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National Certificate N1-N3: Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering or Technician Career-Heavy Current

Electrical engineers  or electricians or electrical technicians play an important role in our society. According to National Scarce Skills List, electrical engineers are listed as one of the top 10 skills shortage in South Africa. Electrical engineers are in critical need in industries such as power or energy generation (Eskom), telecommunication, engineering, computing, construction, energy, manufacturing, transport and utilities companies and the armed forces.

Duties of an electrical technician or engineer

Electrical technician is responsible for installation and maintenance of electrical infrastructure and are required to maintain various plant and project installations according to sound engineering practice and equipment specifications.


The following are the common duties that are done by electrical technicians:

  • Troubleshoot all problems effectively and perform trade related maintenance and repairs to equipment and machinery according to maintenance requirements.
  • Report all defects and breakdowns on equipment and machinery.
  • Identify spares requirements and order according to departmental procedure.
  • Communicate with clients and supervisors on maintenance activities performed and equipment handover.
  • Develop, modify, construct/fabricate and install related equipment required for the safe operation of all engineering equipment.
  • Maintain all equipment in excellent working order


Other impprtant skills and attitudes as an electrical technician are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Numerical ability
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to observation,  organizing resources
  • Sober habits
  • Results orientated
  • Safety conscious
  • Responsible and reliable
  • Quality orientated
  • Planning, leading and organizational abilities
  • Good health
  • Cost conscious

How to qualify as an electrical technician


To qualify as an electrician or electrical technician you need to obtain both theoretical and practical aspects of the course. We only offer the theoretical aspects at ET College. After completion of your studies, you will obtain a National Certificate-Engineering studies be it in N1, N2 or N3.


Course requirements


N1: Grade 9 or 10 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or relevant experience or an equivalent qualification

N2: N1 Engineering Studies or 11 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or an equivalent qualification

N3: N2 Engineering Studies or Grade 12 (with Mathematics, Science and Drawing) or an equivalent qualification

NQF Level Status

 N1 – SAQA ID 67109– NQF LEVEL 1

N2 – SAQA ID 67375– NQF LEVEL 2

N3 – SAQA ID 67491– NQF LEVEL 3


Subjects/Course Modules

  • Mathematics N1-N3
  • Engineering Science N1-N3
  • Engineering Drawing N1-N3
  • Electrical Trade Theory N1-N3


Assessment and Duration

 There are two types of assessments: The internal assessment conducted by the college and the national assessment which is the final exam.

  • Internal assessment comprises of two tests-Test 1 and Test 2 and the student must obtain a minimum pass of 40%. This assessment qualifies you to sit for the final exam. This assessment is marked by the college.
  • Final assessment which is the national exam from the DHET. The exam is a single exam written mostly in the morning at a specified exam centre. The assessment is marked by DHET.

National Exams are conducted by Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and also monitored by Umalusi. The course takes from 3-6 months or 1-2 trimesters. You can write all the subjects at once or split them. There are three trimesters in a year:

  1. Trimester 1: January to April 
  2. Trimester 2: May to August
  3. Trimester 3 September to December


Achievement and Award

The following certificates are awarded by upon successful completion of each level:

  • Certificate of Achievement N1: Engineering Studies
  • Certificate of Achievement N2: Engineering Studies
  • National N3 Certificate: Engineering Studies

How to Register for Eletrical Engineering  N1-N3 course

We offer the course through distance learning or what some call home study or correspondence. We support you with study material and you only come for the final exams. Download our forms to get all the necessary information from fees, study material, exam venues etc.


Download forms here

Let Us Help You Further

Complete the form and we will send you information on registration times, fees, career opportunities and any other relevant information that will be of benefit to your career. Fill the form for further assistance. 

You can also send us an email to

Work Based Learning (Work Intergrated Learning)

Get practical skills for your career and advance yourself. This will enable you to gain world of work experience. DHET has a plaform that allows current students or those who have finished their studies to register so as to be matched with a relevant employer.

Register for employment opportunities on the following link: Work Experience Registration

The DHET has a career portal that helps learners make informed decision concerning their careers before registering. If you still want more advice concerning your field of study get more information on the following link: National Career Advice Portal

Interested in becoming a qualified artisan. Then register on the following link: Becoming an Artisan