New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4)


Dunedin and in your workplace

Four years while in an apprenticeship

You will be expected to attend a weekly night class, additional two-week block courses over three years, and to undertake some self-directed study in conjunction with your apprenticeship

February and July
Now - contact
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 July 2021

Gain the skills and knowledge to work independently as a commercially competent electrician. 

This programme is studied in conjunction with an apprenticeship so is ideal for candidates who are training in the workplace and want to earn while they learn.  

It includes the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) electrical theory and regulations exams which is required for registration as an electrician. Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be able to apply to the EWRB for registration. 

Once registered and licenced, you will be able to supervise other electrical workers up to and including your licence class. Roles may include an Electricity Supply Electrician, Domestic/Commercial Electrician, Industrial Electrician or Appliance Service person.  

This Level 4 qualification also provides a pathway into the Electrical strand of our New Zealand Diploma in Engineering if you wish to advance your training and expand your employment options. Further study could lead to employment in management roles and in electrical engineering.  

By studying this programme at Otago Polytechnic in conjunction with your apprenticeship, you will gain access to our cutting-edge workshop and training facilities. In addition, you will be trained by lecturers who are Registered Electricians with significant industry experience as well as on-the-job learning.  

Application process

As this programme is heavily based in industry and you must be employed at the time of your study. You must enter a three-way training agreement between yourself, your employer and Otago Polytechnic.

Entry requirements 
Those under 20
  • NCEA Level 2 in Maths, English, and Physics or General Science, or New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3), or equivalent.
  • Special entry: In exceptional circumstances, an applicant under the age of 20 who does not meet the academic entry requirements may be granted entry to the programme where they supply evidence of their ability to succeed on the programme.
Those 20 and over
  • No academic entry requirements.  

Alternative requirements

Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.  

Additional requirements 

To successfully complete this programme, you must be employed in the electrical industry at the time of study. You must enter a three-way training agreement between yourself, your employer and Otago Polytechnic. 

English Language requirements

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Want your existing skills recognised?

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification in the course of your life. Visit

Your workload 

You will be expected to attend a weekly, three-hour hour night class during term time. There will also be an additional two-week block courses per year during your apprenticeship.

Additional self-directed study hours (of up to nine hours per week) may be required to complete this qualification.  

Further study options 

To expand your knowledge and career options, undertake our New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical)

Paying for your study

The Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) is currently running but will end in December 2022. That means only study undertaken in 2022 will be covered. However, you may be eligible for further tuition fee cover under the Fees Free scheme (see below). 

Whilst this programme is free for you to study, the TTAF fund only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. It does not cover any additional costs or living costs. You can pay for additional and living costs by yourself if that is possible or by applying for a loan or allowance through Studylink (which is only available for domestic learners).      

It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website 

Fees Free

The Government is also running a funding scheme called Fees Free for domestic learners. This scheme normally pays for your first year of study if you’ve never been enrolled in tertiary study over 60 credits at Level 3 or higher in New Zealand. They have confirmed that TTAF does not impact on a learner’s entitlement to also access the Fees Free scheme. 

So, you’ll be covered by TTAF for your 2022 study year and, if you would have originally been eligible for Fees Free, you’ll be able to access that for further tuition fee cover. 

You can check your Fees Free eligibility here > 

Fees Free only covers your tuition fees. You would still need to pay for things like accommodation, living costs and placement transport costs.  

Again, you can pay for these costs by yourself if possible or by applying for a loan or allowance through Studylink (only available for domestic learners). 

If you have any questions about student loans and allowances, please email our Studylink Advisor: 

For more information 

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.