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Why Do You Need Red Seal Endorsement in 2023?

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: December 17, 2019

Red Seal Endorsement Overview

If you have been working in a skilled trade for a while, becoming Red Seal certified is a good idea. This way, you can show that you have the knowledge and abilities to work at your trade at an expert level. The Red Seal certification is recognized by both workers and customers as an indicator of advanced skills in the trades.

Tradespeople may come to Canada with particular talents in a trade, but if they had any certifications from their home country, they won't be able to use them here. Other times, someone has been working in their job for a long time and either didn't think they could obtain certified or just didn't get around to it. These situations happen all the time, which is why there are methods of becoming Red Seal certified without going through the apprentice route.

Red Seal Challenge Exam

Tradespeople who didn’t complete their apprenticeship training in Canada or had some training a long time ago and continued to work in the trade without completion, can “challenge” the Red Seal exam. In order to challenge the 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 different requirements for each trade. This includes proof of how many hours you worked in that trade, a full understanding of what the trade includes, and any provincial or territorial jurisdiction requirements. Make sure you contact your province's or territory's certification authority to find out the eligibility requirements for your trade before you try to challenge the red seal exam.

Red Seal Certified Trades

There are only 56 trades in all of Canada that have the Red Seal certification. Many people think of trades as being part of the construction industry, but there are many trades in different industries. Some examples include baker, automotive service technician, cook and hairstylist. You can find a complete list on the Red Seal website.

Red Seal Exam Preparation

When you think you're ready, challenge the Red Seal exam. But before you do, think about how much time you can commit to studying. Remember that taking the exam is very different from actually working in the trade. The Red Seal challenge exam tests your ability to explain what you do, not demonstrate your skills. There are a number of life situations that would keep you from having the study time you need. It's important to be honest with yourself about your ability to prepare for the exam right now.

If you have time to study, but don't know where to start or you need help focusing, you may want to look into one of the Red Seal Preparation programs. These programs offer online courses that are flexible and allow you to learn with other people. You can also learn from an instructor anywhere there is a computer, microphone, camera and internet connection. Red seal exam preparation doesn't have to be hard.

Why Get Red Seal Certified?

If you aren’t yet convinced of the benefits of Red Seal Endorsement, here are a few of the reasons people take the exam and earn their certification:

  • The Red Seal Endorsement means that you can work in any other province or territory in Canada. This is because the national standard is portable.
  • Having a Red Seal certification will show people that you are a skilled and qualified tradesperson. People appreciate the value of this certification. It is a way to prove your skills, status, and worth in your trade without having to explain everything. This certification requires a lot of education, testing, and experience.
  • Generally a higher per hour wage or salary.
  • If you are a business owner in a Red Seal trade, getting Endorsement may allow you to attract better quality apprentices and workers. Alternatively, becoming Red Seal certified may encourage you to start your own business.
  • Becoming Red Seal certified gives pride not only in your own accomplishments but also in the work you do in the skilled trade you’ve chosen.

Steps to Becoming Red Seal Certified

If you think you are ready, you can challenge the Red Seal exam. You can contact your provincial or territorial certification authority or a school that offers Red Seal trades programs to help prepare for the exam. If you pass, it will show that you have the knowledge and experience to work in your trade.


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