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Many of the skilled trades in construction are Red Seal trades, including plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, and others. Carpenter is also one of the 56 designated Red Seal trades. Carpenters who earn their Red Seal carpenter certification – the national standard for the trades across Canada – demonstrate commitment towards the industry, their trade and their clients. These tradespersons also prove that they have a high level of skill and expertise.
Carpenters work in residential, commercial and industrial work environments for a variety of employers, such as construction firms, home builders, renovation and repair firms, property managers, tenants, and other related building industry employers. They construct, renovate and repair structures made of wood, concrete, steel, and other similar materials.
Carpenters also need the ability to read and interpret blueprints and building plans to estimate materials and determine specifications, thereby meeting the needs of their clients. They should also be adept at using different hand and power tools and machines, carpentry techniques to perform the duties of their trade.
Carpenters in BC can work without Red Seal carpenter certification. Any trade that is a Red Seal trade can forgo the Red Seal Certification. It isn’t mandatory unless specified by an employer as a hiring qualification. However, having Red Seal carpenter certification comes with many advantages.
– Gives carpenters flexibility to work throughout Canada without requiring additional provincial or territorial certifications – the Red Seal carpenter certification is a national standard recognized across the country
– Allows journeyperson carpenters 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 the Red Seal certification makes a strong impact
– May allow for a higher per hour wage or salary
– May give a carpenter a better chance at obtaining the jobs they deserve
– Could allow tradespersons running their own business to attract higher-quality customers, and candidates for job openings
– Gives the carpenter a sense of pride in their occupational accomplishments
Currently, Red Seal carpenter certification is recognized in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory.
Since the demand for carpenters depends on the growth in the construction industry, economic upturns or downturns impact future employment opportunities. However, even if the market may occasionally be neutral, it is expected that the demand for Red Seal certified carpenters will continue to grow.
By the year 2026, new job openings for carpenters (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to touch 27,800, while 29,700 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them, according to Canadian Occupational Projections System.
If you’re a tradesperson living in Canada with 9,540 hours of documented, directly-related work experience, you can challenge the interprovincial Red Seal exam in the Carpenter trade. After the relevant trade body approves your application, you can challenge and pass the exam to receive the Certificate of Qualification with a Red Seal Endorsement in the Carpenter trade. If you’re in BC, you will need to get in touch with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to have your application approved.
Many colleges in BC, Canada offer online Red Seal exam prep courses. An online course will not only allow you to study from anywhere in Canada, but you can also maintain a full-time job. Once you’re familiar with all the trade-specific concepts and theory, you will be confident of taking on and passing the Red Seal Examination.
Become a Red Seal certified carpenter and enjoy better job opportunities, higher wages and the flexibility to work anywhere in Canada.