New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) (Level 3)

This programme is the equivalent to the first year of a hairdressing apprenticeship. You’ll learn a wide range of techniques from experienced hairdressers in a real salon setting. This programme is ideal for those wanting to learn foundational skills in a low-pressure environment and gain confidence.

About the programme

Hairdressing is an exciting and creative career that allows you to express yourself!

Hairdressing skills are highly transferable and always needed, so you can get a job anywhere in the world.

Our passionate tutors have a rapport with the industry and this connection and involvement with local businesses has resulted in students gaining employment and apprenticeships.

Our training salon is set up to represent a real-world working salon. This will enable you to gain hands-on experience with clients and to build your skills and knowledge in a supportive and realistic environment. This will be further added to during your off-site work experience.

We have regular visits from industry professionals ensuring you are up-to-date with current information about hairdressing technologies, trends and products. These visits also give an insight into the qualities and skills that potential employers are seeking.

This Certificate aligns with the NZQA framework and is equivalent to the first year of a hairdressing apprenticeship. 


  • Introduction to:
    • Salon operations 
    • Salon knowledge and skills 
    • Hair and scalp treatments 
    • Basic styling 
  • Salon systems and processes 
  • Professional salon support practice 
  • Basic hair cutting and colouring skills 
  • Wet to dry styling

Further study options 

A change for 2023 enrolments

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic in 2023, 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. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. Enrolling in programmes that start in 2023, means that 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.