New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering (Level 4)

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Fees-free is available for eligible first-time tertiary learners. Find out if you’re eligible at

Want to be a light automotive engineer?

In this programme you'll gain the knowledge and skills required to safely and effectively diagnose and repair faults that are commonly encountered on light vehicles, including cars, light commercial vehicles and light trailers.

Graduates of this qualification are able to:

  • Monitor the workplace and respond to issues as required to maintain a safe and effective workplace

  • Apply the appropriate precautionary measures when servicing and repairing high risk light automotive systems

  • Diagnose and repair common faults in light vehicle engines and driveline systems

  • Diagnose and repair common faults in light vehicle electrical and electronic systems

  • Diagnose and repair common faults in light vehicle steering, suspension and braking systems.

This qualification follows on from the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3).

About this programme

This 200 credit programme is made up of fourteen courses and is structured for delivery using two different approaches:

  • Full-time -Students may study on a full‐time basis for up to one year (120 credits). The remaining credits will be completed part‐time as a Managed Apprentice, within the following 18 months.Students who enrol full‐time will have timetabled classes in the commercial workshop to carry out training and general workshop repairs as well as complete any assessments.

  • Managed Apprentices -Students may study part‐time as a Managed Apprentice for up to three years.Students who enrol as ‘Managed Apprentices’ learn on the job as they are already employed in an automotive repair workshop. Managed apprentices will be supported in their workplace through supervised on‐the‐job training from employers, supervisors or qualified co‐workers, as well as regular workplace visits from Managed Apprentice Coordinators. They will also be supported off‐site with additional teacher‐directed learning which will augment the workplace learning and focus predominantly on students acquiring underpinning knowledge to integrate with their practical workplace learning experiences.

Entry Requirements

To gain admission to the New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering (Level 4) applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have successfully completed New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) or have equivalent knowledge and skills

  • Be physically able to complete the programme specific outcomes

  • Have a level of English sufficient to be able to study at this level.

Managed Apprenticeship applicants must be employed in an automotive workplace which is operating at a commercially acceptable industry standard and will require the apprentice, employer and provider to enter into a training agreement.
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.0; or an accepted international equivalence.

It is recommended applicants:

  • Have a current workplace first aid certificate before enrolment

  • Achieve a Class 1 licence before programme completion.

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

From 1 January 2023, all NorthTec learners will be part of Te Pūkenga. Please note that these programmes of study are currently under review as part of the reform of vocational education training and may be subject to change.

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Full time


1 year full-time then completed part‐time as a Managed Apprentice

Start Dates

Whangarei: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

2022 Fees: $6,549.48 (non-managed apprentices)

Student levy may apply

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme
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