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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology logo

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

This course is available


Level of Study



40 weeks

Next start date



It is a great time to join the automotive industry with the exciting developments in vehicles.

This programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop core automotive engineering skills in preparation for a career in the automotive industry.

This is a popular programme with limited places.

The automotive industry is rapidly changing. In the early 2000s commercial vehicles had between one and four electronic modules. Today 20 to 50 modules is common place.

Today the automotive industry can provide a clean, technically challenging and constantly changing career. No two days can be the same and industry needs more capable automotive technicians.

If you like variation in your work, this is the career for you.

On this programme you will learn in the workshop or a classroom three days a week and two days a week you will be in a work placement. You will need to find your own workplace placement.

Industry based learning

The automotive industry in Nelson and Marlborough continues to be strong with industry predictions that it will remain so in the immediate future. This is supported by findings in the Tertiary Education Regional Statement, which reports widespread skill and labour shortages in the Nelson / Marlborough region. The report goes on to note that while there is sufficient capacity to meet training needs, demand for qualified trades workers remains high because the industry is competing with off-shore opportunities, particularly Australia, which offers higher salaries for graduates. This has created a constant demand for labour and skills training.

NMIT’s relationship with the Motor Trade Association (MTA), the Regional Motor Trade Cluster Group and the Automotive Advisory Group means that we are able to closely monitor industry trends.

Career opportunities & pathways

After successful completion of the course, you can pathway into an apprenticeship in the following specialist fields:

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Automotive Heavy Engineering
  • Road Transport –agricultural-plant and equipment
  • Automotive Electrical Engineering
  • Automotive Machining
  • Motorcycle Engineering
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Servicing
  • Power Boat Servicing
  • Brake Service Engineering
  • Automotive Air Conditioning

Graduates of the programme who chose not to enter into apprenticeship agreements are skilled enough to enter the workforce as trainee automotive engineering employees.

Entry criteria

Students are required to complete international qualifications equivalent to New Zealand NCEA Level 1 qualification. Entry requirements vary from country to country.


Be able to demonstrate suitable knowledge and skills.

If you are aged 20 years or above and do not meet the academic entry requirements you may be granted entry where you can supply evidence to satisfy the relevant Academic Committee of your ability to succeed on the programme.

English language requirements:

  • General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • 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) - PTE (Academic) score of 36 with no band score lower than 36

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