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Red Seal certification includes tradespeople in 56 different skilled trades across Canada. There are many reasons why someone in the plumbing field would look into earning a Red Seal plumber certification.
Plumbers in BC can work without Red Seal plumber certification. It isn’t a mandatory requirement (unless an employer has it as a hiring qualification and most employers today do), however, having Red Seal plumber certification comes with several advantages.
A Red Seal endorsement:
– Gives plumbers flexibility to work throughout Canada without requiring additional provincial or territorial certifications – the Red Seal plumber certification is a national standard recognized across the country
– Allows journey person plumbers to train apprentices in the trade and thereby helps to expand the trade and build its recognition and relevance in the labour market
– Shows excellence in training and skills to potential employers or clients (telling a prospective employer or client that you have a provincial/territorial certificate of qualification as well as Red Seal certification makes a strong impact)
– May allow for a higher per hour wage or income
– May give a plumber an edge over someone without a Red Seal certification when applying for jobs.
– May allow those running their own business to attract higher-quality clients, and candidates for job openings
– Gives the plumber a sense of pride in their occupational accomplishments
The Red Seal program and the designation of Red Seal trades is the responsibility of the Canadian Council of Directors and Apprenticeship (CCDA). It is important to note that while Red Seal trades cover the majority of apprentices throughout the country (an estimated 80% of apprentices), not every Red Seal trade will have red Seal status in each province or territory.
In BC, the average completion rates for plumbers moving from apprenticeship through to journey person have continued to grow, though the same has not been true throughout some of the other provinces and territories in Canada. The role and work of a plumber are generally driven by the health and activity of the construction industry, which continues to thrive across the country, creating a demand for Red Seal certified plumbers.
The need for Red Seal certified plumbers would continue to grow as the population increases. By the year 2023, the demand across Canada for certified plumbers is expected to be more than 4,000 according to the Apprenticeship Demand LMI Report issued by the government of Canada.
The plumber trade is a designated Red Seal trade in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon Territory. There are multiple pathways to achieve the Red Seal certification for Plumbers, including apprenticeship and challenger pathways.
If you’re an experienced plumber with significant work experience in your trade and have never been certified in Canada, you may apply to challenge the certification.
To challenge the plumber certification, you must fill out the Plumber Challenge Package and submit it to the appropriate trades governing body. For instance, in BC, you will need to get in touch with the Industry Training Authority (ITA). Your application will be assessed for proof of workplace hours and the scope of experience before you’re allowed to take the Red Seal exam.