License Requirements

Nova Scotia License Requirements

Infographic of home renovation trade qualifications for Nova Scotia

The regulating body for trades in Nova Scotia is the Labour and Workforce Development - Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division. The governing body requires that some designated trades must have compulsory certification and/or proper licensing.

Certification and Education

Designated trades in Nova Scotia are defined programs structured around practical experience and technical training. At the end of this technical training, a student finishes by writing an exam. If they pass the exam, they will receive a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) and their Certificate of Apprenticeship. These certifications allow apprentices to work in their field as Journeypersons.

If a person has worked in a trade for an extended period of time without Canadian certifications, but has all the necessary skills and expertise of a certified Journeyperson, they can apply for a trade qualifier. This will certify them without any additional training programs (unless necessary). Further examination is required. The individual may be required to write an interprovincial Red Seal exam.

The Red Seal is a standardized exam for a given trade. It certifies an individual's extensive knowledge of their trade. The Red Seal allows a tradesperson to work across the country in every province.

Compulsory Trades, Further Licensing, and Permits


A bricklayer must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in their field.

Construction Electrician

A Construction Electrician must have their C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in the field. Additionally, a permit is required for installing a new, or modify an existing electrical installation. Only construction electrician C of Q holders can obtain a permit.


A Gasfitter must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in their field. Additionally, they must obtain a gas technician license in order to work in the province. There are three license levels. G3 means that they can work under the supervision of a G1 or G2 technician; they can install, activate or purge gas pipes. G2 means that they can install, activate, purge, repair, service, or remove natural or propane gas tubing, or reactivate old gas appliances. G1 means that they can install, inspect, purge, service, repair, alter, or remove and natural or propane gas appliances.

They cannot perform regulated work with liquid propane unless they have a liquid propane endorsement.

Oil Heat System Technician

Oil Heat Technicians must have a C of Q, or must be a registered apprentice in order to work in their field. They can only work with equipment that is under 400,000 btuh units.


Plumbers must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in their field. This includes installing, pressurizing and repairing pipe systems and other equipment that handles water, gas and sewage.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

These specialists must have a C of Q, or be a registered apprentice in order to work in their field. These technicians can work on residential units only that use no more than 240V of single -phase power


Make sure you check with your municipality about permit regulations before you begin a project, as permits are usually included within bylaws. For example, Halifax requires that a construction permit is obtained before starting the following projects: new home construction, deck building, shed construction, additions, renovations pools, and solar collectors. After you receive a permit, you must obtain mandatory inspection clearance during the duration of various projects.

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 Nova Scotia, feel free to comment in the forum below.

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