HomeProgrammesEngineeringNew Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4) - Managed Apprenticeships

New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4) - Managed Apprenticeships

Level 4

The UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4) - Managed Apprenticeships is designed for people working in the welding and fabrication industry.

A student in protective gear in an engineering workshop
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 4 years part-time (up to 36 weeks per year).
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

12 Feb 2024 – 15 Nov 2024
05 Aug 2024 – 09 May 2025

Domestic Fees: *
Y1: $1,822.05 Y2: $1,818.00 Y3: $1,956.36 Y4: $1,956.36

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

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.

This programme is designed for trainees/apprentices employed in the Heavy Fabrication and Light Fabrication discipline of Engineering. We welcome your enquiry.

Study while you earn, and complete an apprenticeship in fabrication with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade).

 Course Hours & Duration

Part-time for 4 years (up to 36 weeks per year).

With this flexible apprentice programme you are able to enjoy the best of both worlds with equal study and work opportunities as you progress toward your graduation. With flexible classes, including day release, night classes, block courses and online learning available, this programme makes it easier than ever to balance study and work. 

Our lecturers and your employer will work together and manage your apprenticeship so you have everything needed to succeed.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at certificate or diploma level in the field of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Civil Engineering.

Career pathway

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Work safely and meet responsibilities in a commercial engineering fabrication environment
  • Interpret drawings and/or specifications, and select and use the appropriate fabrication materials, processes, tools, and equipment for the fabrication task being undertaken
  • Perform engineering  fabrication tasks to industry standards
  • Safely weld to an appropriate industry standard in a commercial engineering fabrication environment
  • Apply an understanding  of effective and efficient processes and principles, and quality systems to the fabrication of components, and/or provision of services in a commercial engineering fabrication environment
  • Communicate well
  • Recognise the limits of own ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency in the engineering fabrication field

Job opportunities include working independently as an engineering fabrication tradesperson within the fabrication or construction industries. Specific roles may include:

  • Heavy fabrication - Process plant fabricator, fabricator for pressure equipment, heavy transport equipment, or machinery, etc
  • Light fabrication - Sheet metal worker, process plant fabricator
  • Steel construction strand -  Structural steelworker for buildings, bridges and cranes, etc.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries Engineering Technicians and Engineering Professionals, see careers.govt.nz

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL Te Pūkenga is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

This programme consists of 270 credits. 

Year One

Engineering Principles 1 (10 Credits)
Introductory level engineering principles.

Applied Engineering Principles 1 (10 Credits)
Learn to demonstrate introductory-level engineering principles in an applied setting. 

Welding and Fabrication 1 (10 Credits)
Gain operational knowledge to perform fitting and welding fabrication tasks.

Fabrication Processes 1A (10 Credits)
Learn to use a variety of introductory-level forming and shaping techniques, including measuring and marking out.

Fabrication Processes 1B (10 Credits)
Learn to perform introductory-level fabrication processes using tools, equipment and maintenance tasks.

Strand Based Project and/or Task 1 (15 Credits) 
Learn to carry out introductory welding and fabrication operations in the workplace under limited supervision. 

Year Two

Welding and Fabrication Health and Safety (10 Credits) 
Gain knowledge of critical risk situations in the workplace and be able to undertake them in a safe manner.

Fabrication Principles 2A (15 Credits)
Learn to solve familiar calculation problems and produce fabrication drawings and patterns.

Fabrication Processes 2 (15 Credits)
Learn to perform a range of fabrication principles and processes. 

Welding and Thermal Cutting 2 (10 Credits)
Learn to perform welding and thermal cutting skills with an emphasis on distortion control and quality assurance principles and their application in the industry. 

Strand Based Project and/or Task 2 (15 Credits) 
Learn to perform intermediate welding and fabrication tasks in the workplace under minimal supervision.

Year Three

Fabrication Principles 3 (20 Credits)
Learn to interpret and identify problems and construct complex fabrication drawings and patterns for the fabrication industry. 

Fabrication Processes 3 (20 Credits)
Learn to demonstrate knowledge and skills of fabrication principles and processes including complex forming and shaping tasks.

Strand Based Project and/or Task 3 (15 Credits) (100 practicum hours)
Learn to select and apply proficient operational processes and principles to complete strand-based tasks.

Plus one of the following compulsory courses:

Strand Based Positional Welding (15 Credits)
Learn to demonstrate a broad operational knowledge of positional welding with an emphasis on distortion control and quality assurance engineering standards associated with welding and fabrication relevant to the chosen certificate strand. 

Heavy Fabrication Project (15 Credits) 
Learn to work independently to complete heavy fabrication tasks to the required industry standard.

Light Fabrication Project (15 Credits) 
Learn to work independently to complete light fabrication tasks to the required industry standard.

Year Four

Fabrication Principles 4A (25 Credits) 
Learn to apply a broad range of different methods to solve familiar and unfamiliar engineering problems, including pattern identification and proofing.

Welding Fabrication Principles 4B (15 Credits)
Learn to demonstrate an understanding of effective and efficient manufacturing principles and processes in the industry with an emphasis on sustainability.

Plus one of the following compulsory courses:

Strand-Based Positional Welding (see above)

Heavy Fabrication Project (see above)

Light Fabrication Project (see above)

Plus one of the following elective courses:

Strand-Based Project and/or Task 4 (15 Credits) 
Learn to plan and manage independent chosen strand-based task to an acceptable industry standard complying with all health and safety requirements.

Pressure Vessels and Pipework Project (15 Credits)
Learn to independently fabricate and weld pressure vessels and pipework proficiently in accordance with the appropriate industry standards and guidelines.

Engineering Fabrication Technology (15 Credits)
Learn to gain proficient operational and theoretical knowledge of modern technological equipment in the welding and fabrication industry.

Fabrication Finishing Techniques Project (15 Credits) 
Learn to gain proficient operational and theoretical knowledge of processes, principles and codes/standards of practice in finishing in the welding and fabrication industry.

Site Installation (15 Credits) 
Gain operational and theoretical knowledge of planning and conducting site installations including, rigging and the use of mobile and fixed platforms.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2

Equivalent academic achievement

On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS or equivalent, including TOEFL. Contact the info centre for more details.


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

This programme of study is not open to international learners.

 Advice & Guidance

Work experience
To successfully complete this programme of study, you must be employed in the welding and fabrication industry at time of study. Candidates must enter into a 3-way training agreement between the candidate, employer and UCOL. You'll complete the practical learning in your place of employment, or at a site agreed to by yourself and your employer. You'll be visited on a regular basis by engineering lecturers from UCOL. 

Special needs or requirements
Learners need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial engineering environment. Learners will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

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 learner 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 Te Pūkenga 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).

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:

  • National Certificate in Engineering - Fabrication


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.