Trade Info

  • 70 trades are currently designated in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsed trades are marked with the Red Seal.
  • 13 trades are compulsory certified under the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act. Tradespersons working in these trades need to have an ID card issued by the Agency. The ID can be a valid Certificate of Qualification, apprentice ID or Temporary Work Permit. A permit allows work for a specific period of time (not exceeding three months). It may be issued to a potential apprentice doing a probationary period; a student enrolled in training; an internationally-trained worker; or a trade qualifier who has applied to take the Red Seal exam.
  • 8 trades require licenses or permits under another regulatory authority. These trades are overseen by other regulatory authorities in Nova Scotia through permits or licenses. Often, an NS Certificate of Qualification is needed in order to obtain a license. 
  • Trades are organized into Four Industry Sectors (Construction, Industrial/Manufacturing, Motive Power, Service)
  • Click on a trade below to find more trade-specific information and links to key documents.
  • Contact the Industry Training Consultant for your trade/region.

Trade

Red Seal/Compulsory

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Agricultural Equipment Technician

Repairs and services machines typically used in the farming industry.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Alarm and Security Technician

Installs/repairs intrusion alarm, closed circuit video and access control systems.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Appliance Service Technician

Repairs and services household appliances.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Auto Body and Collision Technician

Repairs, restores and replaces damaged body parts such as glass, trim, steering, and suspension.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Automotive Glass Technician

Performs work in fabricating, removing, installing, repairing and generally servicing glass and associated equipment in motor vehicles.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
7,200

Automotive Refinishing Technician

Prepares and paints motor vehicles.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
5,400

Automotive Service Technician

Services and repairs the brakes, suspension, engine, and fuel systems of cars and light trucks.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Automotive Service Technician (Service Centre Technician)

Performs tune-ups, safety inspections, services and repairs the brakes, clutch and tires of cars and light trucks.

AST (Service Centre Technician) is an interim certification for apprentices who have completed their 3rd level of the Automotive Service Technician trade. With this certification, AST apprentices are able to perform Motor Vehicle Inspections and also work on routine automotive repairs without supervision. Service Centre Technician is not a Red Seal trade.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Baker

Makes breads, pastries, cookies and cakes.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Blaster

Engages in all surface blasting activity including: storage, handling, transportation, preparation, and use of explosives, and drilling conducted at a blasting area or in relation to the use of explosives.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See Below

Boat Builder

Builds sea-going boats for fishing or charter; fast patrol boats; and custom or semi-custom pleasure boats, power and sail, in all major hull materials.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels:
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
9,450

Boilermaker

Builds, tests and repairs air-tight and liquid-tight containers such as boilers and storage tanks.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Bricklayer

Builds and repairs walls, floors, fireplaces, walkways with bricks, blocks and stones.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Cabinetmaker

Builds custom or production-type wooden (or wood substitute) fixtures and furniture.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Carpenter

Works with wood or wood substitutes in the construction of buildings.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Communications Technician

Installs, repairs, upgrades and maintains communication cables.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See Below

Concrete Finisher

Places, finishes, cuts, and repairs concrete.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
5,400

Construction Craft Worker

Sets up/dismantles forms; performs site preparation and clean-up, excavation, backfill/compaction, traffic control duties, concrete placement and finishing and mason tending; and operates grading equipment.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
5,400

Construction Electrician

Installs, alters, repairs, and connects, electrical systems that provide heat, light, power in residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial environments.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Cook

Prepares food and meals in hotels, restaurants and institutions.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Drywall Finisher and Plasterer

Surfaces, tapes and finishes wallboard (drywall). Applies, maintains and restores plaster and similar materials on interior and exterior walls, ceilings and building partitions to make them more decorative, soundproof and fire-rated. Textures concrete, applies coats of plaster to foundation materials and installs, repairs and restores mouldings and ornaments.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Electric Motor System Technician

Repairs and rebuilds electric motors, generators, transformers, controls, and equipment.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Elevating Device Mechanic A/B

Constructs, installs, alters, repairs, maintains, services, inspects, examines and tests elevating devices.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Floorcovering Installer

Installs many types of resilient or carpet floor coverings.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Gasfitter A/Gasfitter B

Installs piping, appliances, equipment, and controls for the use of natural gas or propane as a fuel.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 2
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: See below
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See below

Glazier

Prepares, installs, and replaces glass.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Hairstylist

Shampoos, cuts, styles and chemically treats hair.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See below

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

Repairs and maintains heavy construction and off-highway vehicles, whether wheeled or tracked.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Heavy Equipment Operator (Dozer)

Dozer operators operate dozers to move, spread and strip earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities. They work in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports and utilities, and the construction of gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures. Dozers are also used to clear brush and stumps prior to logging activities and to build roads at logging and surface mining sites.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Heavy Equipment Operator (Excavator)

Excavator operators operate excavators to excavate, move, lift, strip, stockpile and place earth, rock, gravel or other materials. They work in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports and utilities, and the construction of gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures. They also operate equipment in surface mining, quarrying, and land clearing activities. Excavators are also used to create slopes, to clear land at logging and surface mining sites and to perform demolitions.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Heavy Equipment Operator (Tractor-Loader-Backhoe)

Tractor-loader-backhoe operators (TLB) operate tractor-loader-backhoes to move and load earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities. They work in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports and utilities, and of gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures. They also operate equipment in surface mining, quarrying, and land clearing activities.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Industrial Electrician

Installs, alters, repairs and maintains electrical systems in buildings and residences.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

Installs and maintains machinery and equipment in factories and production plants.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Instrumentation and Control Technician

Repairs, maintains, and installs industrial measuring and controlling equipment.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Insulator (Heat and Frost)

Installs insulating materials in commercial and industrial structures; removes asbestos.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Ironworker (Generalist)

Builds, erects, constructs, and joins structural steel used in buildings, bridges, and towers.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Ironworker (Reinforcing)

Cuts, bends, lays out, places, and welds reinforcing steel rods, welded wire fabric and composite materials in poured concrete products and structures. Places and stresses post-tensioning systems.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 2
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 3,600
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
5,400

Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)

Installs and reinforces steel components, precast concrete and glued laminated timber products. Also erects pre-engineered buildings, scaffolds, cranes, hoists and derricks.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Landscape Horticulturist

Prepares, lays out and completes a landscape installation plan.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels:
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 6,000
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
9,000
  1. Hardscape Installation
  2. Softscape Installation
  3. Turf Maintenance
  4. Ornamental Maintenance

Apprentices who obtain these four industry certificates + the required hours can either:

  • Write the Red Seal Exam for Red Seal Certification; or
  • Obtain a provincial certificate without writing an exam. To apply for the provincial certificate, submit the Landscape form at Forms for Apprentices.

Lather (Interior Systems Mechanic)

Installs ceiling, drywall partitions, sound proofing and vapour barriers in buildings.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Locksmith - INACTIVE

Repairs, installs and adjusts locks, and maintains safes and vaults.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
N/A

Machinist

Manufactures and repairs industrial components and mechanical devices by using a variety of metal cutting and shaping machinery.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Marine Fitter - INACTIVE

Outfits and refits ships and other marine structures including the survey, maintenance, repair, overhaul, alteration, fabrication, installation, alignment test and trial of marine engineering systems, equipment and components.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
N/A

Marine Service Technician

Services and repairs, refits and upgrades marine vessels (motor and sail). The service and repair of marine vessels includes structural, cosmetic, electrical and mechanical work.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

Makes and repairs metal parts used in the construction of bridges, buildings, and boilers.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Mine Electrician - INACTIVE

Installs, repairs, and maintains electrical equipment and systems used in mining.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
N/A

Mine Mechanic - INACTIVE

Repairs, maintains and assembles equipment and machinery used in mining.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
N/A

Mobile Crane Operator

Uses mobile cranes to lift, move, position and place materials and equipment. Performs pre-operational inspections; calculates crane capacities, determines load weight, and sets-up, positions and stabilizes the crane before the lift. Disassembles, travels and transports mobile cranes.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
i

Motorcycle Mechanic

Assembles, services, and repairs motorcycles, motorscooters and accessories.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Oil Heat System Technician

Installs, repairs and services oil burning and oil combination burning equipment and appliances.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Painter and Decorator

Applies paint, varnish, stain, wallpaper and wallcoverings to interior and exterior surfaces.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Parts Technician

Stores and dispenses automotive, heavy duty or farm machinery parts.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Plumber

Installs and repairs piping and other equipment used to move, store, or dispose of water, gas, and sewage.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Power Engineer

Maintains equipment, boilers and generators that provide heat, ventilation and power for buildings.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels:
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: See below
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See below

Powerline Technician

Builds and maintains overhead and underground electrical systems, powerlines, poles and street lights.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Recreation Vehicle Service Technician

Installs and repairs exterior and interior components, installs accessories, and performs pre-delivery inspections on motor homes, holiday trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers and tent trailers.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Refrigeration & A/C Mechanic

Installs and services refrigerating and air conditioning systems.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Restoration Stone Mason

Constructs and repairs structures using stone.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Rig Technician

Operates the drawworks, rotary equipment and pumps, inspects rigs, maintains records of drilling operations, and oversees rig mobilization and demobilization.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
9,000

Roofer

Installs and repairs single-ply or multi-ply roofing systems, shingles and pre-formed rigid sheeting.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Sheet Metal Worker

Designs, makes, installs and repairs sheet metal products and parts.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Sprinkler Fitter

Installs and maintains permanent fire extinguishing systems.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Steamfitter/Pipefitter

Installs piping, equipment, and controls for hot water, steam, process and chemical piping.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Tilesetter

Covers, repairs and decorates surfaces using ceramic, marble and other materials.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Tool and Die Maker

Makes, repairs, modifies custom-made prototype or special tools, dies, and fixtures.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Tower Crane Operator

Operates any mechanical device or structure that incorporates a power-driven drum with a cable or rope and a vertical mast or tower and stationary or luffing boom.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
See below

Transport Trailer Technician

Repairs and services the braking, electrical, hydraulic system and heating/ cooling units of trucks-trailers.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
No
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100

Truck and Transport Mechanic

Repairs and services the various systems and engine components of buses and transport vehicles.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 4
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 7,200
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
10,800

Welder

Joins, cuts, or shapes metal using electric arc, oxyacetylene flame or other processes.

Is there a training pathway for this trade?
Yes
Number of Levels: 3
Total Required Apprenticeship Hours: 5,400
Total Hours Required to Challenge Exam as a Trade Qualifier:
8,100