Fabricators manufacture steel components and structures used anywhere from a kitchen sink to a skyscraper.


We can provide training plans, support and qualifications - tailored to your businesses specific needs.

Qualifications available

This qualification represents a set of foundation skills for mechanical engineering and related trades. The qualification may be used as the first stage of an apprenticeship or as the basis for pre-trade courses. It is particularly relevant for people wishing to pursue careers in general engineering, machining, toolmaking, fitting, engineering maintenance, engineering fabrication, and marine engineering.

Holders of this qualification have the following skills and knowledge relevant to the mechanical engineering industry:

  • health and safety;
  • trade mathematics and mechanics;
  • metals and other materials used in engineering;
  • fasteners and assembly;
  • sketching;
  • measurement;
  • engineering tools;
  • machining or fabrication operations; and
  • welding safety and procedures.

This qualification leads to trade qualifications in mechanical engineering and engineering fabrication at levels 4 and 5 on the NQF, and ultimately to the National Diploma in Engineering (Level 6) with strands in Mechanical Engineering, Production Engineering, and an optional Practical Endorsement strand.

NZQA qualification overview

This qualification is for people in the fabrication industries. It combines a broad, common foundation of engineering and fabrication skills with more specialised skills and knowledge in the form of strands to suit the nature of the particular trade or enterprise the individual is engaged in. It is intended to provide training for people in trades traditionally referred to as fabricators, sheet metal workers, boiler makers, steel construction, and fitter-welders.

The Heavy Fabrication strand is intended for fabricators working with heavier gauge plate, sections, and pipes, to produce a wide variety of products including pressure vessels.

The Light Fabrication strand is for fabricators working with sheet metals and lighter gauge plate, sections, and pipes to produce a large variety of metal products.

The Steel Construction strand is specifically for fabricators who manufacture and install structural steel components for building and civil engineering projects.

NZQA qualification overview

National Certificate in Fabrication Level 4

The National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 5) with strands in Engineering Fabrication, Fire Protection, General and Maintenance Engineering, Mechanical Services, and Precision Engineering is for qualified engineering tradespeople who wish to further develop their technical, business, and overall leadership knowledge and skills and gain a qualification at an advanced trade level.

This qualification prepares trainees for a wide range of roles in the mechanical engineering industry at management and/or advanced technical level, and comprises three sections.

The first section is compulsory and covers skills considered core to all mechanical engineering staff working at an advanced trade level.

The second is an elective section, which allows for a wide choice of applied study in the areas of mechanical engineering, business and management. Trainees can therefore select those standards most appropriate to a particular role, for example: foreman, leading hand, supervisor, technical expert or process champion.

The third section comprises five strands, which reflect the major sectors of work within the mechanical engineering industry. These strands provide flexibility through elective standards which can be chosen to match the range of work available in the trainee''s enterprise.

Typically, the qualification will be gained during the course of an eighteen month part-time training programme.

The Engineering Fabrication strand is for those employed within the engineering fabrication industries who work with sheets, plates, sections, and pipes to produce a wide variety of metal products, machines, structures and other equipment, by cutting, forming, shaping and assembling components; or who are involved in the manufacture and installation of structural steel components for building and civil engineering projects.

NZQA qualification overview

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview