Skilled Trade Worker Program Requirements | Express Entry

The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows people who are qualified in a skilled trade to become permanent residents of Canada. Currently, eligible skilled trades are the following: industrial, electrical and construction trades, maintenance and equipment operation trades, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production, processing, manufacturing, and utility supervisors and central control operators, chefs and cooks, butchers and bakers. To qualify under this stream, a candidate must also meet the language ability, work experience, and qualification requirements. Applications under the Federal Skilled Trades Program are managed through the Express Entry System.

Federal Skilled Trades Requirements

To immigrate as a skilled worker under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, there are three primary requirements:

  • Work experience in the “skilled trades.”
    A job offer or a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade issued by a Canadian authority.
    Language proficiency.

What Is Considered “Skilled Trade”?

A skilled trade is a labour job that requires specific training, as well as much of the labour involved with skilled trade job is manual work and can be physically demanding.

To immigrate as a skilled worker under the Federal Skilled Trades program, a job must be in the list of eligible skilled trades – jobs. Currently, the following skilled trades jobs are eligible for immigration:

Industrial, electrical and construction workers.
Maintenance and equipment operation workers.
Supervisors and technical workers in natural resources, agriculture, and related production.
Processing, manufacturing and utility supervisors and central control operators.
Chefs and cooks.
Butchers and bakers.

Work Experience Gained In The Skilled Trade

To qualify for immigration under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, at least two (2) years of full-time work experience or an equal amount of part-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five (5) years is required.

Also, it is essential to show that a candidate performed the job duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description of National Occupational Classification (NOC) of the major group of a primary occupation – 72, 73, 82, 92, 632, or 633. Job duties include all the listed essential duties and most of the main duties.

Case Study – What Experience Counts?


For example, a candidate is an electrician from Mexico. He is qualified to practice independently in that trade in Mexico and worked as an electrician for 1 year in Mexico. However, as an electrician from Mexico, he might work in another country that has different rules for practising as an electrician. Assuming, a candidate then worked for 1 year as an electrician in Croatia. In that case, the work experience from Croatia will only count toward the 2‑year work experience requirement if he also met the requirements to practise independently as an electrician in Croatia.

Conclusion :

Thus, for 2 years of experience as an electrician to count, a candidate must prove that he was certified or licenced to be an electrician in Mexico and Croatia, according to Mexican and Croatian regulations. If he worked for 1 year as an electrician in Ontario, to count that experience, he must show he met the requirements to practice independently as an electrician in the province of Ontario. To prove that, most likely he would need a Certificate of Qualification from the Ontario College of Trades. The Ontario College of Trades is a professional regulatory body responsible for issuing certificates of qualification and statements of membership in the province of Ontario.

Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification
To meet the minimum requirements under the Federal Skilled Trades program, a candidate must have:

A job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year, o
A Certificate of Qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.

How To Get A Certificate Of Qualification?

If a candidate does not have a job offer from a Canadian employer, then he should get a Certificate of Qualification from a province or territory. The provincial or federal body that governs skilled trades will assess qualification for the province or territory where a candidate would like to live and work.

The assessment of the qualification process is different depending on the Canadian province and whether a candidate needs a certificate of qualification to work in that province or territory in a specific skilled trade and what he has to do to get a certificate. Below are the links to the provincial or territorial regulatory bodies:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

Some trades are regulated at the federal level. For example, an aeroplane mechanic is federally regulated. You might want to contact the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. This Center provides information on credential assessment for all regulated trades in Canada.
Language Proficiency – Federal Skilled Trades Program

A minimum result of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing is required.

Candidate can take either the English or French test. For English, there are two options, either CELPIP or IELTS. Only the “General test” (not academic) option is accepted under the Express Entry. For French, the TEF test is the only possible option.

The language test result is accepted if it less then 2 years old (on the day you apply for permanent residence).

If you would like to know more , you may call +1 587-930-7017 or email or message us using the contact form.

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