students operating equipment in wintec trades and engineering building


Gaining a trade qualification is an excellent choice for those who enjoy hands-on, practical work. Whether it is as a plumber, carpenter, welder, or electrician, being qualified in a trade can open doors to many work opportunities, and job prospects are solid.

At Wintec, our entry-level trades programmes are a great stepping-stone to becoming an apprentice. The benefit of studying before you start an apprenticeship is you gain excellent foundational knowledge that helps you understand terminology and processes, as well as gaining important hands-on skills. We also offer some higher-level trade qualifications for those who are qualified but want to upskill and specialise.

One of the great benefits of studying trades at Wintec is the opportunity for most people to be able to study without having to pay fees. Wintec offers its own Trades Scholarship programme for Level 3 courses. In addition, from July 2020, the Government will be subsiding fees for trades courses for levels 3-6 in high-demand industries.

Our industry partners tell us that our graduates enter the workplace with strong confidence and knowledge, which helps them secure apprenticeships and succeed in them. In some instances, studying our courses also mean that students have covered some of the theory required in the first year of their apprenticeship before they have even started. 

Scroll down to check out the great selection of trade programmes that Wintec offers to see what best suits your interests. 

"Dad suggested I could use my creativity and love for hands-on work to use within a trade."

Read Sarah's story 🠞

Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying

Plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers work with the pipes, drains, fixtures, and fittings that supply water and gas to buildings, or that remove waste from them. Within buildings, they will install or repair items such as basins, toilets, hot water cylinders, and gas stoves. However, they may also work on larger construction projects such as sub-divisions where they may work on drainlaying solutions. Many work across all three key disciplines; others become specialists working in a particular field such as just gas. Many qualified tradespeople in this field are self-employed.


If you have a passion for cars and vehicles and love to work with your hands to solve problems, then a career in automotive engineering could be perfect for you. Automotive engineers typically work in workshop environments diagnosing faults, dismantling and repairing parts and engines, and fine-tuning vehicles. Some specialists work on heavy vehicles such as trucks, buses, bulldozers and tractors. Others focus on electrical and electronic systems in vehicles and marine equipment. They diagnose electrical faults; repair and replace electronic systems; and work across air conditioning, ABS brakes, airbags, electronically controlled gearboxes, and vehicle computers. They may install security systems, or auto entertainment systems, and carrying out vehicle engine tune-ups.

Building and Construction

If you are hands-on and enjoy creating and repairing structures, then completing a construction-based trade could be great for you. Carpenters work on-site, building, restoring, and installing foundations, walls, roofs, windows, and doors. They interpret building plans and architectural drawings, selecting and preparing materials to shape. They may install windows, doors, and staircases; and ensure all completed work is watertight. Joiners measure, cut, prepare and assemble timber and timber board products to make interior fittings such as kitchen cabinets, doors, window frames and stairs. They may also be required to work on-site measuring up and then installing the finished products.  

Electrical Engineering

Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring equipment. For some, who service domestic households or commercial developments, a typical day could be anything from installing or replacing light fittings, wiring, and power points in houses or buildings, through to fixing appliances such as washing machines or fridges. Some electricians specialise and may be employed by factories or plants to maintain large-scale machinery. Electricians may also be responsible for the design and build of new electrical installations.

Mechanical Engineering

If you like to make and maintain things, use machinery, and have an eye for detail and precision, then a career as a mechanical tradesperson could be for you. In this industry you will work with steel or plastics, creating and maintaining equipment across a range of industries. Common names for people in this trade are welders, machine operators, fitters, machinists, and fabricators. Roles may be general in nature, where you work to create and maintain things across an organisation. Or, you may specialise in using very particular or specialised types of materials, or working specific industries. Mechanical tradespeople have a lot of flexibility around where they may work. Typically, roles may be at mills, steelworks, wharves, manufacturing plants (for food, drinks, products or parts), or power stations. You may also maintain ships, aircraft, or oil rigs.

Geothermal Energy

New Zealand's location on an active plate boundary has resulted in the development of numerous geothermal energy resources. Our scientists and engineers pioneered the process of transforming the earth's natural thermal energy into commercial reality, and a highly-skilled workforce now keeps the wheels of industry turning. Wintec is one of the country's largest trade training centres, providing training for much of the workforce.

Our courses

Wintec courses are tailored to meet both industry specifications and individual client needs in content and delivery. They're focused on knowledge, specific skills and aptitudes that assist operators, mechanical and electrical trades personnel in the effective operation of an energy plant. Skills taught include:

  • Electrical knowledge of plant equipment: Generators, transformers, line transmission, high voltage switches and synchronisation of generators
  • Control systems: Including control loops, Scada operation, programmable logic controllers, distributive control systems, and principles of fine-tuning control loops.
  • Operation of plant equipment: Efficiencies of plant operation, problem-solving, teamwork, decision-making processes.
  • Maintenance of plants: Including both electrical and mechanical practices, vibration analysis, oil sampling, alignment of equipment, infra-red analysis, and how to set up maintenance systems.

Train the trainer

Training packages that are custom designed to meet the needs of individual industry clients are available to train trainers throughout the world in the competencies of energy centre operator training. These programmes are both theory and practical based and focused on developing trainers to undertake training needs analysis and develop training packages that are relevant to energy centre industry standards.

Connected to industry

Wintec works in collaboration with the University of Auckland's Geothermal Institute and our programmes are developed together with New Zealand's leading Geothermal generators including Mighty River Power and Contact Energy.


Please direct all enquiries to Chris Stuart and check out our Geothermal Brochure.

Industrial Measurement and Control

Instrumentation Measurement and Control (IMC) technicians (otherwise known as 'intros'), work across large production and processing industries such as brewing, pulp and paper, food production, petrochemicals, power generation, and wastewater. They install, maintain, and repair the electrical systems that control machinery and production processes, ensuring safety and operational standards are upkept. The industry suits those with an eye for detail and precision. Students often have a background in electrical or possibly mechanical trades. As factories and plants continue to automate, there is a high demand for skilled technicians world-wide. They may be permanently employed by a company in any of these industries or work for contractors who service them.

Professional Programmes / Short Courses

Introducing the Moore family! Four brothers who all studied trades at the Wintec Centre for Trades. We caught up with mum, dad, and three of the brothers who told their story about what got them into trades.


Wintec Trades pathway

Please check the entry criteria for each programme to see which course is the best level for you to begin with. The entry criteria information can be found on each of the programme pages here online. You can also contact us directly to discuss the appropriate level for you at

About the faculty

Our trade-training programmes are conducted at our modern, purpose-built centre at the Wintec Rotokauri Campus in Hamilton. It is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading trade-training facilities.

We work closely with our industry partners in the Waikato region to ensure students are trained in the fields and disciplines that are in demand. Our facilities include an array of different labs, studios, and workshops resources. Students gain exposure to an extensive array of up-to-date equipment to gain practical skills that they will use on the job. These skills, combined with theoretical instruction from qualified tutors, ensure Wintec graduates are highly sought after by industry and are work-ready when they leave us.

The programmes on offer currently include the areas of carpentry; mechanical; automotive; electrical, plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying; as well as additional specialised qualifications for experienced tradespeople.  

Prospectus (course guide)

The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on a document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus

Need help? Want to know how to get started?

Leave your details here and we will come back to you: