About Practical Work

The practical work component of your BE(Hons) gives you the hands-on experience of working with industry.

What is Practical Work?

ENGGEN 499: Practical Work is a core component of your BE(Hons). You're required to complete 800 hours of Practical Work and complete a formal written report. You’ll generally undertake your Practical Work throughout the summer breaks at the end of Parts II and III.

Important information

Students are no longer required to undertake a minimum of 200 hours of defined general or sub-professional work as part of their practical work experience requirement.

Please note that it is still mandatory to complete 800 hours of appropriate practical work which may comprise general, sub-professional or a combination of both.

The Faculty of Engineering still encourages students to take up a combination of sub-professional and general hours as part of their practical work experience. We believe by doing this students will develop a deeper understanding of the scope of industry and the nature of engineering work.

  • There are two types of practical work:
    • General work: Allows you to become familiar with engineering processes and trade skills, particularly those appropriate to your specialisation.
    • Sub-professional work: involves work as a junior engineer with responsibilities, work level and technical expertise that takes advantage of your engineering training to date

Each period of your work experience should be with a different employer to give you a broader range of experience. Subsequent periods, if necessary, will be related to your particular engineering specialisation.

Registration and certification

All practical work experience must be registered online. Login using your username to access the official practical work registration system.

You need to register at the beginning of each period of employment and within the first week from the day you start your practical work experience. You will receive a confirmation email once this has been completed.

Please ensure that you have completed both the online registration and certificate of practical work experience. 

  • Registration is required in all circumstances.
  • If you have previously been employed by the same company/employer, you must complete registration for the current employment period.
  • If you have previously registered the same company/employer in a different employment period, you must complete registration for the current employment period.
  • If you are to be employed by more than one company/employer in the same employment period, you must complete registration for each one.
  • If you are undertaking practical work with an overseas company/employer, you must complete the registration process.

Please take extra care when entering your registration details. If details on your practical work certificate are different from your registration details for the same period of work, that work experience will be subject to question and may not be accredited.

Finding an employer

There are several ways to find a suitable position for your Practical Work experience:

  • Make sure you have an effective CV and cover letter. Our faculty holds workshops throughout the year and we recommend that you attend them.
  • A 'find an employer' link is included on the online Practical Work registration to help you locate potential employers. Select your engineering specialisation and the country you are seeking employment in to view a list of relevant organisations. 
  • Make use of any industrial contacts you have within your chosen discipline. You may also be able to expand your circles by joining engineering clubs, networks and associations.
  • Search the online directory of New Zealand businesses.
  • Keep an eye on your University email (username@auckland.ac.nz). Our faculty periodically circulates vacancies for students that we're aware of.
  • If you have a scholarship or internship with a company, you may be able to complete all your Practical Work with them.

Exemptions to Practical Work

Direct entry into Part II

There are no exemptions given if you have transferred directly into Part II of the BE(Hons), even if you are transferring from a BSc degree.

Direct entry into Part III from another tertiary provider

If you are transferring from another tertiary institution directly to Part III of the BE(Hons) programme, you must complete 400 hours of Practical Work, including a minimum of 200 hours sub-professional work as specified by your department. You must also submit a full report based on the work.

Direct entry into Part III with NZCE or equivalent

If you are transferring into Part III of the BE(Hons) programme from the NZCE (or equivalent), you must submit a Practical Work report(s) that covers at least the 400 hours of the work you completed during or after your study for the NZCE. These hours should include a minimum of 200 hours sub-professional work experience. You must also provide evidence of the work you've undertook.

Substantial work experience before entering the BE(Hons)

If you have substantial industry experience before entering the BE(Hons) programme, you may be exempt from completing the full 800 hours of practical work. Your industry experience will be accessed by your department to determine its suitability as a substitute for the practical work component. You will need to provide evidence of the work that you have completed.

Help and advice

CV and interview workshops are held in both the faculty and around University throughout the year. You can also contact CDES to see what career-specific help is available.

Our Employee Liaison Manager can also provide advice, support and direction for your application. Contact Jonathan Culley.

If you are unsure whether or not the work you will be undertaking is suitable for your specialisation, please contact your Practical Work Committee department representative.

Faculty of Engineering Practical Work Committee