What Is the Red Seal Program?


Have you heard the term “Red Seal trade” and wondered what that meant?

The Red Seal is a Canadian trades designation that enables you to practice your craft – whether that’s being a mechanic, carpenter, machinist, etc. – in any province or territory.

In this article, we’ll look at the significance of Red Seal trades and how you can acquire this highly respected designation.

What Is the Red Seal Program?

Originally established to help apprentices and skilled tradespeople move to the places where they’re most needed, the Red Seal has evolved into a nationally recognized standard. It allows tradespeople to work seamlessly across provinces and territories without additional tests or paperwork.

Even though there are over 400 designated trades in Canada – in sectors like construction, manufacturing, service, and automotive – not all those trades hold Red Seal status. These trades adhere to national standards and examinations developed in collaboration with industry experts.

Recognized Red Seal Trades

There are currently 54 trades that are designated as Red Seal trades in Canada. They’re listed below in alphabetical order, along with their four-digit National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, Canada’s national system for describing occupations.

(As a side note, you can use Canada’s federal government website to search the NOC and learn about an occupation’s primary duties, educational requirements, etc.)

Canada’s Red Seal trades:

  • Agricultural Equipment Technician (7312)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - Avionics (2244)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - Mechanical (7315)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - Structural (7315)
  • Aircraft Structural Technician (7315)
  • Appliance Service Technician (7332)
  • Automotive Painter (7322)
  • Automotive Service Technician (7321)
  • Baker (6332)
  • Boilermaker (7234)
  • Bricklayer (7281)
  • Cabinetmaker (7272)
  • Carpenter (7271)
  • Concrete Finisher (7282)
  • Cook (6322)
  • Electric Motor System Technician (7333)
  • Electrician - Construction and Maintenance (7241)
  • Electrician - Industrial (7242)
  • Electrologist (6561)
  • Electronics Technician - Consumer Products (2242)
  • Esthetician (6562)
  • Gasfitter - Class A (7253)
  • Gasfitter - Class B (7253)
  • Glazier (7292)
  • Hairstylist (6341)
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (7312)
  • Heavy Equipment Operator - Dozer (7521)
  • Heavy Equipment Operator - Excavator (7521)
  • Heavy Equipment Operator - Tractor Loader Backhoe (7521)
  • Industrial Electrician (7242)
  • Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) (7311)
  • Instrumentation and Control Technician (2243)
  • Insulator (Heat and Frost) (7293)
  • Ironworker - Generalist (7236)
  • Ironworker - Reinforcing (7237)
  • Ironworker - Structural/Ornamental (7236)
  • Landscape Horticulturist (2225)
  • Lather (Interior Systems Mechanic) (7284)
  • Machinist (7231)
  • Metal Fabricator (Fitter) (7238)
  • Mobile Crane Operator (7371)
  • Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint) (7322)
  • Motorcycle Mechanic (7334)
  • Oil Heat System Technician (7331)
  • Painter and Decorator (7294)
  • Partsperson (1522)
  • Plumber (7251)
  • Powerline Technician (7244)
  • Recreation Vehicle Service Technician (RVST) (7321)
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic (7313)
  • Rig Technician (8232)
  • Roofing (7291)
  • Sheet Metal Worker (7233)
  • Sprinkler System Installer (7252)
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter (7252)
  • Tilesetter (7283)
  • Tool and Die Maker (7232)
  • Tower Crane Operator (7371)
  • Transport Trailer Technician (7321)
  • Truck and Transport Mechanic (7321)
  • Welder (7237)

Getting a Red Seal Designation

Here’s the path you’ll need to follow to get a Red Seal designation.

  • Training: Undergo training specific to your chosen trade. Ontario college diploma and degree programs can help you prepare for an apprenticeship and may enable you to skip the in-class training portion of your future apprenticeship. (See our College Pathways to Apprenticeship page to learn more.) Each province or territory manages its apprenticeship programs.
  • Apprenticeship: Begin your journey as an apprentice. Learn the ropes, gain hands-on experience under the tutelage of your mentor, and absorb the secrets of your chosen trade.
  • Red Seal exam: Once you’ve honed your skills, you can take the Red Seal exam, which is written by tradespeople from across Canada. It assesses your competency against national standards and you must receive a mark of 70% or higher to pass. You’ll have four hours to write the exam. (Visit the Red Seal website to learn more about the Red Seal exam.)
  • Achievement: Upon passing the exam, you’ll earn the coveted Red Seal endorsement on your Certificate of Qualification. This badge signifies excellence, instills pride, and opens doors to skilled trades careers nationwide.


The Red Seal Program isn’t just about trades: it’s about craftsmanship, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. So, whether you’re an aspiring apprentice or a seasoned tradesperson, the Red Seal is a mark of distinction.

For more information, visit the official Red Seal Program website.