock braking systems, fuzzy logic, automatic transmissions, engine parameters, safety systems, climate control and in-car entertainment.

Automotive training means lots of time in the workshops and labs. You’ll pull apart engines, find faults and see how it all works. You’ll learn how to install automotive accessories, service engines, repair steering and suspension, and diagnose electronic problems.

There may also be work experience in a local automotive company. It’s a great chance to see how an automotive diagnostics and repair centre works. Sometimes it leads to a job offer or an apprenticeship.

And if you’re already working in the industry, we offer a range of automotive engineering short courses for you to upskill or get qualified. 

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
PROGRAMMELEVELDURATIONCAREER OPTIONS
Certificate in Automotive and Mechanical Engineering3Full-time for one yearApprentice mechanic, Apprentice mechanical engineer
Certificate in Applied Technology (Automotive Engineering)4Full-time for one year or part-time (day) options availableApprentice mechanic
Certificate in Applied Technology (Autotronics)4Full-time for one year or part-time (day) options availableApprentice auto electrician
National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Electrical Engineering)4Part-time, ongoingAutomotive electrical engineer
National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Engineering)4Part-time, ongoingAutomotive engineer, Automotive technician, Heavy equipment technician, Powerboat engineer, Small engine technician
Bachelor of Applied Technology - Automotive Engineering7Full-time for three years or part-time (day) options availableCar design and building, Vehicle sales and service

Short courses

Start with a short course that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
Short coursesDURATION 
Vehicle Emissions Testing1 dayThis short course has been developed in consultation with industry to ensure that emission testing technicians have the ability to apply vehicle emission testing methods on a range of vehicles,...
Vehicle Wheel Alignment1 dayThis short course has been developed in consultation with industry to ensure that wheel alignment technicians have the ability to interpret and apply principles of vehicle steering and suspension, and...
Introduction to the Application of Oscilloscopes in Vehicle Electrical & Electronics DiagnosisThis short course is designed to give automotive electricians an overview of basic and advanced techniques of using a digital oscilloscope for vehicle diagnosis.
Introduction to Multiplexing and CAN bus SystemsThis course is designed to give automotive electricians a range of general principles of design, operation and testing techniques for the new CAN Bus systems.
Vehicle Inspectors Preparatory Course4 days - 11 daysThis short course is designed for people in the automotive industry who want to carry out vehicle inspections.
Basic Car Maintenance2 months, 16 days - 2 months, 25 daysThis short course is designed to give you the skills and knowledge that will enable you to carry out minor maintenance and repairs to your own vehicles.
Automotive Air Conditioning (Installation and Servicing)2 daysThis short course is designed to cover the installation and servicing of air conditioning systems.

Industry connections

Unitec has been teaching automotive engineering courses for over 30 years. As a student you can become members of the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME). And once you’ve graduated, you can apply to become an Associate Member of the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia.

Apprenticeships

How do I get into an apprenticeship?
To become a qualified automotive engineer or automotive electrical engineer, you need to undertake an apprenticeship and complete the theory and practical work experience required by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA). It usually takes two to four years to complete all unit standards and apply for the relevant motor industry qualification.

How can Unitec prepare me?
Most employers prefer apprentices who have done some training before they start, and the Certificate in Applied Technology (Automotive Engineering or Autotronics) is ideal preparation. It will give you the skills to start working for an employer while you complete the on-the-job training and study towards your apprenticeship.

Can I get cross-credits towards my apprenticeship?
Yes, once you’ve completed the Certificate in Applied Technology (Automotive Engineering or Autotronics), you can apply for cross-credits for a selection of NZQA unit standards. This reduces the time it takes to complete your apprenticeship.

What if I already work in the industry?
If you're already doing an apprenticeship, you can study either National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Electrical Engineering) or the National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Engineering) part-time at Unitec to complete the theory part of your qualification.