Skilled Trades-Canada

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Qualifications and The Provinces

Accreditation of skilled tradespeople is a provincial responsibility. Most provinces and territories participate in the Red Seal Program. Red Seal is an organization operated and run on behalf of each of the provinces that participate in the program. Red Seal is an inter-provincial endorsement of the provincial trade qualification, The Red Seal organization do not prepare or administer any testing. All tests are developed, administered and accredited by the training authority in each province or territory, but to a common agreed standard.

The appropriate contact for the provincial training authority and which trades are Red Seal endorsed can be found here. Red Seal

Some trades, such as gas are licensed by the provincial safety authority and are not Red Seal endorsed.

Some years ago trade standards varied across the country and trade qualifications were not recognized inter-provincially, which was an issue for tradesman moving from one province to another or for provinces wanting to attract tradesmen. It meant the tradesman had to re-qualify in province they moved to. From this the provinces saw a need for a portable qualification, that was recognised in each province and territory. The provincial training authorities were mandated to create uniform standard and body to administer this standard, from this came the Red Seal organization.

Study Materials

If you want to study the electrical, plumbing][1]or woodworking codes for Canada, you can order the relevant publications from the Canadian Standards Association or from Order Line. Some members of the BE forum have been very satisfied with the electrical code books supplied by P. S. Knight.

Work Experience

To get accreditation in a trade in the Provinces, a tradesman may need to pass a test through the training authority in their province of choice. If this is a Red Seal endorsed trade, passing this test will allow the tradesman to carry on this trade in any of the provinces or territories that participate in the program.

To qualify a tradesman would have to take the appropriate training and schooling in the province of choice or if they have relevant experience from another country and can prove 9000 hours of work experience (includes hours worked in an apprenticeship) they can 'challenge the exam' through the provincial training authority. Forms for this can be found on the Red Seal website or at the provincial training authorities web site.

apprenticeship website


Read the BE Wiki article about Immigration, and follow the links to various government websites that are contained in that article. In some provinces, skilled tradespeople are in such demand that they can get into Canada on a temporary work permit (WP) or through some of the provincial nominee programs (PNPs). If a tradesperson gets into Canada on a WP, there is a reasonable chance that they can get an arranged employment opinion from HRSDC, and that in turn should shorten their application for a permanent residence visa to a year or less.

Job Hunting

To find out information on this topic, please read the BE Wiki article on Careers (Canada).