alberta,employment,red seal hairstylist,red seal stylist

What is a red-seal stylist?

A little background information

Did you know that Alberta has over 50 designated trades? What sets these trades apart from other occupations is that they are directed by a board of directors who use the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act to regulate the involved trades. This board consults with industry experts, for example, schools and employers, to establish and update certification requirements to meet the needs of employers (Tradesecrets, 2024).

The coolest amongst this group of trades is Hairstyling ūüėČ  In the case of hairstylists, the board identifies the particular activities that hairstylists do, for example, cut, colour, perm, etc. These are called “restricted activities.” In other words, only people in the trade can perform those activities. Anyone performing or wanting to perform those activities must identify themselves either as a certified journeyperson, or as a sponsored apprentice with Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT).

This is done by either passing an exam to confirm that you meet industry standards, or registering as an apprentice after securing employment under the direct supervision of a certified journeyperson. You can also complete a designated occupational program, but then you still have to work the required hours, plus pass the exam.

Red Seal Endorsement

In Alberta, Hairstyling is considered a Red Seal Journeyman Trade. This means that hairstylists can earn a red seal certification after successfully passing an exam. The Red Seal Exam can be taken after proven certification based on education and hours worked in a salon.

Benefits of the Red Stamp of Approval

The Red Seal endorsement is recognized in Canada. Because it signifies higher standards have been met, employers look for it as an indication of the skill and competency level of potential employees.

Did you know?

In some trades uncertified individuals whose employers deem them to have the skills and competencies expected of a journeyperson are also authorized to perform restricted activities- hairstyling IS NOT one of them!


Tradesecrets 2024, accessed 21 May 2024, <>.

Tradesecrets 2024, accessed 21 May 2024, <>.

Tradesecrets 2024, accessed 21 May 2024, <>.

Tradesecrets 2024, accessed 21 May 2024, <>.

Beauty Industry Resource Centre
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Can you teach yourself to be a Hairstylist?

can you teach yourself to be a hairstylist

Technically you can teach yourself hairstyling. You can teach yourself to do just about anything these days! You may even be able to practice your self-taught skills on your family and friends. But as for teaching yourself to work as a hairstylist…well, that would be a no-no in Alberta, Canada.


However, if hair is your passion and you don’t mind going the extra mile, you may want to learn more about apprenticeship. The apprenticeship route to becoming a licensed hairstylist works for motivated people.

The Apprenticeship path will take you two years to complete. This includes a minimum of 1450 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training each year (20 weeks total). The benefit of this route is the cost effectiveness and the real life, hands on training.


1. Secure a job in a salon.

alberta beauty jobs

This could be getting hired as a salon technician, receptionist, or retail specialist. Your supervisor should be a Journeyman Hairstylist to train you and confirm your hours worked. You should mention your long term goals during your job interview to ensure you and your hiring manager are on the same page regarding your apprenticeship.

Keep in mind during your apprenticeship that your employer is incurring a timely and financial cost to train you. We recommend making yourself indispensable. For example, take on responsibilities abdicated by others. Consider yourself a student of every aspect of working in a salon. Even the menial labour that nobody else wants to do will prepare you for ultimate success.

2. Apply to be a Registered Apprentice

After securing employment, you may apply to be a Registered Apprentice in Alberta. Once you have completed your application and pay the registration fee, you may be issued an Apprenticeship Card and Blue Book (this is the official record log in which your worked hours are tracked).

As an Apprentice Hairstylist, you are able to buy product (no chemicals!) from salon distribution centres, and you are legally able to handle the tools of the trade.

3. On-the-job hours

Your on-the-job hours are divided into two twelve-month periods. During each period, you are expected to complete 1450 hours (this is 40 weeks based on 35 hours a week).

4. Technical training

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Your technical training is divided into Period One and Period Two. Both are 10 weeks in length (700 hours total). You may be eligible for financial benefits while in technical training. The average cost of tuition for both periods generally doesn’t exceed $2500. Tool kits would be available for learning purposes only, and it would be your responsibility to invest in your kit for your work experience.

5. Testing

Once your on-the-job training, technical training, and corresponding examinations (theory and technical exams for Period One and Two) are successfully completed, you are eligible to take the theory and technical exam for your Interprovincial Red Seal.


  • The¬†Canada Apprentice Loan¬†is an initiative of the Government of Canada to help complete your apprenticeship in a designated Red Seal trade. You can apply for up to $4,000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training. The money would be available to help with tuition, tools, equipment and living expenses, to cover forgone wages and to help support your family.
  • The¬†Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG)¬†is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, to a maximum of $2,000. This Grant helps registered apprentices get started in the designated Red Seal trades.
  • The¬†Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG)¬†is a taxable cash grant of $2,000. This Grant helps registered apprentices who have completed their training to become certified journeypersons in the designated Red Seal trades.
  • Canada Revenue offers a tax benefit for¬†Tradespersons‚Äô Tools Deduction¬†. Apprentices may be able to deduct the cost of eligible tools bought to earn employment income as a skilled tradesperson.


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beauty industry work,criminal record

Working in the beauty industry with a criminal record

Can you work in the beauty industry with a criminal record?

We all make mistakes, especially when we’re young! The consequence of having a criminal record can present itself in heartbreaking disappointment when it comes to employment. However, working in the beauty industry with a criminal record is possible.

If your passion is beauty industry-related, don’t let a criminal record deter you from achieving your dreams. The beauty industry in Canada is included under Personal Care Services Code 8121 in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This group is made up of businesses primarily engaged in providing personal care services (Statistics Canada, 2024). There are a number of occupations within Code 8121. For example, Hairstylist, Esthetician, and more specialized yet, Nail Technician, Lash Technician, PMU Artist, and so on.

In addition to encompassing a number of occupations, the beauty industry offers a variety of methods to earn money and not all require criminal record checks.

Methods of Employment in the Beauty Industry

Working in a Salon or Spa

Most employers in Personal Care Services are open to hiring Service Providers with criminal records depending on the offence and the amount of time that has passed since. An employer is more likely to be concerned with your education, experience, and perhaps social media following on a professional account. On the other hand, if a criminal background check reveals an assault or theft, you may want to be prepared with a response that will make the employer oversee the offence.

A few agencies in Alberta, Canada help people with criminal records find work. In particular, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northern Alberta helps women in contact with the legal system.

Sole Proprietors

Many service providers go the sole proprietor route and rent a room or chair from an established salon, or start a home business. The ability to be your own boss makes having a criminal record irrelevant when working in the beauty industry.

Keep in mind that being your own boss takes discipline to succeed in the long run. We recommend starting as small as possible and working your way up. For instance, take a short course in an introductory skill (i.e Manicures and Pedicures) and build a small clientele from that service. As your clientele grows, learn more skills, gain new clients, earn more money!


Corporations aren’t always big, faceless companies. Many of your neighbourhood storefront salons and spas are corporations. If you decide to incorporate your business, similar to a sole proprietorship, having a criminal record is irrelevant when you are your own boss.

Beauty Industry Resource Centre
(780) 604-2772


Statistics Canada 2024, accessed 1 May 2024, <>

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accreditation,alberta,beauty educator,beauty trainer,canada

How do I become an accredited beauty trainer?

accredited beauty trainer

Occupations and Regulations by Province

The path you need to take to become an accredited beauty trainer in Canada depends on your province of residence and your beauty occupation. Canadian provinces differ in their regulation of certain occupations in the beauty industry.

Start by informing yourself of the regulations (if any) mandated by the designated regulatory bodies of your chosen occupation.

For example, trade certification for hairstylists is compulsory in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (Work BC, 2024).

On the other hand, only Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick regulate esthetics (Government of Canada, Job Bank, Labour Market Information, 2024).

Accreditation by province

In addition, Canadian provinces differ in their requirements when it comes to granting accreditation status to beauty training providers.

For example, Alberta has no shortage of beauty trainers in occupations within esthetics. Examples include nail instructors, PMU instructors, lash extension instructors, etc. This may be due to the fact that esthetics is not regulated in Alberta. However, in a sea of instructors few of them are accredited.

What does accreditation mean?

Accreditation provides you with the ability to offer your students government student loans. In addition, it gives you the ability as a trainer to accept international students. Providing students with government loan options opens up your training possibilities.

Beyond offering student loans, it means that your curriculum has been reviewed by industry peers and has received a “stamp of approval” that potential students can trust. It also means that your students have dispute resolution opportunities with your accreditation body. This is an added-bonus to students.

To become an accredited beauty trainer in your province in Canada, contact your provincial government and associated regulatory bodies for your occupation to know the specific requirements. For beauty trainers in Alberta, Canada, we offer a short online course outlining the requirements and exemptions to accreditation.


Work BC 2024, accessed 25 April 2024, <,the%20Northwest%20Territories%20and%20Nunavut>.

Canada Job Bank, 2024, accessed 25 April 2024, <;jsessionid=EADE65F4F88B3AF81DB8AA6A54DD6092.jobsearch76>.

Beauty Industry Resource Centre
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