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How To Work In The Trades in Canada


If you have worked in a skilled trade outside of Canada and would like to be employed in British Columbia, it is possible to have your work experience and education recognized and receive a certificate for your previous trades experience. Trades is a growing industry in BC and there are hundreds of jobs available for people who have the correct certification. The future is bright for trades and the wages can be very good as well.

The Industry Training Authority  (ITA) does offer ‘challenge exams’ for most trade occupations. These challenge exams are available for persons who have worked outside of Canada and had most of their training in another country.

The following steps will explain the procedures a foreign trained person will need to take to become certified to work in their trade in British Columbia.

Step 1 – Visit the website Industry Training Authority and do a search for your trade.

Step 2 – On the page which features your trade there will be a heading for “Challenge Exam”.  In this section you will need to complete an application form and pay the fee of $120.

As part of your application you will need to have any previous employers you have worked for state the amount of hours that you were employed and the employer will need to write in detail the tasks you did at the job. You will also be required to list your educational background.

Step 3 – Next step is an assessor at ITABC will contact your previous employers, confirm your tasks at your previous jobs and training. The fee for this is $120 and can take 3 – 6 months depending on how complex it is to get documents and emails translated to another country.

Step 4 – Then once the assessor has completed the appraisal,  there is a one year period to write the challenge exam and the fee for the test is $120. It is possible to write the exam three times within one year. If the applicant has still not passed the exam after three tests, then there will be an additional fee of $100 to write the exam again.

Step 5 – Once the exam has been passed then the person will be granted a certificate in their trade and can start working in the occupation.

For more information and help with your questions about foreign credential recognition in BC. The Industry Training Authority can provide additional assistance:

There are other trades that require certification through a specific regulatory body i.e. crane operators, electricians, gas fitters, blasters, etc. A complete list can be found here:

The trades in British Columbia is a growing industry with an exciting outlook and long term steady employment. There is a path available for foreign trained persons to work and be prosperous in this thriving sector.

For more information, please contact us.

Or Find out if you qualify

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