Technical or Vocational Courses in New Zealand are
the most popular choice to study after kiwis finish their high school studies. The reasons are
basically three : the first one is that the vast majority of jobs offered in New Zealand are
for this education level and much less options are for academic careers done in a
university. Local councils and unions demand certificates of completion of these technical courses for
a person pursuing a trade career. A plumber, electrician,
carpenter, mechanic, technical appliances and many other professional
qualifications simply will not be
allowed to work in case they do not have a certificate or a diploma studied plus
a license. Without a certificate of completion of a technical course it's not
possible to get a licence. Even to make food in a commercial establishment, the chef will have to make a "Hygiene & Food Handling Course" and
may have to study few years to qualify as a chef. The second point is that with
the exception of doctors, dentists and lawyers who are highly paid, the wages
from vocational technical work are also very well paid. The third reason is that there is no social status associated with the professions in New
Zealand, all work is considered equal. In addition to that, technical courses have
a short duration comparing with a university degree and cost much less. In most cases
it would be the last formal study an average kiwi worker
Vocational Courses in New Zealand
offer professional and practical training. They are delivered in
2 types of institutions: Polytechnics (which are subsidized by the government
around 24 in the country) and private institutions in various cities in New Zealand.
Some of the technical courses have a sort of reserve market, such as electricians and
plumbers and may not be offered to international students. But there are some
professionals in such demand by employers that New Zealand was forced to open these courses for foreigners to supply the market. Among them we
can highlight: nurses, chefs and professionals in hospitality and Tourism. Each semester, the list
of professionals in demand done by the immigration is published in their
website and may be modified to include new professionals in various industries.
A Polytechnic School or a
school in NZ( Institutes of Technology) can deliver several types of
courses in a graduate level established by the NZQA (New Zealand Qualification
Authority). To study in a course there, the student must be over 16 years and for
international students they should have enough English equivalent to an IELTS
test result of 5.5 or in some cases 6.0.
Courses are divided into
Technical Certificate, Diploma and Degree, and
NZQA classifies the levels of all the courses from levels 1 to 10, being 1 the easiest and 10 the most complex or the equivalent of a
University Doctor degree. The Polytechnic only delivers courses up to level 7, with one or two courses per year, starting
generally in February and July. If the student wants to continue studying to get
a degree in a university. just simply continue the course at the university level without the need for extra
tests and receiving credits for the studies already done. The entrance is direct and guaranteed.
Note: Certificates in
NZ are levels 1 to 4, Diplomas are levels 5 and 6, Bachelors degree,
Graduate Diplomas and Certificates are level 7. See
more NZ education system .
are the first stage of a course when the student does not know anything about it and
successfully finishing will be eligible to perform a particular occupation or activity.
It may last between a couple of days to 3 months depending on the type of course. Certificate
one (I) to Certificate IV (four). Normally when a student makes an
certificate IV, the certificate one, two and three are within the course, but sometimes depending on the course is not so.
Most of technical courses just required to have done the secondary level
to be accepted, but it's better check out if it will need
any other requirements.
Diplomas are extensions of the certificates and
may last 1 year on average. This would be the equivalent
of a partial year in a university degree, and probably the student may enter after the
diploma directly in the second year. The Courses done at the Diploma level may also
facilitate to obtain jobs.
All Vocational Courses which the institutions are registered and recognized by the New Zealand government
get the qualifications recognized in the country and are also recognized in Australia and some
times in many other countries in the world.
Tips and advantages to study
a vocational course:
Vocational courses may facilitate to find work and get residence permit in NZ:
this is one of the ways to
facilitate to get a job in NZ so you will be allowed to work and
live in New Zealand. Diploma studies done in NZ will provide the qualification
to get a job and usually takes a year. You can then get a work visa open, which is called Search Work Visa,
a visa for job search, and this visa you can work for up to one year, without restriction of hours. If during this period
you find employment in the area which you are qualified, you can make a request for up to two years (according to the latest immigration laws).
The Technical courses offer points for residence in NZ too.