License Requirements

Alberta Contractor License Requirements

In Alberta, specific trades require the appropriate certification in order for tradespeople to work in the province. These trades include gasfitters, plumbers, and electricians (among many others). All of these trades require the provincial journeyperson certification, registered apprenticeship, or valid recognized credentials in order for the tradesperson to work in the field.

Any qualified tradesperson should be able to show you their pocket certificate, issued by Alberta Advanced Education. You can contact your local Alberta Advanced Education Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office to make sure that the tradesperson under consideration for your next job is legitimately qualified to do the job. Contacting the office will help you ensure that their certifications are not expired.

Contact the Industry Training Office by calling the Consumer Contact Centre in Edmonton: 780-427-4088, or toll free 1-877-427-4088.

All prepaid contractors (those who accept money before work is complete; and look for work, discuss, or finalize a contract away from their place of business), no matter the city: Calgary, EdmontonRed DeerLethbridge or Medicine Hat, must be licensed by Service Alberta.

In Alberta, a contractors license is needed to do renovations in Calgary, EdmontonRed DeerLethbridge and Medicine Hat, among others. This includes kitchen and bathroom renovation contractors.

Tricks of the Trades

Designated trades are regulated by the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act. Designated trades require the tradesperson to be a registered apprentice or certified Journeyperson. Depending on the trade, further compulsory certifications are demanded of practicing tradespeople.

Registered apprentices participate in the regulated Apprenticeship and Industry Training Program (AIT). The program is standardized by the Alberta government, AIT Board, training institutions, and the industry. The program aims to ensure consistency and competitiveness amongst tradesworkers within the province.

You can check the Trades and Occupations List to find out necessary apprenticeship qualifications, certifications, and credentials required for any given tradesworker, especially one whom you intend on hiring.

Education and Certifications

Successfully completing an Alberta apprenticeship program entitles a student to an Alberta Journeyperson Certificate and a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q). They must successfully complete their final exams to receive these qualifications.

In some circumstances, a person's skills meet industry standards, but the person either holds certifications from other jurisdictions, or no certifications at all. Usually, the tradesperson has significant experience in the field and does not require further training. This person can receive an Alberta C of Q if they apply for the certification, and pass a challenge exam. In some cases, out-of-province journeypersons don't have adequate training that meets AIT criteria, thus, gaps must be filled.

Journeypersons can apply to receive their Red Seal certification. This certification allows them to work across the country without further examination. A standardized exam must be written.

Other acceptable certifications may include (depending on position):

  • Alberta Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship (i.e., Ironwork or Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program).
  • Alberta Certificate of Proficiency
  • Certificates issued under the Manpower Development Act (before 1992) are considered valid (unless expired).
  • The Blue Seal (Achievement in Business Competencies Program) is a certification that recognizes highly skilled professionals who have the knowledge to succeed in business. Individuals with the Blue Seal certification may move into supervisory and entrepreneurial roles.

It is important to check with your jurisdiction to verify which projects require permits, as rules can vary between municipalities. The Safety Codes Act requires that all contractors and homeowners have permits before working on buildings that are considered as such within the Alberta Building Code, with projects that fall under the Canadian Electrical Code, Alberta Gas Code, and/ or Alberta Plumbing code.

Designated Trades


Electricians must have their C of Q, or be a certified apprentice in order to work in the field. Safety Codes Alberta states that only Master Electricians can obtain electrical permits from any given municipality. Moreover, some municipalities may require additional licensing in order to take out a permit to complete a project (Calgary requires a Calgary business license, for example). Nevertheless, electricians must be properly certified in order to obtain a city permit.

Gas Fitters / Gas Technicians

Gas Fitters must have their C of Q, or be a certified apprentice in order to work in the field. Gasfitters install, test, and size natural and propane gas equipment, and their certifications (A or B) extend the scope of work they can do in the field.


Plumbers must have their C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in the field. No license is required. Qualified plumbers work on residential, industrial, and commercial projects. They cannot work on refrigeration circuits.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

These mechanics must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in the field. These mechanics repair, service, build, and install a number of cooling systems for residential and commercial use. They cannot work with appliances designed for natural or propane gas that exceed a 400,000 buth input.

Changes to Licensing Requirements

Because licensing requirements change, it is important that you check with both your provincial and municipal office to verify if any updates have been made or additional licenses, or permits are required.

If you understand that there are additional or updated licensing requirements, or restrictions or laws pertaining to skilled trades performed in Alberta, feel free to comment in the forum below.

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