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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Southern Institute of Technology
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New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) (Light)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Southern Institute of Technology


If you want to get into the Automotive Industry as a Mechanic, then the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) Light is for you.

This pre-apprenticeship qualification will prepare you for the industry and teach you all the automotive engineering fundamentals that you will need to know. Hands-on practical workshops and work experience placements are an essential part of this course.

You will learn how to:

  • Follow workplace policies, procedures and relevant regulations to work safely and effectively in an automotive workshop
  • Use tools and equipment to complete basic workshop engineering tasks
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service engine, and driveline systems
  • Check operation of, and perform minor repairs on, electrical and electronic systems
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service steering, suspension and brake systems.

Career Opportunities

This qualification provides the automotive industry with individuals who can service general automotive systems, and is designed for people who are beginning a career in the industry. Graduates of this programme will be able to work under limited supervision.

SIT has some of the best automotive facilities in the country and great relationships with local employers. This course has been endorsed by the MITO and the Automotive Advisory Committee (Invercargill) which represents the local industry.

Why complete a pre-trade course?

When you complete a pre-trade course you receive an industry recognised qualification that can set you on your way to an apprenticeship in your chosen field.

Satisfactory Completion

The student will normally be expected to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) full time over 34 tutorial weeks.

To satisfactorily complete the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3), and be awarded this qualification the student must successfully:

  • Achieve all the graduate outcomes in the graduate profile showing competence to a minimum of 120 credits in accordance with the programme schedule for the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3).
  • Complete required practical and theoretical course work and assignments.
  • Complete a minimum of 136 hours of approved work experience

Entry criteria

School Leavers:

  • Four years’ minimum secondary education
  • Attained NCEA Level 2 or equivalent
  • Desire to work in the automotive industry
  • Recommended as a co-requisite: Class 1 full drivers licence

Applicants over 20 years:

Applicants over the age of 20 years at time of enrolment will be considered where they can demonstrate the ability to succeed in a programme. Examples of demonstration of ability to succeed are the provision of evidence of successful completion of a programme of study at Level 3 or above, in a related discipline and/or employment in the related sector for one or more years.

English Language requirements:

  • IELTS test - General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • 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 Examination - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill.
  • OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
  • NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current: a) Level 3 (General) or (Workplace) b) Level 3 (General)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 36 with no band score lower than 36
  • Language Cert - B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than PASS in each skill

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