Preparing for the Job Search

Working in Regulated Trades

1. What do regulated trades look like?
In each province/territory regulatory authorities determine their own list of regulated trades. For example, you can find a list of regulated trades in Alberta on the website
Here are some examples of regulated trades: Automotive Service Technician, Electrician, Plumber, Hairstylist, Crane Operator, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic, Welder, etc.

2. How can I find out whether my trade is regulated in Canada?
The best source to find out if your trade is regulated in Canada is the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC). You can open the NOC information resource online or find a hard copy in library. The description of each occupation has a section Employment requirements where you will find out if your trade needs a certificate. For example, for the position of Welder (Code 7237), trade certification is compulsory in Alberta and available, but voluntary in all other provinces and the territories.

3. What is the procedure for obtaining a trade certificate?
In Canada there are no regulatory bodies issuing certificates for tradespeople, but there are apprenticeship offices where tradespeople have to apply for the required certificate. Each province/territory establishes its own procedures for obtaining a trade certificate. If you just arrived in Ontario and want to get back into your trade, find out some first steps you can take on the website
An Apprenticeship Office can determine if you are eligible to take an exam to qualify for a Certificate of Qualification, based on your credentials and experience gained abroad. If it is determined that you are not eligible for exam, you will have to participate in an Apprenticeship program (see please Chapter 5.5 Apprenticeship).

4. How can I prepare for the exam to obtain a trade certificate?
There is an Exam Preparation Guide for Trade Exams in Ontario, where you will find such topics as:
•Basic exam details.
•Essential skills upgrading.
•Language training.
•Exam preparation resources.
•Apprenticeship training standard log book.
•Preparation courses.
•Sample questions & tests.
•Self-assessment checklists.

5. What is a Letter of Permission?
If there are no issues with your trade education, experience and certification gained abroad, the apprenticeship office will issue you a Letter of Permission, which is equivalent to a temporary certificate, and gives you permission to work for 90 days. Then you must pass the exam and get a permanent certificate.

6. Are there Bridge Programs for tradespeople?
There are Bridge Programs for some blue-collar workers such as electricians, plumbers, masons, construction workers and mechanics. These programs include trade-specific professional language and training for 4-6 months in the workplace, as well as support finding job placements or apprenticeships.
Source: See online Ontario Bridge Training in Skilled Trades

7. May I complain in case of failure to issue a trade certificate?
There some rules regarding how to complain in case of failure to issue a trade certificate. Ask about these rules at an Apprenticeship Office.

8. Is it possible to start the certifying procedure before I leave?
The provincial/territorial trade authorities do not generally issue certificates of qualification to tradespeople before arriving in Canada. You may find relevant information about trade certification before your arrival in Canada, but you need to physically visit the provincial/territorial Apprenticeship Office.

9. Where can I find sources of additional information about working in regulated trades in Canada?
How do I get a Certificate of Qualification?

10. Are there any Canadian sources in other languages?
Trades in Ontario in other languages