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study Automotive Engineering at Unitec

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering

Are you interested in a career as an Automotive Electrical Engineer? Technology and electronics in the automotive industry are fast developing and growing, meaning skilled Automotive Electricians are highly desirable. If you're working in the industry, this programme is for you.

190 (1.58 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
Enrolments accepted and start throughout the year
Part-time for 3 to 5 years

Programme overview

If you’re working in the industry or are ready to enter into a work arrangement with an employer, you can further your understanding of automotive electrical engineering with the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering. You’ll find out more about safe and effective diagnosis and repair of electrical and electronic faults in a range of vehicles.

As a graduate of this qualification you will be able to:

  • Diagnose, repair and replace sensors, actuators, control units, associated wiring and communication networks
  • Use specialist tools and diagrams to locate, repair and replace components
  • Design, build, install, test and modify a range of electrical systems, electrical accessory systems, and communication systems


  • Learn and work in Mataaho, our purpose built trades facility. This includes multiple workshop spaces, as well as the Giltrap Volkswagen sponsored lab with the latest emulation and simulation technologies
  • Improved job prospects: This programme is nationally developed and recognised
  • We assist you with employment relationships: This means we work with your employer to recognise the work you do on site that contributes to your qualification
  • Support and mentoring for students and employers throughout your study

Qualification Pathway

The New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) is a prerequisite for this programme.

In order to complete this Level 4 programme, you must be working in an approved automotive premises. Find out more about work placement learning here.

Once you’ve successfully completed this programme, you’ll receive the Level 4 qualification: New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering. From here you will be able to work as a qualified Automotive Electrical Engineer.

How do I gain my qualification?

Do I need to be in work while I complete this qualification?

Yes. To become a qualified Automotive Engineer or Automotive Electrical Engineer, you must be an apprentice mechanic or working in approved* automotive premises in order to complete this qualification.

*How do I know if my workplace is appropriate?

Contact our Automotive Industry Liaison Duncan Wales, 0274 361 223.

How can Unitec prepare me?

Most employers prefer workers/apprentices who have done some training before they start, and the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) 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 in this Level 4 programme - New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering.

What’s next?

Once you’ve completed the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3), you can get entry into the following Level 4 qualifications: New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering and the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering.

What if I already work in the industry?

If you're already working in an appropriate workplace, you can study the New Zealand Certificates in Automotive Engineering part-time at Unitec.


If you have any questions about this programme or undertaking an apprenticeship please contact Duncan Wales, Automotive Industry Liaison, 0274 361 223.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you'll need one of the following:

1. Completed the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3); or

2. Demonstrate the equivalent skills and experience

3. If English is not your first language, you need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don't meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Be 20 years or older before the start of the programme
  • Provide sufficient evidence of aptitude, appropriate work or other life experience as approved by the Academic Leader
  • Entry by Discretionary Admission

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Effective Workplace Maintenance & Safety (ENVS4501) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply knowledge to monitor the automotive workplace to maintain a safe and effective workplace, and respond to issues as required.
Braking and Electronic Control (ENVS4516) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to acquire the skill set necessary to diagnose and repair faults in braking electronic control systems.
Starting, Charging and Batteries (ENVS4529) 20.0 credits (0.167 EFTS) To enable students to apply knowledge and skills to diagnose and repair electronic faults in starting, charging and battery systems.