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Study Plumbing at Unitec

New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying

Looking to start a career in Plumbing, Gasfitting or Drainlaying? Learn the skills required to qualify for an apprenticeship and be able to choose which specialisation is right for you.

75 (0.6 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
January, or July
20 weeks full-time (3 days a week)

Programme overview

If you want to make a start in plumbing, gasfitting and/or drainlaying and don’t have an apprenticeship agreement, this certificate will set you on your way. Gain a broad knowledge of plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying in this pre-trade qualification before choosing the area in which you'd like to specialise.

This programme will cover such areas as water supply systems, building envelopes, drainlaying, plumbing maintenance, safe working procedures. Upon successful completion, you will be capable of assisting with installation, repair and maintenance of plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work under supervision, and you'll be ready to enter into an apprenticeship that will lead to a New Zealand Level 4 trade qualification in one or more of these areas.


  • Ideal start in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industries and ideal if you do not have an apprenticeship agreement
  • Gives you a solid understanding of all areas to better inform your choice of specialisation
  • Be able to assist licenced Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers safely and effectively
  • Work in Unitec's brand new trade skills building, Mataaho - a fantastic new purpose built facility for all trades

Qualification pathway

This programme does not enable graduates to practice as qualified plumbers, gasfitters or drainlayers, but is the ideal foundation to prepare for an apprenticeship and to become fully qualified with further study in the apprenticeship programmes below. Unit standard credits gained in this qualification can contribute towards these apprenticeship qualifications:

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. Be 16 years old by the time the programme starts

2. 20 credits at NCEA Level 1, 10 credits in literacy (English) and 10 credits in numeracy, or equivalent skills and knowledge

3. If English is not your first language, you will 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 these requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or 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
Water Supply Systems (CIBC3101) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to acquire foundation knowledge and practical skills to assist with the installation of hot and cold water plumbing installations and prepares work-ready capabilities.
Building Envelope (CIBC3102) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to acquire the general practical and theoretical knowledge of the principles related to weather tightness in plumbing and gasfitting and further develops work-readiness capabilities.
Drainlaying (CIBC3121) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to acquire the basic knowledge and practical skills to assist with drainage system installation and further develops work-readiness capabilities.
Plumbing Maintenance and Foul Water (CIBC3151) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to acquire the foundation knowledge and practical skills to assist with the installation of foul water plumbing systems and perform basic plumbing maintenance, under supervision, and further develops work-ready capabilities.
Introduction to Gasfitting (CIBC3181) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to acquire the foundation knowledge and skills of: flueing and ventilation; consumer gas pipework; gas appliances and their applications and; adds capabilities in work-readiness.