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Certificate in Automotive Panel & Paint

Level 3

Launch your career with UCOL’s Certificate in Automotive Panel and Paint Level 3 (pre-apprenticeship) qualification and get your career started as a panel-beater or painter in the panel-beating and crash repair industry.

An Automotive Panel & Paint student prepares a kayak for painting
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time or part-time study options

To be confirmed

Domestic Fees:*
$5,978.96Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* 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.

This automotive course covers both panel beating and car painting training and will also provide you with a Level 2 National Certificate upon completion, thereby fast forwarding your automotive apprenticeship and helping you secure a job. 

UCOL graduates are highly valued by the panelbeating and crash repair industry as we are Palmerston North’s preferred training provider.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Panel beating
  • Coach building
  • Motor trimming
  • Chassis repair
  • Fabrication and automotive refinishing
  • Realignment
  • Plastic repair
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Panelbeaters.

 Course Information

  • Workshop Administration and Personal Management
  • Panel
  • Plastic Repairs and Spot Welding
  • Vehicle Construction and Body Glass Repairs
  • Vehicle Body Work Repairs
  • Workshop Engineering
  • Workshop Safety

 Industry Connections

A wide variety of automotive industry service providers support our students with work experience and also provide employment opportunities such as:

  • Appco Auto Parts
  • Repco
  • Sulco
  • SP Tools
  • Guthrie Bowron Super Store
  • AW Holder 

 Learning Facilities

Palmerston North: Panel and Paint Spray Room, Panel and Paint Tint Room, Panel and Paint Workshop 

 Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme has open entry, however a current and appropriate driver's license is recommended.


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

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5 with no band score lower than 5. IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).  UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's Certificate in Automotive Panel and Paint comprises 120 credits.

An ability to work with one’s hands or the completion of study in related materials technology areas would be an advantage. 

It is recommended that prospective students have met the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

To successfully complete this programme, students need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway. Students must supply their own equipment as specified in the ‘Resources’ section of the courses in this curriculum and/or in the Student Handbook.

This qualification has an embedded award, the National Certificate in Motor Industry (Entry Skills) (Level 2), (Collision Repair strand).

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 or unit standards have already been met.

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.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the Certificate in Automotive Panel and Paint:
Steel cap boots $80 - $100
Cotton, long-sleeved overalls $50


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.