New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

You’ll get plenty of hands-on practice during this practical automotive course. Starting with the basics, you’ll develop a full range of skills to service and repair all makes and models.

We’ll show you how to disassemble, measure and reassemble an engine. You’ll also service engine transmission and driveline systems, and brake, steering and suspension systems.

From there you’ll learn how to check and perform minor repairs on electrical systems, electronic control systems, and learn about high voltage safety and climate control systems.

You’ll also learn how to weld and carry out valuable engineering tasks.

There’s plenty of project-based training, supported by highly skilled and qualified tutors who know how to create confident, capable automotive engineers.

If you’re interested in the managed apprenticeship option, you’ll benefit from our full support for both you and your employer while you train at level 3, through to level 4, and on to being fully qualified. You’ll come out with well-developed diagnosis and repair skills as well as customer service and workshop management skills.

Content Details

You'll cover all the fundamental principles of automotive engineering, with integrated and project based training supported by highly skilled and qualified teachers.

  • Automotive Workshop Safety
  • Basic Workshop Engineering
  • Engines
  • Engine Systems
  • Driveline Systems
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Starting and Charging Systems
  • Electronic Controls
  • High Voltage Systems
  • HVAC
  • Brake Systems
  • Steering and Suspension Systems


Planned intakes*: February, July
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Rotorua (Mokoia Campus), Rotorua (Waipa Campus), Taupo, Tauranga (Windermere Campus), Tokoroa, Whakatane
Duration: One year

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

Full-time students: You will attend class 3 days a week; either Monday-Wednesday 8.00am-4.00pm, or Tuesday-Thursday 8.00am-4.00pm

Managed apprenticeship students: You’ll attend campus for night classes and tailored day release as your work dictates while working in your job

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $6,676.00

2018 domestic students in managed apprenticeships - please enquire

2018 international students $19,948.00

Course related costs: Approx. $1000 for safety footwear, apparel and google chromebook

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be prepared for employment in the light, heavy, auto electrical, marine, motorcycle, outdoor power and reconditioning sectors.

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering, strand in Road Transport (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering (Level 4)

Entry Criteria

To gain entry into this programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 10 unit / achievement standard credits at NCEA level 1 in literacy
  • At least 10 unit / achievement standard credits at NCEA level 1 in numeracy (algebra, measurement recommended)

R Licence preferred, however a Learners Licence is acceptable and in circumstances where all other criteria are met no licence yet will be considered. Candidates advised to complete licence during the programme.

Students who do not satisfy the standard academic entry requirements of a programme will be considered for special admission if, in the opinion of the Programme Coordinator, they are capable of achieving the programme outcomes.

You may be required to attend an interview. This is your opportunity to find out more details about the programme as well as allowing us to assess your suitability for the programme.


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 3 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic, or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.