Lots of people can name red seal trades. They might be able to list off things like a red seal certified chef, a red seal welder or a red seal carpenter. But what most people don’t know is all the benefits that come from being red seal certified.
There are 56 red seal trades in Canada and these cover the broad areas of construction, transportation, manufacturing and service. While these trades don’t often have a lot of overlap in terms of job description, the benefits available to those who obtain their red seal certification do deliver a consistency among them. Earning this known and appreciated certification not only delivers a certain level of prestige, it also allows for flexibility and greater career growth.
Proof of advanced skills
Red seal certification is the proof that you have the knowledge and skills to work in a trade at an advanced level that meets the trade’s standards across the country. It’s a nationally recognized measure for skilled trades workers. There is, and should be, pride in someone saying that they are red seal certified. While it’s not necessarily simple to earn, red seal certification isn’t onerous to obtain for those who have worked in their trade for many years and are ready to prove their knowledge by taking a red seal exam preparation course.
It is important to know that while the certification is recognized throughout provinces and territories in Canada, the administration of the red seal program (such as red seal examinations) is jurisdiction-based – meaning the provinces and territories are responsible for apprentice training and trade certification in their regions, but the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) oversees the Red Seal Program and the provinces and territories are members.
What this means to you is that should you decide to take advantage of relocating to another province or territory to work in your trade, you’ll need to contact your local jurisdiction body to let them know and to ensure your red seal certification is part of that jurisdiction’s program. Not all areas have all 56 trades within their red seal program. That doesn’t mean your red seal certification isn’t valid or valuable – it just means that different regions have different trades programs.
So, whether you’re a red seal plumber, a red seal heavy equipment operator or a red seal hairstylist, informing potential employers of your certification is ALWAYS an advantage.
Benefits of being red seal certified
As noted above, the benefits of working in a skilled trade are numerous and having red seal certification enhances the credibility a worker has in their trade. Benefits include:
- Ability to move across the country and not need multiple provincial certifications. Regardless of which province or territory your Certificate of Qualification is earned in, you can still work in another province or territory once you earn your red seal certification
- Recognition of your status as a skilled and employable tradesperson. There is something about saying you are “red seal certified” in that people appreciate the value in the designation. It’s a way to prove accomplishments, status and worth in your trade without explaining all the education, testing and hours of experience
- Those with their journeyperson status are able to train apprentices in the same skilled trade thus sharing knowledge and continuing to expand the trade and its relevance
- Being red seal certified may allow for a higher per hour wage or salary
- Certification may allow those running their own business in a red seal trade to attract higher quality applicants
- Working in a trade is usually more hands-on and allows you to witness the work you accomplish on a daily basis creating pride in what you do
- Trades are ever-changing jobs. While the basics remain, there are always new things to learn in terms of new standards, new methods for doing things and new tools. Constant learning at a red seal certified level is fuel to propel you forward in your career
With the growth in trades seen across the country, there has never been a better time to take advantage of earning your red seal certification in your trade.
This content is sponsored by Ashton College in collaboration with ConstructConnect® Media. Ashton College offers various continuing education courses including comprehensive Red Seal exam preparation courses, home inspection courses, and the BC Building Code 2018 course. To learn more about Ashton College, visit www.ashtoncollege.ca.