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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:
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.
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:
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Roofer
Top Careers After Roofer
Hispanic or Latino11.7%
Black or African American0.5%
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University of Phoenix13.4%
Kirkwood Community College7.2%
Lake Land College7.2%
Grand Rapids Community College5.7%
Utah Valley University5.2%
El Paso Community College4.6%
Chippewa Valley Technical College4.6%
Western Technical College4.6%
Hutchinson Community College4.1%
Northern Michigan University4.1%
Utah State University4.1%
Spokane Community College3.6%
Lincoln Land Community College3.6%
Fox Valley Technical College3.6%
Joliet Junior College3.6%
Moraine Park Technical College3.6%
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee3.6%
Owens Community College3.1%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Roofer||PTS General Construction LLC||Inwood, NY||Aug 21, 2015||$62,754|
|Roofer||James R. Walls Contracting, Inc.||Clinton, MD||Sep 19, 2016||$57,179|
|Roofer||Village Roofing & Siding Co.||Newtown, PA||Oct 11, 2016||$56,576|
|Roofer||Werkheiser Home Maintenance, Inc.||Mamaroneck, NY||Mar 21, 2016||$54,434|
|Roofer||Vision Team Construction Inc.||IL||Apr 02, 2016||$54,371|
|Roofer||Janiec Roofing, Inc.||Lodi, NJ||Mar 03, 2016||$52,437|
|Roofer||Janiec Roofing, Inc.||Lodi, NJ||Sep 03, 2015||$52,437|
|Roofer||Nash Roofing, Inc.||Fredericksburg, VA||Aug 31, 2016||$49,712|
|Roofer||DGPM DBA Skyline Roofing||San Marcos, CA||Dec 30, 2016||$49,587|
|Roofer||PERC Insulation Sales Inc.||Branchville, NJ||Nov 23, 2015||$46,592|
|Roofer||Meade Construction, Inc.||Mansfield, OH||Nov 30, 2016||$46,311|
|Roofers||All State Contractor Inc.||Centreville, VA||Mar 05, 2014||$46,000|
|Roofer||James R. Walls Contracting, Inc.||Clinton, MD||Jan 15, 2016||$45,947|
|Roofers||Top Quality Contractor Co.||Laurel, MD||May 06, 2014||$45,115|
|Roofer Laborer||Avalanche Construction LLC||CO||Mar 01, 2014||$38,296|
|Roofers||Kehrer Brothers||CA||Feb 04, 2014||$38,088|
|Roofers||Kehrer Brothers||CA||Jan 01, 2014||$38,088|
|Roofers||White Castle Roofing and Contracting, Inc.||NE||Mar 03, 2014||$37,190|
|Roofer/Laborer||Top Gun Roofing, Inc.||Jacksonville, FL||Dec 12, 2016||$36,836 -
|Roofer/Laborer||Top Gun Roofing, Inc.||Jacksonville, FL||Sep 14, 2016||$36,836 -
|Roofer||DT Chastain, Inc.||GA||Mar 04, 2014||$36,126|
|Roofer||D & D Roofing, Inc.||CO||Jun 01, 2013||$35,729|
|Roofers||Roof USA||Brooksville, FL||Jul 02, 2014||$31,827|
|Roofer||DT Chastain, Inc.||GA||May 17, 2013||$31,430|
|Roofers||South Central Roofing, Inc.||Columbus, IN||Nov 29, 2013||$31,305 -
|Roofers||South Central Roofing, Inc.||Columbus, IN||Mar 11, 2013||$31,305 -
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