Experienced Workers

Pathway for experienced workers

Increasingly in demand across many skilled trades, a journeyperson certification validates to employers, clients, and the public that you have credible and recognized knowledge and competence to perform your job well. The challenge certification process provides an opportunity to have your applicable trades-related work experience, skills and knowledge assessed against the standards for certification, allowing you to become certified without having completed or started an apprenticeship. This is a great way to have your hard work and skills recognized.

If you are planning to get off the tools in the next few years, there is a pathway for you too!

What you need to know

If you are a trade worker who plans to get off the tools before December 1, 2028, click here for more information. 

If you are a trade worker who wants to become certified by challenging a certification, you are a Trade Qualifier. See the following section for more information. 


A Trade Qualifier is an uncertified worker in one of the Skilled Trades Certification trades who has:

  • extensive practical experience in their trade, and
  • more than 9,000 work-based training hours (approximately 5.5 years) that can be verified by previous employers,

Get certified by challenging a certification exam

Before you apply to challenge, please ensure you have met the following criteria: 

  • You have satisfied the minimum required work-based training hours in the Skilled Trades Certification trade you are applying for (i.e., 1.5 times the work-based training hours required for completion of the apprenticeship program of your trade). Visit the program page of your trade below for more details.
Electrical  Mechanical 

Construction Electrician (9,000 hours)               

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic (9,315 hours)

Industrial Electrician (9,000 hours)

Gasfitter Class A (4,500 hours) & Class B (4,500 hours)

Powerline Technician (10,080 hours)

Steamfitter/Pipefitter (9,450 hours)

 

Sheet Metal Worker (9,360 hours)

  • You have experience performing at least 70% of the job tasks listed in the employer/ statutory declaration form of your trade.
  • The references listed on your application can be contacted via phone to verify your work experience. References that cannot be contacted can result in your application being denied.

Skilled Trades Certification Requirements Checklist – Trade Qualifiers

  • Ensure you have the minimum work-based training hours required that can be verified.
  • Download the required application form and declarations from the Trades Program page of your trade. Click here for more information on how to apply to challenge a certification exam.
  • Submit your completed application form and declarations. Once we receive your application, we will review your work history, talk to your employers, and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the trade. 
  • Prepare and write your exam
  • If you need to rewrite your exam, our customer service team and Apprenticeship Advisors are here to help.
  • Once you have written the exam and passed, you will receive your credential.  

New Supports for Skilled Trades Certification

In addition to the provincial and federal supports available to registered employers and apprentices, we have also enhanced our supports to customers in the Skilled Trades Certification trades. For more information or to access these supports, please contact our customer service team.  

Industry-wide supports:  

  • Increased apprenticeship training seats and certification support through additional funding over the next three years.
  • Expanded Apprenticeship Advisors team with increased regional representation and an enhanced focus on removing barriers and providing customized support for individual apprentices.
  • Set up a new dedicated team of Skilled Trades Certification Advisors across the province to enhance worker and employer supports and help with a seamless transition to the new system.

Examination supports:

  • All Skilled Trades Certification trades exam fees will be waived until the enforcement date to encourage workers to get on the pathway to certification.
  • There will be exam preparation information and webinar sessions available in early 2023 to cover best practices and strategies to help you succeed on the exams.
  • Accommodation requests based on individual needs such as using a translator, translation dictionary, reader or requesting additional exam time can be submitted through the SkilledTradesBC Portal or exam accommodation request form while scheduling an exam. (See Exam Accommodation Policy for more information)

Learning support and accommodations for Trade Qualifiers in need:

  • Trade Qualifiers who have learning difficulties may be eligible to participate in the Virtual Learning Strategist program and work with a Learning Strategist online to develop customized learning plans and study strategies tailored to individual learning styles.
  • Learning support assessment will be available for those who do not have access to a professional assessment so accommodations can be identified and provided.
  • Interprovincial Exam refresher courses for Skilled Trades Certification trades will be delivered by training providers, subsidized by SkilledTradesBC.
  • In the event Trade Qualifiers need multiple attempts to complete an exam, the following upgrading supports are available:

Applying for Temporary Authorizations

If you plan to get off the tools before December 1, 2028 and want to continue working until then, you can apply for a temporary authorization if you can demonstrate the competencies and at least 36,000 hours of work experience (approximately 23 years) in your trade. This will allow you to continue providing your valuable experience as a trade worker in the system, setting you up to transition to your future plans.

A process to support Temporary Authorizations will be available to qualified workers who require additional time starting December 1, 2023.  Please complete the contact form below to receive updates about how to apply for a temporary authorization.


Questions?

Skilled Trades Certification Advisors are located throughout the province and are on hand to help businesses and uncertified workers transition to the Skilled Trades Certification model.

If you are an uncertified worker or an employer in one of the Skilled Trades Certification trades, contact our customer support via email or call to see whether you’re already on track or to get on the pathway to certification today.