Become a Roofer

Roofer installs, replaces, or repairs roofs for residential and commercial buildings. They use a variety of roofing materials, including shingles, metal, and tar paper.


The work is physically demanding and requires high-level spatial perception. A roofer also must be able to work in unpleasant weather conditions and on top of a building on a slope.

Roofers install, repair, or replace roofs using a variety of materials. They may work as self-employed roofers or on a contract basis for construction companies. They also provide emergency roof repairs and perform routine maintenance on residential and commercial buildings.

Job duties include estimating job costs, working with customers to develop roofing plans, and monitoring the installation process to ensure that it conforms to client expectations. Some roofers also inspect roofs for damage or determine if replacement parts are necessary.

Other responsibilities include safely setting up ladders, scaffolding, and hoisting equipment as needed. They must also update their supervisor on progress and report any problems that arise.

Some roofers have specialized training in one type of roof material, such as hot asphalt or metal roofing. They typically learn the trade through apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs.

A high school diploma or GED certificate is typically the minimum education requirement for this job. However, some employers prefer candidates with a higher level of educational experience, such as a bachelor’s degree.

During training, roofers learn how to measure and cut roofing materials and how to lay shingles. They also learn how to use other tools and machines involved in roofing.

They must be physically strong and capable of performing strenuous tasks, including bending and stooping for long periods of time and lifting heavy materials. They also must have excellent balance and endurance to be able to work in the heat of the summer.

Most roofers work full-time. They may also need to work overtime during the summer months, when roofing jobs are most plentiful.

The median annual wage for roofers was $42,100 in May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent of roofers earned less than $26,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,920.

Job growth for roofers is expected to be faster than average from 2014 through 2026. The BLS reports that more roofers are needed because roofs deteriorate faster than other parts of buildings. Some openings in the industry are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Roofing is an occupation that involves labor to build structures that protect homes and buildings from the elements. To become a roofer, you need to have experience working in the field and some basic education and training.

The best way to get started as a roofer is by going through an apprenticeship program, which requires about three years of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. You can get information about apprenticeships from roofing contractors or by checking with your local union office.

As a roofer, you work to install and repair various kinds of roofing systems. Your duties may include removing old roofing materials, measuring and estimating the costs of new roofs, and laying shingles or metal panels. You also use a variety of hand tools, including hammers, knives, power fastening machines, and brushes. You may be required to wear protective equipment and safety goggles when you work on roofs.

You need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to get a job as a roofer. Having a bachelor’s degree can help you advance in your career. You can find roofing-related courses at technical schools and online colleges.

Most roofers learn the trade on the job, assisting more experienced roofers with projects. They learn to work with a wide range of roofing materials, including asphalt or fiberglass shingles, composition roofing, slate and tile, and aluminum and metal shingle roofing.

After learning the skills and knowledge needed to complete a job, you can advance to supervisory positions or start your own business. Alternatively, you can become an estimator for a roofing contractor.

Some roofers choose to specialize in particular types of roofing. For instance, they might be trained to install a low-slope, waterproof roofing system that incorporates a rubber membrane and a barrier to hold soil and plants in place.

Andre Bishop