New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry) (Level 3)

Get the foundational skills and knowledge of worksite safety and tools, providing you with a head-start for a future apprenticeship. Enjoy hands-on training in our workshops and building projects in a supportive environment without the pressure of a real-world worksite.

About the programme

Carpentry involves the construction and maintenance of buildings, and there is high demand for qualified carpenters. 

This programme will give you the work-ready skills to enter the construction trades as an apprentice carpenter working under supervision.

With additional training and/or experience, you could become a carpenter, junior and senior foreperson, or be self-employed. 

During your studies you will enjoy hands-on training in our workshops and the chance to be involved in real-world, community-based building projects  which will lead to you gaining knowledge about health and safety, trade calculations and hand tools.

During this programme you will also have the opportunity to work on our charity house project. 

Are you a Māori or Pasifika person aged 16-40? 

We also offer a free version of this programme called He Toki. 

He Toki supports whānau to gain skills and qualifications, connect with iwi and explore industry opportunities, with the goal of securing wealth-enriching futures for Māori and Pasifika. 

With He Toki, you'll be supported to gain a New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) in Carpentry via a unique and empowering learning experience that has te reo, tikaka and mentorship at the heart of everything.

Find out more and apply here


This programme has a credit range of 60-120.

Course Description Credits
Trade Skills 1 Develop preliminary skills and knowledge for working in the construction industry. 15
Trade Skills 2 Enhance your trade skills knowledge and gain practical experience on a construction site or in a construction-related industry. 30
Foundations Learn how to set out and prepare to construct foundation structures (up to and including floor level) using specified materials. 15
Structures Gain an understanding of how to construct walls and roofs using specified materials. 30
Exterior Claddings Develop an understanding of how to install external cladding and roofing to a structure using specified materials. 15
Interior Lining Learn how to install interior linings, trim, fixtures and fittings using specified materials while working with others in a safe working environment.  15

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


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.