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Become A Roofer

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Working As A Roofer

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $44,000

    Average Salary

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.

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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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Roofer Career Paths

Roofer
Machine Operator Technician Team Leader
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Driver Foreman
Superintendent
8 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Foreman Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Carpenter Carpenter Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Maintenance Technician Electrician
Electrical Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Electrician Supervisor
Field Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Electrician Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Specialist Shift Supervisor
Site Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Field Service Technician Owner
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Welder Journeyman Superintendent
Building Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Specialist Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Construction Worker Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Painter Maintenance Technician Field Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Framer Finish Carpenter Carpenter Foreman
Job Superintendent
6 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Construction Foreman Lead Carpenter
Building Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Journeyman Pipe Foreman Mechanical Superintendent
Area Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Roofer?

Roofer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.6%

Unknown

8.5%

Female

4.9%
Ethnicity

White

67.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

5.3%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

82.2%

German

2.4%

Russian

1.9%

Chinese

1.4%

French

1.4%

Dakota

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Japanese

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Italian

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%

Portuguese

0.5%

Mongolian

0.5%

Bosnian

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Slovak

0.5%

Cebuano

0.5%

Arabic

0.5%

Thai

0.5%

Carrier

0.5%
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Roofer Education

Schools

The Academy

17.1%

University of Phoenix

13.4%

Central State University

6.1%

Lake Land College

5.4%

Kirkwood Community College

5.1%

Universal Technical Institute

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.1%

Vincennes University

3.9%

A-Technical College

3.9%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

3.9%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.7%

El Paso Community College

3.4%

Portland Community College

3.4%

Joliet Junior College

3.4%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

3.2%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.2%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.2%

Utah Valley University

3.2%

Monroe Community College

3.2%

Clark College

2.9%
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Majors

Business

18.3%

General Studies

11.1%

Precision Metal Working

9.8%

Automotive Technology

8.4%

Criminal Justice

8.2%

Construction Management

4.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.6%

Computer Science

4.1%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.4%

Education

3.1%

Psychology

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Accounting

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.3%

Culinary Arts

2.2%

Biology

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

53.8%

Associate

16.0%

Bachelors

15.4%

Certificate

9.8%

Diploma

3.3%

Masters

1.2%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$44,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
Min 10%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CentiMark
Highest Paying City
Albany, NY
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Roofer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Roofer in the United States is $44,647 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $87,000.

Real Roofer Salaries

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 -
$52,175
Roofer/Laborer Top Gun Roofing, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Sep 14, 2016 $36,836 -
$52,175
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 Mar 11, 2013 $31,305 -
$25
Roofers South Central Roofing, Inc. Columbus, IN Nov 29, 2013 $31,305

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Top Skills for A Roofer

  1. OLD Shingles
  2. Safety Equipment
  3. Job Site
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Stocked the roof with bundles of new shingles and did complete yard clean up to remove all old shingles and nails.
  • Mastered the basic procedures to safety equipment and regulations.
  • Load and unload trucks as well as managed delivery of tools, supplies and equipment to meet daily job site requirements.
  • Determined the materials required for roof repairs, flashing repairs, and the installation of new roofs.
  • Supported the crew in setting up, cleaning, removing the old roofing system, and inserting the new roofing system.

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Top 10 Best States for Roofers

  1. New York
  2. Virginia
  3. Illinois
  4. New Jersey
  5. Rhode Island
  6. North Dakota
  7. Georgia
  8. Missouri
  9. Washington
  10. Maryland
  • (33 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)

Top Roofer Employers

Jobs From Top Roofer Employers

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