Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in engineering and technology are generally very practical and focused on providing students with the skills that the industries require. Courses are available at all qualification levels within the VET sector, including certificates I to IV, diplomas and advanced diplomas. Generally, the lower-level certificates I, II and III provide basic skills for engineering trades, while certificate IV, diplomas and advanced diplomas prepare students with the skills required to enter specific engineering careers in roles supporting professional engineers.
There are many specialisations in the engineering and technology field. Students can choose from general VET qualifications in engineering that provide the skills required for a number of engineering roles, or specialised qualifications in engineering disciplines such as civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical, telecommunications and renewable energy. There are also a large number of technology specialisations, which are available in areas ranging from automotive technology, food processing, clothing production and furniture making to aviation, electronics and transport and logistics.
Generally, VET qualifications are more practical than degrees in the higher education sector. If you want to enter a role as a professional engineer, you will need to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in engineering from the higher education sector. VET qualifications can provide a good pathway into undergraduate engineering degrees.
Applicants must meet academic and English language requirements, which vary between courses, institutions and qualification levels. Some courses may require the completion of prerequisite studies in mathematics and science in secondary school, a lower-level VET qualification or relevant work experience. For more information about VET courses and entry requirements, see Vocational Education.
Where to study
VET courses in the engineering and technology fields can be studied at TAFE institutes, private colleges and universities with TAFE departments. Due to the wide range of courses offered, they can be studied around Australia and in both metropolitan and regional areas.
The course you choose within this field will depend on the qualification level and type of work that interests you. You should think about the qualification that is needed to work in your field and in the specific role you would like to perform. If you would like to work as a professional engineer, see Undergraduate study in engineering and technology and Postgraduate study in engineering and technology for information about higher education study.
Practical experience is very important in the engineering and technology fields, so we recommend checking that your institution has appropriate facilities and equipment, has strong connections with industry and provides work experience opportunities. You should also check whether your course is accredited by the relevant industry association, which may provide opportunities for professional membership.