Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 14, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Become a Roofer

The roof is the most important part of every dwelling. When properly installed, roofs prevent water from dripping into buildings and spoiling the interior, furnishings and other equipment. Roofers are specialists who are responsible for the installation of roofing materials on construction projects. They might be required to work overtime and also during extreme weather conditions.

What Do Roofers Do?

Roofers work on all types of roofs that include steep-slope, low-slope and sustainable roofs. Their duties include but are not limited to:

  • Aligning roofing components with the roof margins
  • Cutting roofing components to fit around vents and walls
  • Covering exposed screw or nail heads with roofing caulk or cement to counter leakages
  • Installing insulation layers and vapor barriers
  • Replacing rotting or damaged plywood or joists
  • Measuring roofs to determine the quantities of materials required

Salary

Below are the states with the highest average income for roofers.

State

Average earnings

Minnesota

$51,710.00

Hawaii

$51,390.00

Massachusetts

$48,370.00

Connecticut

$46,560.00

Missouri

$45,940.00

California

$45,650.00

Washington

$42,790.00

Source: Recruiter

Skills

The career of a roofer is a physically demanding one. It is one of the jobs with the highest injury rates. However, they can be evaded with proper safety measures and good planning. As a roofer, you need to have the following qualities:

  • Good physical conditions
  • Be comfortable with heights
  • Ability to lift heavy material
  • Ability to work for long hours
  • Ability to balance while working
  • Be able to understand building plans

Qualifications

Even though there are no particular education requirements for roofers, candidates who have pursued high school courses in the following areas are considered to have a competitive advantage:

  • Mechanical drawing
  • Mathematics
  • Blueprint reading
  • Safety and first-aid practices
  • Buillding code requirements

Technical schools that offer roofing related courses are also available at a few locations. Most roofers receive hands-on experience from competent workers who teach them how to use roofing machines, materials, tools and equipment. Trainees start with simple tasks such as carrying material and equipment and erecting hoists and scaffolds. After 2 or 3 months, they are taught how to calculate, cut, fix roofing elements and proceed to laying fiberglass or asphalt shingles. It might take the trainees a longer time to learn how to use other roofing material such as solar tiles since they are utilised infrequently. Assignments become more intricate as training progresses.

Apprenticeship programs for roofers take up to 3 years. In every year the apprentices are required to have a minimum of 144 hours of roofing related technical drawing and at least 2,000 hours of salaried on-the-job practice. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, roofers are now able to carry out roofing tasks on their own as journey workers. Since most states require roofers to be licensed, they need to obtain licensure. Some of the licensing bodies include the CIB, IDFR among others.

Career Prospects

According to BLS, job openings for roofers are expected to increase 11% from 2012-2022. This is because roofs are bound to deteriorate more quickly compared to other parts of buildings hence might require to be repaired or changed more often. Survey results from the National Roofing Contractors Association show that up to two thirds of all roofing activities comprise of repair and replacement.

Typical employers for roofers include roofing material suppliers, building contractors, local authorities and roofing companies. With experience, one can assume the roles of a technical salesperson, site manager, roofing technician, handling costing and planning jobs. Furthermore, you can also establish your own roofing trade. This career is ideal for individuals who are willing to put their creativity into practice.

Image Source: Surlangroofing

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