A guide to studying Engineering

Creative problem solver? Enjoy being practical and hands-on? Your future might just have the word Engineering in it.

There was a time when Engineering was the domain of the truly smart. Deep expertise in maths was often the common factor among aspiring engineers.

It’s not quite as closed a shop as that now, and a wide range of diplomas and degrees are available for you to study in New Zealand. And because it is a practical field, engineers develop further skills as they gain experience, and can add to their qualifications as well.

And if you are looking for a job that will take you overseas, Engineering is right up there. NZ-trainer engineers are working in great jobs just about everywhere.

17 different specialisations to study

Engineering New Zealand lists 17 different fields of engineering in which you can practise as an engineer. These range from Aerospace Engineering to Transport Engineering back at ground level, and you can be competent or even specialise in more than one field.

Check out the 17 Engineering fields

The main disciplines of engineering are civil, mechanical and electrical, and each discipline has a number of specialisations in it. You can start specialising while you’re studying, and most engineers will generally stay within that field once they begin work.

Main types of Engineering qualifications you can study

  1. Diploma qualifications

New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE)

  • An internationally recognised Level 6 diploma qualification needing 2 years full-time study through an Institute of Technology or Polytechnic.
  • Graduates are hands-on engineers, building things, managing the build process, using CAD (computer aided design) systems, making or using high tech electronic gear.

New Zealand Diploma in Engineering Practice (NZDEP)

  • The NZDEP is equivalent to the former New Zealand Certificate in Engineering and is a level 6 qualification.
  • Four year programme but generally for experienced workers in the engineering field with credit given for work undertaken or previously studied.
  1. Degree qualifications

Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEngTech)

  • Internationally recognised Level 7 degree that requires 3 years full-time study through an Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP).
  • Graduates are the ‘all-rounders’ of the engineering world, their strong practical skills plus specialist engineering knowledge meaning they can generally work right across the range of engineering roles and industries.

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) BE (Hons)

  • An international level 8 degree needing four years of full-time study at university
  • Graduates are specialist engineers who handle complex calculations, design and problem solving in their area of expertise. These are often the maths gurus.


Here’s some more you may want to know about Engineering



Find an Engineering course that might work for you