What are regulated professions and trades?

Some professions and trades are regulated in Canada to protect public health and safety. That means that you must have a licence or certificate to work in these professions and trades.

In some professions and trades it is illegal to work or even use the title of the profession or trade if you are not registered with the regulatory body. In other professions and trades, you can do the work, but you must register with the regulatory body if you want to use the title of the profession or trade.

In Canada, professions and trades are regulated in each province. There are regulatory bodies - organizations that control licences and certificates - in each province. If you get a licence or certificate, it is valid in 1 province. If you move to another province, you have to apply for a licence or certificate again.

Some professions and trades are not regulated by law, but may have voluntary professional bodies (membership in some of the associations on this list is voluntary). Some voluntary bodies provide certification courses and registration, which may help you to get work. Membership in these bodies is not mandatory.

About 20% of people working in Canada, such as nurses, engineers, electricians and teachers, work in regulated professions and trades. The majority of jobs in Ontario are unregulated. This means that you do not need a licence or certification to do them.

Find out more about:

For More Information

  • Job Bank - Use this to find the name of your occupation in Canada, find out if it is a regulated profession and get labour market information for locations across Canada.
  • Working in Ontario - Information about getting licensed in your profession or trade, bridging programs, credential assessment and more. From the Ontario Immigration website.
  • Global Experience Ontario - An information service for internationally-trained professionals. Find out how to apply to a regulatory body to obtain licensure to work in your field. It is run by the government of Ontario.
  • Health Force Ontario - Has information for internationally-trained health care professionals. Find information about the assessment, upgrading, education, bridging and language programs you might need to practice in Ontario. It is run by the government of Ontario.
  • Information on Specific Occupations - A collection of information sheets on many professions for foreign-trained professionals. Each sheet contains information on practice and licensing requirements, regulatory bodies and qualifications assessment. From the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).
Last updated: October 28, 2015 4001107