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Red Seal Trades in Manitoba and Ontario

By: Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio

Published On: February 24, 2020

Are you a trained tradesperson desiring to live/work in Canada? Would you like to grow professionally by earning your Red Seal Certification? If so, now is the time to leap into action and stand out in your field with the RSC, also known as the Red Seal Endorsement.

The RSE gives you access to better pay, job opportunities and a chance to unleash your passion for travel. With Manitoba and Ontario’s mandatory requirements for red seal tradespersons, mobile employment opportunities abound with over 55 trade programs in Manitoba and 150 designated trades in Ontario. Explore new programs and pathways for a better future in your trade.

Classifications within the Trades

Inside the trade industry, there are Provincial, Interprovincial, Compulsory and Voluntary Trades and Certificates of Qualification that help regulate standards. To work in the trades it is important to understand these categories.

• Provincial and Interprovincial Trades

Provincial trades are designated within a province/territory but are not Interprovincial Trades (or Red Seal trades). The standards for provincial/territorial trades are based on specific regional guidelines.

Interprovincial trade is also known as a Red Seal trade. Established more than 50 years ago to afford skilled workers in Canada mobility, the Red Seal Program is recognized as the interprovincial standard for excellence amongst skilled trades.

The program allows for skilled tradespersons to obtain a Red Seal certification by successfully completing a Red Seal exam. Red Seal certification holders broadcast to all that they have met the national standards in their trade.

• Compulsory, Voluntary Trades and Certificate of Qualification

In Canada, compulsory trades are skilled trades which require government certifications. In general, training programs – such as apprenticeship programs – are required. Specialists must be certified as journeypersons before being granted their license.

Voluntary trades typically mean that the apprenticeship training is optional and a person does not require a qualified certification to work.

A Certificate of Qualification in skilled trades proves that a person has passed a certification exam, met all the requirements to practice their specific trade in that territory or province thereby allowing them to work in Canada.

Manitoba Requirements

Manitoba requires Red Seal Certification. After successfully completing an apprenticeship program, or challenging the exam as a qualified trade, you are eligible to receive a Certificate of Qualification. In addition to job security and employment opportunities, you have the chance to assist the next group of apprentices in the role as an on-the-job supervisor.

Simple steps for navigating to Red Seal endorsement include receiving a Certificate of Qualification/completion of an apprenticeship program, challenging the exam as a qualified tradesperson and taking the Red Seal exam.

Ontario Requirements

As with Manitoba, trained apprentices can sit for the Red Seal exam and begin work in Ontario immediately upon gaining Red Seal certification. Growth projections for the foreseeable future continue to list skilled workers high among other professionals as most desirable workers thereby increasing the demand for Red Seal certified employees. Clearly as an apprentice, with logged experience in your field, you will be a coveted employee with a Red Seal Endorsement.

Presently the Ontario College of Trade is winding down their website and moving to an Ontario government website. There continues to be an ever-growing opportunity for new Red Seal certified trades. To learn more about trades transitioning to Red Seal certified and for additional information and resources for Skilled Trades refer to the Ontario official website.

Your road to success

Now that you have determined you have met the requirements, and are eligible to write the Red Seal exam for your trade, it is imperative you get the ball rolling. First things first – you need to get Red Seal certified.

Ways to Obtain Red Seal Certification

• Prep for the exam

We know how challenging it can be to find rewarding work while simultaneously being compensated for your skillset. While offering Red Seal exam preparation courses for trades, the faculty at Ashton College works tirelessly on your behalf to offer you the best chances to pass your online Red Seal exam preparation course resulting in your Red Seal endorsement and a chance to earn higher wages.

• Challenge the exam

With the requisite minimum number of hours required, proof of related work experience and, depending on your field, you can apply to challenge the exam by submitting an exam challenge application to your provincial or territorial apprentice or certification body. Upon rendering their decision – approval of your application – you can sit for the exam. Our experienced staff at Ashton College are keen to help you with the process. We’re also here to help you make the best decisions as you navigate your next steps.

• Register for the Red Seal Exam

Whether taking the exam in English or French, our faculty-led online sessions include assignments and multiple-choice practice tests to ready you for the exam.

• Pay your exam fee

The cost of the exam varies by province and territory.

• Plan ahead

Plan your route and allow plenty of time for travel. While “better late than never” isn’t the best practice, if you miss the exam you can reschedule by contacting the registration office.

Value Added-In

Always available to help you achieve your goals are our faculty-led online course instructors. Red Seal certified themselves, they will teach you well steering you towards success.

Another valuable gem is that once obtained your Red Seal certification never has to be renewed. The Red Seal Endorsement is good for life!

Because Manitoba and Ontario require all their trades to be Red Seal certified you can trust your Red Seal Certification will present you with new opportunities that not only benefit you with regard to job opportunities but will also build your confidence for learning something new. You might even take up a hobby or discover a new opportunity for adventure in the process. Don’t let the bucks stop rolling in – enroll in a preparatory course, challenge the Red Seal Exam and get your Red Seal certification today.


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