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Benefits of Red Seal Certification for Immigrants

By: Maria Bychkova

Published On: January 16, 2020

Getting a career in trades is a smart choice for an immigrant in Canada. The country is witnessing a surge in demand for skilled tradespeople due to a dwindling supply of young people who are qualified to replace the ageing workforce approaching retirement. As per the recent government reports, one in every five new jobs in the coming years will be in trades. That’s a great opportunity for people immigrating to Canada and looking for a rewarding career and stable employment.

Unlike the immigration programs of the past, Canada is currently more focused on attracting skilled workers and professionals. The government is looking at replenishing the labour force with qualified tradespeople coming from abroad. And Canada also wants to make sure that the newcomers are able to settle in and adjust to their life in the new country. This gives even more reasons to learn about Red Seal trades qualification and understand how new immigrants to Canada can benefit from it.

Red Seal is a national standard of skills and qualifications in a number of Red Seal trades. The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) is responsible for the Red Seal Program. All provinces and territories and the federal government participate as members of the CCDA. In order to obtain Red Seal certification, a person needs to accumulate a certain amount of training and/or experience and to prove they meet the trade’s requirements by passing the Red Seal qualification exam.

Getting the Red Seal certification can be useful for tradespeople on the stage of immigrating to Canada. It can help to get a work permit or apply for a permanent residence and can increase the chances for a successful outcome. Red Seal adds credibility to the tradesperson and validates their experience and knowledge, and as a result, makes them a more suitable candidate for immigration.

For those newcomers who already live in Canada Red Seal can become a bridge between their expertise and the job opportunities available on the market. Getting the certification in one of the Red Seal trades builds trust in the job candidate and proves to the employer that their qualifications meet Canadian standards and can be considered for the open position.

Additionally, Red Seal opens doors to any provinces or territories in Canada. The workers in Red Seal trades can choose the place that has the highest demand for workers in their field and move for better job opportunities and higher pay without the need to update their credentials. Red Seal is a proof that the tradesperson has achieved a nationally recognized level of competency and can work anywhere in Canada.

Since Red Seal certification creates trust and credibility, it also leads to a higher salary and more benefits as a consequence. For an immigrant working in trades, it is important to establish professional connections, to attract a pool of clients, to grow the network. All of those are easier to achieve through gaining Red Seal certifications. Workers with a qualification in Red Seal trades generally get more customers and earn more than their non-Red Seal competitors.

Obtaining Red Seal qualification requires time and effort. It’s a complicated process of preparing and submitting an application to the regulatory authority, followed by studying for an exam. It can seem overwhelming, especially for people new to the country. Some educational institutions that offer Red Seal exam preparation courses, also provide services assisting candidates on every stage of the process starting from preparing the application to getting them ready for the exams.

Red Seal exam consists of 100-150 questions in multiple-choice format. The time allotted for the exam is 4 hours. The questions will vary from the industry-specific to general ones checking how you can apply math formulas, do the measurements required in your trade, as well as using data-analysis problem-solving and other skills. The threshold to pass the exam is 70%. The exam cannot be taken remotely, the candidate should be physically present in Canada. If necessary, you may be accompanied by the interpreter to the exam.

In order to pass the exam, the candidate needs to understand the requirements to Red Seal trades qualifications. The detailed description of every trade is provided in National Occupational Analysis that can be found on the official Red Seal website. It lays out the skills and knowledge one should possess to be able to perform the duties of this trade. NOAs can be used as a self-assessment tool once you start studying for the exam.

NOAs are not only helpful for those who are interested in Red Seal exam preparation but also for Canadian immigrants who want to learn more about the trades standards in this country. Even if you are not planning to obtain Red Seal certification or you realize that you don’t qualify for it yet and need to brush up your knowledge and/or experience it’s still good to know what is required from workers in your trade in Canada and understand where you stand.

If you’re determined to take an exam, make sure you get familiar with all the information provided on Red Seal official website related to your trade. The more you know about the trade description, requirements to candidates, their experience and qualification, about the skills the exam challenger will be tested on, the easier it will be for you to prepare for the exam and successfully pass it. Additionally, you can ask your coworkers and/or supervisors for more information on certain aspects you are interested in.

Red Seal preparation courses are available for those who struggle to study on their own and need support and guidance from experienced professionals. Red Seal instructors can provide an assessment of your industry knowledge, identify the gaps and advise which areas to pay special attention to when getting ready for the exam. They can also give access to study materials and sample practice exams so that you can become familiar with the exam format as well as its content.

Red Seal endorsement is accepted nationwide in Canada and ensures that your level of qualification meets the requirements of the trade and you are ready to perform your work duties well. Getting Red Seal certification in Canada is a great addition to your credentials and a logical step towards your career success in the new country.


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  1. Mumtaz Hussain says:

    I am here in Saudi Arabia. How can I get Red Seal endorsement in Crane operator Trade as I want to immigrate to Canada.

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