License Requirements

Newfoundland License Requirements

Newfoundland and Labrador had brain drain issues in the past. Residents frequently left to work in other parts of the country. However, the province's growing economy has fed trades opportunities. Today, the demand for trades jobs is high.

The Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division (ATCD) is the governing body that regulates and monitors trade certification and apprenticeship. The whole certification process is directed by governing bodies that are guided by written legislation.

Education and Certification

The ATCD offers apprenticeships (a combination of on-the-job training, and in-class learning) to students who wish to learn a trade. A student is to complete their apprenticeship with an employer who is willing to sign onto the apprenticeship program with them. When the student has learned the industry standards sufficiently and successfully, they are considered a Journeyperson. A Journeyperson carries a Certification of Qualification (C of Q) for their trade.

The Red Seal establishes that an individual has mastered their trade. It gives them occupational mobility across the country. Journeypersons are able to obtain a Red Seal with further examination. The Red Seal qualifies the candidate to work in any province in the country.

There are additional initiatives to increase trades mobility between Atlantic provinces. Memorandums have helped standardize apprenticeship program material and protocol. This creates widely accepted, consistent educational outcomes throughout the Maritimes. Apprentices can learn more freely across various eastern provinces. For example, electrical apprentices in St. John’s can move to Halifax and continue their training. The Provincial -Territorial Apprentice Mobility, Atlantic Apprentice Mobility, and the Atlantic and National Trade Harmonization Projects are three examples.

Finally, there are opportunities for individuals to certify their skills with the ATCD. Tradespeople can take Trade Qualifier Exams. If they have sufficient experience and skill in their trade, they can bypass unnecessary Canadian training programs, and take a qualifying exam to receive their certification.

The Trades

Trade structure in Newfoundland is based on the type of trade, the education offered, the potential certification options, and the mandatory licenses that come with a given trade.

Designated trades are known as interprovincial trades, which have a Red Seal certification opportunity. Students who complete apprenticeships for designated trades are awarded their C of Q. Provincial trades and non-red seal trades that are province-specific, unique trades based on local demands. Certification only trades require no standard training, but still have certification offered by the province. Finally, training and certification trades have both training and certification offered.

Certification, Licensing, and Permits

Some trades require certification, with additional licensing.


Electricians have a designated trade in Newfoundland. In order for an electrician to get an electrical permit for a project, they must have an Electrical Contractor's Registration Certification. Anyone who has this certificate must be a journeyperson with a C of Q. Additionally, electricians can get their Red Seal along with provincial training and certification. Electrical permits are required before the installation and repair of electrical procedures such as: wiring installations, and generator and transformer installations. Electrical permits can only be issued to registered Electrical contractors.

Gas Fitting

Gas Fitters must be certified in order to work in the field. Thus, they either need their C of Q, or they must be a registered apprentice.


Plumbers must have a C of Q, or be registered apprentices to work in Newfoundland. They can get their Red Seal along with provincial training and certification. Plumbing has both training and certification available in the province.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics

These specialists are to have their C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in the field. They can apply for further certification for a Red Seal in the trade.


Permits are mostly issued under the jurisdiction of different municipalities. It is important that you check to make sure if your city bylaw requires a particular permit. For example, St. John's has a city bylaw for plumbing permits and inspections—all licensed Journeypersons must have a city permit before beginning a plumbing project.

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 if 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 Newfoundland and Labrador, feel free to comment in the forum below.

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