Construction Trade Skills - Carpentry

  • Level 3
  • 38 weeks - full-time
  • Fees apply

Programme overview:

Are you an outdoors, hands-on person? Would you like a career in a growing industry?

The carpentry industry offers a lifetime career working locally or overseas. Learn the basic skills and knowledge to begin a new career in building and construction.

This entry-level programme will prepare you for an apprenticeship or entry into the construction field.

When you pass this programme, you'll get this qualification:

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

You'll learn about:

  • applying Safe Work practices on-site
  • constructing sub flooring
  • erecting wall and roof framing
  • installing exterior cladding
  • installing interior lining and finishing

You'll be able to:

  • work safely and in accordance with compliance and regulatory requirements, in the construction trades sector
  • communicate effectively with colleagues and customers, within the construction industry
  • read and use specifications and drawings to complete introductory construction projects
  • perform introductory applied calculations to complete a range of familiar tasks, in the construction sector
  • apply specific carpentry terminology and concepts, when carrying out carpentry work in a project environment
  • apply knowledge of current building technology, materials, fixings, and hardware when carrying out carpentry projects
  • use current construction and installation processes and techniques, while carrying out carpentry projects
  • carry out assigned carpentry work in a project environment


The purpose of this qualification is to provide the wider construction trades sector with work-ready people able to enter the construction trades as a labourer or an apprentice who have developed essential transferable skills and underpinning knowledge applicable to a wide range of construction-related trades.

This qualification is suitable for people new to, or intending to enter, the construction trades sector. Graduates will be able to work in the construction trades sector with limited supervision having gained skills and knowledge in health and safety, trade mathematics, hand tools and project work related to different aspects of the construction industry.

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You'll be ready to enter an apprenticeship scheme with another training provider. The industry qualification takes 3-4 years to complete.

I want to use my qualification

There are opportunities for graduates to seek labouring roles or an apprenticeship in carpentry or similar trades in the building industry with construction companies and contractors.

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 120 credits, delivered over 38 weeks. Throughout the programme you will be required to:

  • 4 x 5.5 hours (approx) classes per week
  • 1 x noho (25 hours)

You'll also need to complete in your own time set activities for approximately:

  • 10 hours per week


Some learning activities will need to be completed online. You'll need to have access to an internet-connected device for this programme.

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand

Fee detail:

The 2024 fees for this programme are:

  • $5,768 GST Inclusive.

*Apply for a scholarship - Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT)

MPTT aims to increase the number of Māori and Pasifika learners accessing pre-employment or vocational training. As part of this initiative, Māori and Pasifika applicants can apply for scholarships that will pay for their study fees.

Who is eligible?

Māori and Pasifika learners aged between 16-40 years.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Workplace Safety Frameworks and Practices | 20 Credits

Identify the legislative frameworks that create the framework for workplace safety requirements in the construction industry. Select and consistently apply safe working practices when undertaking work in the construction industry. Identify and apply effective communication skills when working with colleagues and customers within the construction industry.  

Skills for Construction Trades | 10 Credits

Read and use specifications and drawings to complete simple construction projects. Perform simple calculations to complete a range of familiar tasks in the construction sector. 

Carpentry Terminology and Concepts | 10 Credits

Recognise and apply fundamental carpentry concepts when carrying out carpentry work. Use correct carpentry terminology when working with building plans, working drawings and specifications. 

Building Technology and Properties | 10 Credits

Explain a range of basic building technologies used in carpentry projects. Outline the properties of building materials/products and linings and fixtures used in a variety of carpentry projects. 

Construction and Installation Processes and Techniques | 10 Credits

Identify and apply a range of construction processes and techniques when carrying out carpentry tasks. Describe and employ correct installation processes and techniques when carrying out carpentry tasks. 

Carpentry Project Preliminaries | 15 Credits

Identify and carry out appropriate preliminary work for a defined carpentry project. Investigate and comply with consenting quality and other compliance requirements for a defined carpentry projects.  

Carpentry Project Foundations and Support Structures | 15 Credits

Complete foundations work for a defined carpentry project. Complete support structure work for a defined carpentry project. 

Carpentry Project Frames, Structures and Exterior Envelope | 15 Credits

Identify and carry out appropriate frame and related structures work for a defined carpentry project. Complete exterior envelope work structures for a defined carpentry project. 

Carpentry Project Interior Linings and Finishing | 15 Credits

Complete interior lining work for a defined carpentry project. Complete interior finishing work for a defined carpentry project. 

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