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Red Seal Certification

Are you a qualified and experienced tradesperson looking for opportunity abroad? If so, you may want to consider Canada, as it has an entire immigration program dedicated specifically to tradespersons!

The Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP) was designed to make the immigration process smoother for skilled trade workers looking to move to Canada. The FSTP not only gives trade workers the chance to apply for permanent residency but has excellent processing times of six to eight months, as it is managed by the ever-popular Express Entry System.

Another great benefit of the FSTP is that you don’t need a job offer in Canada to qualify if you have a certificate of qualification from a provincial, territorial, or federal governing body. This is also known as a red seal.

What Are Red Seal Trades?

Trade workers shaking hands | Red Seal Certification

Canada has specific trades that are governed by regulations under the Provincial and Territorial Apprenticeship Acts. The red seal certification was introduced by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA). The CCDA is a voluntary intergovernmental partnership among Canadian provinces and territories consisting of 15 members (13 provincial and territorial members and two federal members from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada). CCDA members are responsible for apprenticeship training and trade certification within their jurisdiction.

The Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) ensures that certain national standards are upheld within the industry. Tradespersons will need to take a Red Seal examination to become red-seal endorsed. These are usually administered in the province or territory you intend to live and work in.

Below is a list of trades currently governed by the Red Seal Program:


List of Designated Red Seal Trades
NOCTrade OccupationProvince/Territory Requiring RSE
7312Agricultural equipment technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, SK
7332Appliance service technicianAB, BC, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE
7322Autobody & collision technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
7322Automotive refinishing technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, PE, SK, YT
7321Automotive service technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
6332BakerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, YT
7234BoilermakerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7281BricklayerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7272CabinetmakerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7271CarpenterAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7282Concrete finisherAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7611Construction craft workerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7241Construction electricianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
6322CookAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7284Drywall finisher and plastererNL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7295Floor covering installerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, YT
7253Gasfitter - Class AAB, BC, MB, NL, NS, NT, NU, PE, QC, YT
7253Gasfitter - Class BAB, MB, NL, NS, NT, NU, PE, QC, YT
7292GlazierAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
6341HairstylistAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7312Heavy duty equipment technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7521Heavy equipment operator (Dozer)NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7521Heavy equipment operator (Excavator)NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7521Heavy equipment operator (Tractor-loader-backhoe)NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7242Industrial electricianBC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, PE, QC, YT
7311Industrial mechanic (MIllwright)AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
2243Instrumentation and Control technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
7293Insulators (heat and frost)AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7236Ironworkers (generalists) BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE
7236Ironworkers (reinforcing)AB, BC, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7236Ironworkers (structural/ornamental)AB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
2225Landscape horticulturistsAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7284Lather (Interior systems mechanic)AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7231MachinistAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YK
7235Metal fabricator (Fitter)AB, BC, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7371Mobile Crane OperatorAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK
7334Motorcycle technicianAB, BC, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE/td>
7331Oil heat system technicianBC, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, PE, YT
7294Painter and decoratorAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
1522Parts technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
7251PlumberAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7244Powerline technicianAB, BC, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
7384Recreation vehicle service technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7313Refrigeration and air conditioning technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7291RooferAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7233Sheet metal workerAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7252Sprinkler fitterAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7252Steamfitter (Pipefitter)AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
7283Tile setterBC, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7232Tool and die makerBC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
7371Tower crane operatorAB, BC, MB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK
7321Transport trailer technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, PE, YT
7321Truck and transport technicianAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
7237WelderAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

How to Get a Red Seal Certified

Hand stamping document | Red Seal Certification

To get red seal certified you will need to take a red seal examination. To register, follow these three simple steps below:

Step 1: Check your eligibility

It’s always a good idea to check if you qualify before registering or applying for any immigration program or certification, and the same goes for the red seal examination. Make sure that you meet the requirements for the examination in your chosen province or territory as they can not only differ from place to place by also by trade and by the type of tradesperson. You can do this by visiting the official apprenticeship and certification website of the province or territory you intend to work in.

Step 2: Complete your application

Now that you know that you’re eligible, it’s time to start the application process. You can contact the applicable provincial or territorial apprenticeship office for your application form or for any additional information required. It’s important to check or confirm the following before completing and submitting your application for the exam:

  • Check what language your exam language will be administered in (English/French);
  • Confirm that your exam will be in the language of your choice. You can do this by contacting your chosen provincial or territorial office.
  • If you have special needs, ask about accommodations you may be entitled to when writing the exam well in advance.

Step 3: Pay your fees

The cost of your exam will vary from province to province. It’s best to check this before registering for your exam.

For more information, you can consult the various provincial and territorial offices below:


Provincial / Territorial Red Seal Offices
ProvinceContact
AlbertaDirect Contact
British ColumbiaDirect Contact
ManitobaDirect Contact
New BrunswickDirect Contact
Newfoundland & LabradorDirect Contact
Northwest TerritoriesDirect Contact
Nova ScotiaDirect Contact
NunavutDirect Contact
OntarioDirect Contact
Prince Edward IslandDirect Contact
QuebecDirect Contact
SaskatchewanDirect Contact
YukonDirect Contact

Frequently Asked Questions About Red Seal Trades

Man writing in book holding ipad | Red Seal Certification

Is a Red Seal equivalent to a degree?

Sometimes, having a red seal certification can be equivalent to a college certification regarding knowledge and skill in a specific trade. Those who successfully complete a registered apprenticeship training program will receive a:

  • Certificate of Apprenticeship (C of A); or
  • Diploma of Apprenticeship and/or Certificate of Qualification (C of Q); or
  • Journeyperson's designation (JP) in their trade.

If you have extensive knowledge working in your trade yet have not completed a formal apprenticeship program you can still apply to write the red seal exam. If successful you will get a Certificate of Qualification or Journeyperson's designation.

How long does it take to get a red seal certificate?

Most red seal programs are about three hours long. Most programs work on an earn-as-you-learn model where you will need to attend a six-week block of training every year, however, this could differ from program to program. Once you have written your red seal exam, it can take up to four weeks to get your results.

Does a red seal certification expire?

No. Once you have passed your red seal exam and are certified it does not expire nor will you have to apply for a renewal.

How many questions are in the red seal exam?

There are between 100 to 150 multiple choice questions in the red seal exam. They are all of equal value and will have four possible choices. You will have four hours to complete the exam and will need a minimum pass mark of 70 percent.

What is the difference between a red seal and a blue seal?

A red seal certificate shows that a tradesperson has sufficient knowledge of and the ability to apply said knowledge in a specific trade that meets the national standard in Canada. A blue seal shows that a tradesperson has business competencies that meet the industry standards and have demonstrated the ability to take on managerial, supervisory, entrepreneurial, or other leadership roles.

Ready to start your trades career in Canada and need help with your application?

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