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Opportunities in Red Seal Trade Careers

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: October 1, 2019

Ask someone to name a few Red Seal trades, and they will likely come up with construction-based jobs like electricians and pipefitters or chefs and bakers. But if you ask about the benefits of Red Seal trades, they might draw a blank and not have much information.

There are 56 Red Seal trades across Canada including construction electrician, industrial electrician, automotive service technician, heavy equipment operator – dozer, plumber, carpenter and others.

The Red Seal Certification

In Canada, there are more than 300 designated trades that fall under four main categories, namely construction, transportation, manufacturing, and service. Out of these, 56 of them are Red Seal trades.

Individuals who gain the Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) enjoy higher wages, better jobs and can work anywhere across Canada without being stuck to one employer or province. If you are highly experienced in any of the designated Red Seal trades but have never been certified, you can consider getting an RSE.

Having a Red Seal certification should enhance the credibility a worker has in their trade. Some of the benefits are as follows:

1. Ability to move across the country without needing multiple provincial certifications. Having a Red Seal certification means you can work in any province or territory.
2. Recognition of your status as a skilled and employable trades person. There is something about saying you are “Red Seal” certified in that people appreciate the value the designation brings. It’s a way to prove your accomplishments, status and worth in your trade without explaining all the education, testing and hours of experience.
3. Ability to train apprentices in the same skilled trade, thus sharing knowledge and continuing to expand the trade and its relevance.
4. Potential to earn a higher per hour wage or salary.
5. For those running their own business in one of the Red Seal trades, the certification may allow you to attract higher quality apprentices and clients.
6. A sense of pride and accomplishment.

Like other professions, trades too are ever-changing. While the basics remain, there are always new things to learn in terms of new standards, new methods for doing things and new tools. Constant learning is fuel to propel you forward in your career.

Challenge the Red Seal Exam

If you have the requisite experience in your trade, plus evidence that you have worked in the full scope of the trade, you can challenge the Red Seal Exam. Before you do that, you will need to get your challenge application approved by the appropriate certifying authority in your province or territory. Once you’re approved to challenge the exam and successfully pass the exam, you will be granted the Certificate of Qualification with a Red Seal Endorsement in your trade.

While you can study on your own, joining a Red Seal exam prep course will help you with all the tricks and tips to pass your exam successfully. Ideally, you should pick a program that is offered online because that will mean you can study from anywhere in Canada without ever leaving your home or province. You can even study in the evenings after you finish your shift at work, especially if you’re in a full-time job.

Many colleges offer Red Seal exam prep courses in BC, Canada. Ensure that the program you choose is short and covers all the trade-specific concepts and theory you will need to challenge and successfully pass the Red Seal Examination. The classes should include assignments and multiple-choice tests to get you ready for the exam. Your faculty, ideally Red Seal certified practitioners themselves, should work with you to identify the areas you need the most help with.

The demand for skilled trades persons is growing every day. According to the federal government, Canada will need 67,000 new journey persons to sustain the country’s workforce in the 10 largest standardized trades by 2023. So enroll in a prep course of your choice and become a designated Red Seal trades person.


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