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Metal is used in a wide range of products because of its extreme durability. Machinists turn blocks of metal into complex, intricate metal parts for other products. They also fit and assemble metal parts and sub-assemblies, ensuring the parts in these products meet exacting standards in size, strength and hardness. Machinist is a nationally designated trade under the Inter-provincial Red Seal program.Machinists set up and operate lathes, milling machine saws, grinding machines, drilling and boring machines, shapers, planers, precision measuring tools, hand and power tools, and the related attachments and accessories including cutting tools. Machinists often work in manufacturing plants or machine shops and are required to read and interpret blueprints and to perform precise machining operations based on project specifications. They must understand the fundamentals of mathematics, metallurgy and mechanical drawing. Detailed work is a large part of a Machinist's job. Because they make parts to exacting standards, Machinists are required to verify the dimensions of products using precision measuring instruments; calibrate these measuring instruments to ensure accuracy, and; inspect and test completed products to ensure that they meet quality standards.

Program Updates:

The exam weighting charts are available for levels 1, 2, and 3 and show the approximate percentage of weighting per General Area of Competency (GAC).

Program Information

The documents below offer detailed information specific to this program.

  • Program Profile
  • Describes the requirements for apprentices and challengers to earn certification
  • Download(PDF 145.39 KB)
  • Program Outline
  • Guidelines for delivery of technical training at ITA Recognized Training Providers
  • Download(1.PDF 620.3 KB)
  • Guidelines on Interprovincial (IP) Red Seal Examination
  • Information guide about how to study for the IP Exam including sample questions
  • Download(PDF 1.32 MB)
  • Interprovincial (IP) Exam Table
  • List of tasks that will be tested and number of questions on each task
  • Download(PDF 32.35 KB)

Challenge Certification/Recognize Prior Experience

If you have significant work experience in a trade but have never been certified in Canada, you may apply to challenge the certification.


If you sponsor apprentices but have never been certified in Canada, you may request to supervise and sign-off apprentices when they are ready to be certified. Please refer to the application form on whether this trade qualifies.

  • Instructions
  • How to Apply
  • Download(PDF 66.01 KB)
  • Application Form
  • Personal information and exams scheduling information (for challenge option)
  • Download(PDF 72.32 KB)
  • Employer Declaration
  • Document of relevant work experience
  • Download(PDF 226.81 KB)
  • Statutory Declaration
  • Attestation for self-employment/work experience when employer cannot be contacted
  • Download(PDF 247.28 KB)