Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4)



Three and a half to four years
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    1 January 2018

Carpentry apprenticeships (ITAB)

Want to become a carpenter, site supervisor, building project manager, construction firm owner or self-employed builder?

Learn from professionals and gain sought after skills with a carpentry apprenticeship pathway brought to you by Otago Polytechnic and Industry Training Association Building (ITAB). This apprenticeship option allows you to work in the construction industry as an employee under the supervision of someone who is prepared to train you. It addresses industry standards and provides learners with the full support of regional coordinators.

At the completion of your apprenticeship - which allows you to earn while you learn - you will achieve a respected and in demand qualification, the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4). This qualification is a gateway qualification to becoming a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and will be awarded to you by Otago Polytechnic.

Apprenticeship benefits

Apprentices can also gain ITAB membership which offers additional benefits like discount vouchers, awards, competitions and scholarships.

For more information on ITAB member discounts including savings on clothing and electronics and much more visit http://www.itab.co.nz/benefits/

Entry requirements
Your workload 

You will undertake three block courses in year one and year two. You will also undertake two block courses in your third year. There are no block courses during your fourth year (unless you have missed previous block courses and then the fourth year gives you a chance to attend these and catch up). 

Study pathways

You can undertake the one-year New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) (Carpentry) which will prepare you with the skills needed for industry. Completing this programme also means that you will only attend three weeks of block course training in your third year. Eight, one-week block courses are provided for apprentices who have not completed a full-time Construction Trade Skills pre-trade programme. 

Alternatively, if you can find your own construction employer who is prepared to take you on as an apprentice, you can enter directly into the apprenticeship scheme and undertake compulsory block courses and practical on-site apprenticeship assessment.

Option 1

Suitable if you're new to carpentry 

  1. Enrol and complete Otago Polytechnic's New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) (Carpentry) programme in 38 weeks (you will be required to top up your knowledge by attending some of the block courses).
  2. Sign into and beging Otago Polytechnic/ITAB apprenticeship. 
  3. Complete practical, on-site apprenticeship assessment. 
  4. QUALIFIED CARPENTER - New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).
Option 2

Suitable if you're working in construction but don't have the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) qualification

  1. Enrol and complete Otago Polytechnic/ITAB apprenticeship 
  2. Complete practical, on-site apprenticeship assessment. 
  3. Attend theory block courses over three years of apprenticeship.
  4. QUALIFIED CARPENTER - New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).  
ITAB app

The Otago Polytechnic ITAB app is a tool that can be used by carpentry apprentices to capture the notes, images, dates and locations of their on-site practical work for assessment.

Below are the links where you can download the app:


Block course scholarships

If you need to attend block courses, live outside Dunedin and require assistance with travel and accommodation, you may be entitled to assistance under the Apprenticeship Scholarship Trust. For more information on this, please visit http://www.itab.co.nz/apprenticeship-scholarship-trust/

New Zealand Carpentry Apprentice Challenge

Once a year, Otago Polytechnic holds a regional carpentry apprentice challenge. The winner of the regional competition gets to compete at the New Zealand Carpentry Apprentice Challenge, held each year at the national Certified Builders Conference.

Further study options

The apprenticeship scheme will prepare you for full-time employment in the construction industry. Alternatively, you may wish to complete a further qualification and the New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Level 6) (Construction Management), (Quantity Surveying) or Bachelor of Construction* provides the perfect study option! 

*subject to final approval

Contact us

For more information, contact:

Grant Beel
Apprentice Manager
Email grant.beel@op.ac.nz
Phone 027 436 3908
Matt Thompson
Otago Polytechnic ITAB Coordinator
Email mthompson@op.ac.nz
hone 03 470 4382 or 022 068 2460





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.

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