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Red Seal Gives You More to Look Forward to in Your New Life in Canada

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: September 24, 2020

Coming to Canada is often something a potential or new immigrant has thought about for years. Maybe you have wanted to make a change to better your own life and improve things for your family and you know you can make this happen in Canada.

Your Trade Experience is Valuable in Canada

Perhaps you’ve been thinking of coming to Canada for as long as you’ve been practicing your trade. You know you have expertise in what you do but you’re also concerned that any trade designations you’ve earned in your home country aren’t transferable to Canada. You’ve got too many years of experience to consider starting at the bottom in your trade, right? Plus, you know you’ll make more money as an experienced tradesperson with qualifications. While your experience is sure to be valued by an employer in Canada, you’ll want to move ahead fast, because you have the experience and skills that will allow you to work at a more advanced level or even start your own business.

This is where Ashton College can help. People who have been working at their trade for a number of years and know it inside and out have great success in taking a Red Seal exam prep course. This course provides all the theory a tradesperson needs to apply to challenge the Red Seal exam in their trade and earn their Red Seal certification.

Ashton College offers exam prep courses for Red Seal Welder, Steamfitter/Pipefitters, Cook/Chef, Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive Service Technicians, Plumber, Industrial Electrician, Construction Electrician and Carpenter.

Why Red Seal Certification?

Tradespeople with exceptional knowledge and experience in their trade are in demand in Canada. Sometimes great jobs come up in provinces or territories other than the one where a person originally settles. Having Red Seal certification means that a tradesperson can take that certification to almost any province or territory in Canada and be recognized for their skills and experience. There is no need to register or take an exam in each provincial or territorial region when you have a Red Seal certification. Red Seal proves that you meet the minimum national standards for expertise in your trade and are qualified no matter where you choose to live and work.

Plus, as mentioned previously, being Red Seal certified may allow for a higher per hour wage or salary than you would receive if you weren’t Red Seal certified and being certified will open up more job opportunities to you as some employers will only hire tradespeople who are Red Seal certified for certain roles. Becoming Red Seal certified may also encourage you to start your own business. If you do decide to create a business, having Red Seal certification may allow you to attract higher quality apprentices and other applicants to work for you. It could be your wish to develop more opportunities for future immigrants in your trade and this is one way to do so.

How to Challenge the Red Seal Exam

In order to challenge the Red Seal exam you will fall under the trade qualifier or challenger category which confirms you are not a certified journeyperson and have not completed an apprentice program in Canada. There are a range of requirements for each trade in order to challenge the exam. This will include proof of the required number of hours worked within the trade, a full understanding of the trade’s scope and any provincial or territorial jurisdiction requirements. Prior to registering with your province’s or territory’s certification authority to challenge the red seal exam, you should contact them to determine the eligibility requirements for your trade.

You can take your Red Seal exam prep course at any time to prepare you for the exam. Keep in mind that the exam is about the explanation of the skills, there is no physical practice of the trade on the exam, it is a multiple choice question and answer exam. This is why the prep course is such a valuable tool. While you have the expertise in your trade, you may not have the experience in explaining what you know. The prep course gives you the ability to do so.

Not only will the prep course help you understand the format of the test itself, it will also give you the information and understanding you need for any areas that are problematic. Plus, Ashton College offers Red Seal exam prep courses online so that you can start preparing before you even come to Canada.

Red Seal Challenge Exam for Those Who have Already Earned Journeyperson Status

Another benefit in earning the Red Seal certification comes for those who have already worked through their trade’s apprenticeship program and earned their journeyperson status in their region in Canada. Apprenticeship programs are not recognized nationally, only regionally by province or territory. Therefore, if you’ve come to Canada, worked in a trade long enough to work through your apprenticeship program and have achieved the level of journeyperson, that status will only apply in the province or territory in which you are registered. You would likely have to apply for journeyperson status in any other region you wished to work.

However, if you were to earn your Red Seal certification, that certification would be valid in almost any province or territory in which you choose to work. You need to check with the provincial registration bodies of that new province or territory to ensure they know you’re working in the province or territory and have your Red Seal certification, but that’s it. There is no need to re-apply for an apprentice program or take a journeyperson exam to earn new qualifications. This is true for various tradespeople including Steamfitters, Pipefitters, Cooks, Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive Service Technicians, Plumbers, Industrial Electricians, Construction Electricians and Carpenters.

If you are an experienced tradesperson and have been thinking of immigrating to Canada, but wondered how your skills and expertise could be recognized, earning your Red Seal certification can be the right step. Taking a Red Seal challenge exam prep course will give you the information and confidence you need in order to translate those hands-on skills into words in order to do your best on the exam. For those who have earned their journeyperson status but want to work in another province or territory, Red Seal certification can be what makes it possible.


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