License Requirements

Nunavut and NWT Contractor License Requirements

Infographic of home renovation trade qualifications for Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is the governing body that regulates apprenticeship and occupation certifications. The ECE designates and provides regulated training for certain trades. Certification is encouraged in the NWT.

In Nunavut, the Department of Family Services’ Apprenticeship Unit is the supporting body for tradespeople looking to gain certification in their field.

Education and Training

Designated Trades offer technical training courses to tradespeople. Some of these trades require compulsory certification.

Apprenticeship programs provide students with in-class learning, along with in-field training led by an employer. In order to get into an apprenticeship program, a student must pass an entrance exam and register in a program. Upon the completion of the apprenticeship, students receive their Certification of Qualification (C of Q). Once the student has completed the program, and has been awarded their C of Q, they become a certified Journeyperson.

Trade Qualification Programs are applicable to anyone who has worked in their trade for an extended period of time, and has expertise in their field. They can certify their experience through a Trade Qualifying exam.

Red Seal Certifications allow an individual to practice their trade across the country. the Red Seal exam is standardized, and it displays overall excellence and mastery in a field. Additional fees and testing apply.

Certification and Licenses


Electricians must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice to work in the field. There are no Master Electrician title requirements. Only certified electricians can obtain permits for electrical work in the NWT and Nunavut.

Gas Fitter (there is no interprovincial Red Seal for this trade)

Gasfitters must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice to work in the field. There is no interprovincial Red Seal for Gas Fitting. The first class of gas fitters can do any type of residential or commercial work on gas systems, regardless of buth. The second class restricts workers to buth units below 400,000. Only qualified Gas Fitters can apply for permits to work on projects in these territories.

Oil Burner Mechanic (residential)

Oil Burner Mechanics must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice to work in the field. They can only work on oil burners with outputs below 400,000 buth units.


Plumbers must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice to work in the field.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

These mechanics must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice to work in the field.

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 permits or licenses are required.

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

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