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Roofer


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.

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