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Working as a Roofer

What Does a Roofer Do

Roofers replace, repair, and install the roofs of buildings using a variety of materials, including shingles, bitumen, and metal.

Duties

Roofers typically do the following:

  • Inspect problem roofs to determine the best way to repair them
  • Measure roofs to calculate the quantities of materials needed
  • Replace damaged or rotting joists or plywood
  • Install vapor barriers or layers of insulation
  • Install shingles, asphalt, metal, or other materials to make the roof weatherproof
  • Align roofing materials with edges of the roof
  • Cut roofing materials to fit around walls or vents
  • Cover exposed nail or screw heads with roofing cement or caulk to prevent leakage

Properly installed roofs keep water from leaking into buildings and damaging the interior, equipment, or furnishings. There are two basic types of roofs: low-slope and steep-slope. Solar and vegetative features are sometimes incorporated into both low- and steep-slope roofs. Roofers may specialize in the installation and replacement of one or more of these roof systems.

Low-slope. Low-slope roofs rise less than 3 inches per horizontal foot and are installed in layers. Low-slope roofs make up nearly three-quarters of all roofs, as most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings use this type. 

Many of today’s low-slope roofs are covered with a single-ply membrane of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compound. Most previously installed low-slope roofs, however, use several layers of roofing materials or felt membranes stuck together with hot bitumen (a tar-like substance).

Steep-slope. Steep-slope roofs rise more than 3 inches per horizontal foot and most commonly use asphalt shingles, which often cost less than other coverings. Steep-slope roofs make up most of the remaining roofs, as most single-family homes use this type.

Although roofers most commonly install asphalt shingles, some also lay tile, solar shingles, metal shingles, or shakes (rough wooden shingles) on steep-slope roofs.

Traditional roofing systems may incorporate plants and landscape materials, and these features are becoming more common. A vegetative roof is typically a waterproof low-slope roof, covered by a root barrier. Soil, plants, and landscaping materials are then placed on the roof.

Solar features are increasingly popular on roofs. These systems include solar reflective, which prevents the absorption of energy; solar thermal, which absorbs energy to heat water; and solar photovoltaic, which converts sunlight into electricity. Roofers install some photovoltaic products such as solar shingles and solar tiles, but solar photovoltaic (PV) installers typically install PV panels. Plumbers and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics also may install solar thermal systems.

How To Become a Roofer

Although most roofers learn on the job, some learn their trade through an apprenticeship program. There are no specific education requirements for roofers.

Education

Although there are no specific education requirements for roofers, high school courses in math, vocational education, mechanical drawing, and blueprint reading are considered helpful. Technical schools that offer courses related to roofing may be available in a few areas.

Training

Most on-the-job training programs consist of instruction in which experienced workers teach new workers how to use roofing tools, equipment, machines, and materials. Trainees begin with tasks such as carrying equipment and material and erecting scaffolds and hoists. Within 2 or 3 months, they are taught to measure, cut, and fit roofing materials, and later, to lay asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Because some roofing materials, such as solar tiles, are used infrequently, it can take several years to gain experience on all types of roofing. As training progresses, assignments become more complex.

Some roofers learn through a 3-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Apprentices learn about roofing and construction basics, such as blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, safety, and first aid practices.

Several groups sponsor apprenticeship programs, including unions and contractor associations. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work

After completing an apprenticeship program, roofers are considered journey workers who can perform tasks on their own.

Important Qualities

Balance. Roofing is often done on steep slopes at significant heights. Because of this, workers should have excellent balance to avoid falling.

Physical stamina. Roofers must have the endurance to perform strenuous duties throughout the day. They may spend hours on their feet, bending and stooping—often in hot temperatures—with few breaks.

Physical strength. Roofers often lift and carry heavy materials. Some roofers, for example, must carry bundles of shingles that weigh 60 pounds or more.

Unafraid of heights. Because work is often done at significant heights, roofers must not fear working far above the ground.

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Average Salary$33,355
Job Growth Rate12%

Roofer Jobs

Roofer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Roofer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Roofer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Roofer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Roofer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Roofer

Cashier
10.3%
Cook
8.8%

Top Careers After Roofer

Cook
7.3%

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Roofer

Roofers in America make an average salary of $33,355 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$33,355

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range34k - 85k$54k$54,215
Salary Range30k - 68k$46k$45,715
Salary Range26k - 62k$40k$40,458
Salary Range30k - 53k$40k$40,372
Salary Range30k - 49k$39k$38,629
Salary Range28k - 48k$38k$37,575
$17k
$85k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Roofer
Roofer
Vonachen Group
Vonachen Group
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$25,04410/29/2020
$25,044
Roofer
Roofer
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$45,91410/27/2020
$45,914
Roofer
Roofer
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$37,56610/23/2020
$37,566
Roofer
Roofer
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
10/21/2020
10/21/2020
$54,26210/21/2020
$54,262
Roofer
Roofer
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
10/15/2020
10/15/2020
$25,04410/15/2020
$25,044
See More Recent Salaries

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Roofer Demographics

Gender

male

90.6%

female

6.2%

unknown

3.1%

Ethnicity

White

64.2%

Hispanic or Latino

22.3%

Black or African American

8.9%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

82.2%

German

2.4%

Russian

1.9%
See More Demographics

Roofer Education

Degrees

High School Diploma

59.1%

Diploma

14.9%

Associate

10.4%

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Roofer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Roofer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.1% of roofers listed new roof on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and math skills are important as well.

  • New Roof, 10.1%
  • TPO, 6.9%
  • OLD Shingles, 6.9%
  • Problem Roofs, 6.9%
  • Asphalt Strips, 5.8%
  • Other Skills, 63.4%
  • See All Roofer Skills

Best States For a Roofer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a roofer. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Alaska, New York, and Vermont. Roofers make the most in Maine with an average salary of $54,396. Whereas in Alaska and New York, they would average $53,671 and $47,811, respectively. While roofers would only make an average of $46,542 in Vermont, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Roofer Jobs:
10
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
6.03
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Roofer Jobs:
5
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
2.25
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Vermont

Total Roofer Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$108,000
Location Quotient:
2.95
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Roofer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a roofer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless roofer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Roofer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless roofer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Roofer Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

I love being a rooferDecember 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoI love being a rooferDecember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Roofer?

I just like being a roofer been roofing for 5 years now and really enjoy the fresh air in the outdoors and I'm good at it.

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Top Roofer Employers

1. CentiMark
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$44,517
Roofers Hired: 
92+
2. The Roofing Company
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$45,910
Roofers Hired: 
54+
3. Tradesmen International
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$40,033
Roofers Hired: 
32+
4. Baker Roofing Company
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$53,438
Roofers Hired: 
31+
5. Progressive Roofing
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$35,131
Roofers Hired: 
27+
6. State Roofing
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$41,664
Roofers Hired: 
23+

Roofer Videos

Recently Added Roofer Jobs