How to Become a Roofer
Job Duties of a Roofer
Skills and Qualities of a Roofer
Roofer Salaries
Influential Professional Roofers
Leading Organizations for Roofers
Top Cities for Roofer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Roofer

Most of the skills necessary for roofers to learn are picked up by working as apprentices for established roofers, a period that typically lasts for three years. Some may also take classes that are paid for by their employers, which often includes courses in safety training.

While there are typically no educational requirements for roofers, possessing a high school is usually beneficial. Applicants who have a background in mechanical drawing and mathematics are often given preference. More formalized apprenticeship programs are offered, which may include several hours of on-the-job training in a year in addition to several hours of classroom training.

What does a Roofer do?

Roofers are typically called upon to work with a wide variety of roofing materials, such as tar, asphalt, gravel, rubber or thermoplastic, and metal and/or shingles. Much of the work in the field involves the repair and restoration of roofs on existing structures.

Depending on their field of specialization, roofers may work on either low-slope or steep-slope roofs or both. Low-slope roofs can typically be found in commercial buildings and apartments. Many residential homes, on the other hand, have roofs of the steep-slope variety.

With roofs that are made out of several layers of material, roofers typically have to apply a layer of insulation. They will then have to spread a tar-like material called bitumen on top of it after which they will have to install several layers of roofing felt. More bitumen is used over this layer, which serves to make the roof watertight before another layer of felt is added. These steps are usually repeated several times over, depending on the number of layers desired.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Roofer?

Due to the nature of the job, roofers should be in sufficiently good physical condition and they must have a certain degree of balance. Since the job involves working on high places the majority of the time, they must be thoroughly comfortable with heights. Roofers who are involved with metal roofing should have sufficient training or experience in the field of metal-work. Apprentices should be a minimum of 18 years old.

Good physical conditioning is useful, considering the work environment that roofers are typically called upon to work. Roofing is quite a physically taxing job, and roofers often have to lift heavy materials in addition to common job-related tasks, such as climbing and bending.

Repair work on roofs, of course, means having to work outside, and this job is often done in all types of weather. While roofers typically do not work during rainy or cold weather, they may have to work extra long hours in hot weather, particularly if they are trying to finish their work before the rains come.

What do Roofers make?

The average earnings for workers in the roofing industry was calculated at somewhere around $15.51 in 2006. The middle 50 percent of this group earned somewhere between $12.12 and $20.79 with the lowest ten percent making less than $9.81. The highest ten percent made more than $26.79. In certain areas where poor weather prevented more working hours, the earnings may be considerably less than the average.

Apprentices are usually paid anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent of the wages given to more experienced roofers. As they gain more experience in their jobs, they may be given a raise. Roofers who are members of a union generally get paid higher wages.
Roofer Salary | More details for Roofer Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Some of the leading figures in the roofing industry are founders of their own companies and most have been in business for several years. Among them are Pat Breen and the Maguire brothers.

Pat Breen is the director of Breen Roofing and has been working in the fields of roofing and construction for well over 30 years. He began his career by serving as an apprentice with John Hainey & Son Construction where he worked from 1972 to 1976.

The Maguire brothers are the founders of a family-based roofing business that is involved in all types of roofing jobs. They currently have a successful commercial roofing contracting business as well as offer various local roofing services.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Some of the most prominent roofing companies in the United States are Feher Home Solutions out of New Jersey; Paramount Roofingout of Ohio; Biltmore Roofing out of Georgia; Guardian Roofing out of Washington; and Roof Right out of Delaware.

Feher Home Solutions was established in 1963 and has been at the forefront of the roofing industry in New Jersey. The company claims to offer some of the best quality products and superior service in the business at reasonable rates. They can also boast about their title as Master Elite Certified GAF dealers, making them one of the top 2% of all GAF roofing dealers in the U.S.

Paramount Roofing has been in existence since 1993 and is based in central Ohio. The company aims to set itself apart from the competition with their attention to detail in terms of roofing materials and workmanship. They claim to be one of the best customer service providers in the business.

Biltmore Contracting is based in Atlanta, Georgia and bills itself as a "full service residential and commercial roofing specialist." They have more than 14 years of experience in the residential roofing business, and they specialize in shingles, flat, metal, cedar, and tile roofs.

Biltmore Roofing is also an Alcoa Master Contractor, which is an award that is given to companies that have displayed outstanding achievements in stability, quality, and general excellence in the roofing industry.

What are the top cities for Roofer jobs?

In a study conducted in 2006, more than 156,000 jobs were held by roofers. Of this number, the vast majority was employed by roofing contractors with roughly 20 percent being self-employed. Of the self-employed roofers, most were primarily involved in residential work.

Allentown, Pennsylvaniais currently the city with the most job openings for those working in the roofing industry. Springfield, Ohio; Bellingham, Washington; Cincinnati, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky; and Monroe and Milwaukee, Wisconsin come next with Burlington, Kentucky and Green Bay, Wisconsin following close behind.

Other Careers of Interest

Bricklayers (or brick masons, stone masons or block masons) work on the parts of building construction that have to do with setting bricks or stones...

Carpenters can perform many different types of construction; creating anything from small wooden toys to cabinets and beds to bridges and highways....

Construction Worker
Wherever there is construction, there is usually a large team of workers who work together to get the job done - housing tracts, commercial buildings,...

Fabricators assemble finished products and the pieces that go into them. They can work on products ranging in size from entire airplanes to intricate...

A handyman is a worker who performs maintenance on buildings, like assisting with lighting fixtures, simple electrical work, simple plumbing, some...

Home Appliance Repairer
Home appliance repairers, also known as in-home service professionals, install and repair home appliances. Some repairers work on small appliances...

Hunter / Trapper
There are many different aspects to the professional life of a Hunter / Trapper. A broad description would define the job as one in which the Hunter...

HVAC Technician Installer Repair / Heating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technicians install, repair, and perform maintenance on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems....

The duties, necessary skills and qualifications, vary widely depending upon the chosen industry. Typically, a Journeyman follows the instruction...

Logger / Timber Cutter
The job of a logger has changed significantly in the last 100 years with the advent of modern tools and technology. Gone are the days when lumberjacks...

Machine Operator
Machine operators pop up in many different settings. They generally can be found working with metals and plastic. A machine operator can perform...

Machinists use various machine tools and their knowledge of metals to modify or create parts through a process known as machining. While these...

Though in general we simply call them plumbers, this particular trade consists of specific branches, all of which come under the `plumber' category...

Power Line Installer and Repairer
The scope of work that you will do as a line installer/repairer is working with the networks of wires and cables that provide end users with power...

Sheet Metal Worker
A sheet metal worker will perform the installation and maintenance of ventilation and air-conditioning duct systems, rain gutters, roofs, siding,...

Small Engine Mechanic
Small engine mechanics are typically called upon to perform a wide variety of tasks, ranging from the repair to the servicing and maintenance of...

Welders cut, shape and join materials to make parts in all sorts of industries, such as construction and engineering, offshore oil and gas, transport,...

Roofing Jobs

Browse by Location | Browse by Career



Career & College Resources


Creative Commons License