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New Zealand Certificate in Joinery (Trade)

New Zealand Certificate in Joinery (Trade)

Level 4

The New Zealand Certificate in Joinery is a joined managed apprenticeship that will provide you with a nationally recognised qualification as well as the practical skills and experience to work as a professional joiner.

A photograph of a UCOL student working on timber with the lecturer by his side
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 3 - 4 years, full-time

14 Feb 2022 - 18 Nov 2022
25 Jul 2022 - 29 Apr 2023

Domestic Fees: *
Eligible for fees-free until 31 Dec 2022Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Not applicable

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

To successfully complete this programme of study, candidates must be employed in the joinery industry at the time of study and must be supervised by someone willing to support their training. We welcome your enquiry.

UCOL’s New Zealand’s Certificate in Joinery with strands in Cabinetry, Timber Doors and Windows, Timber Stairs and Laminate Fabrication recognises people who have demonstrated competence in the skills and knowledge required to work in one of the specialist joinery areas of cabinetry, timber door and window, or stairs and laminate fabrication. 


This programme is eligible for fees-free study under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund.

You don’t need to apply to access the fund - just enrol in an eligible programme, and the TTAF process will take care of the fees until 31 December 2022.

Please contact the info centre for more details.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Joinery will be able to work unsupervised as joiners in specialist or generalist joinery companies working with timber.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Carpenters & joinersConstruction Workers and Quantity Surveyors.

 Course Information

This programme 158-188 credits depending on the strand(s) selected. The availability of a particular strand is subject to an appropriate number of students enrolling in that strand.

Compulsory courses for all strands (includes 215 practical learning hours)

  • Working safely
  • Applying codes of practice and industry standards to the production of glass, joinery, or joinery related items
  • Customer service
  • Team work
  • Remedying defects in joinery items
  • Using adhesives and sealants
  • Manufacturing glulam components
  • Demonstrating knowledge of materials and methods used with glass, joinery, or joinery related items
  • Using tools and equipment
  • Ordering, receiving, handling and storing joinery materials
  • Measuring and calculating materials
  • Interpreting specifications and plans to create sketches for glass, joinery, or joinery related items
  • Compressed air systems
  • Setting up, operating and maintaining sanding machines, planing machines, fixed and moveable saws, and shaping machines
  • Learn about joinery operations and how to plan a workshop layout
  • Calculating and ordering materials and selecting work methods to produce glss, joinery, or joinery related items.

Cabinetry strand (includes 150 practical learning hours)

  • Setting up, operating and maintaining specialist machinery used for the production of joinery cabinetry items
  • Manufacturing and assembling joinery cabinetry items for use in residential and commercial buildings
  • Manufacturing special fitments to produce complex joinery items.

Timber doors and windows strand (includes 155 practical learning hours)

  • Setting up, operating and maintaining specialist machinery used for the production of timber doors and windows
  • Manufacturing doors and windows
  • Installing hardware on doors and windows

Timber stairs strand (includes 100 practical learning hours)

  • Manufacturing timber stairs for use in residential and commercial buildings
  • Manufacturing timber geometric stairs for residential and commercial buildings

Laminate fabrication strand (includes 100 practical learning hours)

  • Setting up, operating and maintaining specialist machines used for the production of high-pressure laminate benchtops
  • Manufacturing high-pressure laminate benchtops for use in residential and commercial buildings

Cabinetry installation optional strand (includes 25 practical learning hours)

  • Installation of joinery cabinetry in residential and commercial buildings

Computer numerical controlled (CNC) machinery optional strand (includes 30 practical learning hours)

  • Learn to operate CNC machines to produce glass, joinery or joinery related items
  • Setting and operating CNC machinery used to produce joinery items

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

UCOL staff and students are well connected to our stakeholders. We will prepare you for the work place and help manage your apprenticeship.

 Learning Facilities

The Regional Trades and Technology Centre is a state-of-the-art ten million dollar facility, with the latest industry fit equipment and teaching technology, complete with an indoor space large enough to build a 3 bedroom house

 Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme is designed for trainees/apprentices employed in the joinery industry.

It is recommended students hold either the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (Level 2) or the National Certificate in Employment Skills, or are able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

 Advice & Guidance

Work experience

Students need to be in full-time employment to be assessed against practical unit standards.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Joinery:

  • Steel capped boots as per worksite requirements $100-$150
  • Scientific calculator $30
  • Drawing equipment - set squares (45 and 60 degree), pencils (H and 2H), soft eraser, compass, and scale rule (1:5, 1:10, 1:20, etc). $30

Students are responsible for finding and funding their own accommodation and travel to attend block courses.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.