How to Become an Electrician in New Zealand

New Zealand electricians can enjoy an average salary of $34 per hour, or $67,500+ per year. With ample room for overtime pay, this is an enticing field to get into.

To become an electrician in New Zealand, you’ll need to register with the Electrical Workers Registration Board. You may register by fulfilling either the qualified pathway requirements (through an apprenticeship) or the experience pathway (through examination) requirements. 

Electrician Requirements for New Zealand Registration

The information in this article is for New Zealand residents. If you are moving to New Zealand with electrical experience from abroad, see here. For those coming from Australia, you may be able to take advantage of the special TTMRA agreement for licensure.

Electricians in New Zealand first work and gain training in the field. This is usually combined with classroom hours to gain experience and get them ready for independent electrical work. 

For those who are working towards their electrical registration requirements, you should get either a Trainee Limited Certificate or Limited Certificate in the meantime.

Trainee and Limited Certificate Licenses

If you are training or receiving electrical instruction with a plan to register in the future, you should apply for the trainee Limited Certificate. This will give you the right to work and/or take the exam before registration. 

Electrical Registration in New Zealand

If you have already completed an electrical apprenticeship in NZ, you’ll likely apply for registration through qualifications. Those working under a registered electrician without formal apprenticeship training can apply through experience.

Applying through Qualifications

To register as an electrician through qualifications, you’ll need to successfully finish an electrical apprenticeship in New Zealand with 8,000 hours of experience. You’ll need to complete a competency program and safety training.

You’ll also need to get ONE of the following:

  • National Certificate in Electrical Engineering – Electrician for Registration, level 4
  • National Certificate in Electricity Supply – Electrician, level 4
  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice – Trade, level 4
  • New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Trade, level 4, strands in General Electrical and Electricity Supply

Applying through Experience

For those who have been trained on the job, but not as part of a formal apprenticeship, you’ll need to have 8,000+ years of experience, to complete a competency program and safety training, and to complete ALL of the following:

  • Have 4 years of experience as an electrician
  • Pass the Electricians’ Theory course and exam
  • Pass the Electricians’ Regulations course and exam
  • Complete the Electricians’ practical assessment

Applying for Your Registration 

If you meet the requirements for registration, you’ll need to prepare the following items for your application:

  • Certified copies of qualifications and certificates
    • These documents must be certified by a Justice of the Peace, Public Notary, or NZ court registrar
  • Competency program details, added in electronically by your provider
  • Work-history statements from your supervisor
  • A certified copy of your ID
  • An ID card photo
  • The application fee, which includes both:
    • Registration: $350
    • License: $250

When you have all your documents handy, start your application for registration online. There is also a paper application available. It will take between 10-21 days to process your application. 


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