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What Does A Roofer Do

Career Path And Progression

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You could become a roofing surveyor, estimating costs, dealing with contracts and working with architects. You could also be a site manager, move into equipment sales or work as a steeplejack.

With a lot of experience, you could train apprentices, set up your own business or specialise in heritage conservation work.

Becoming A Roofer Can Also Help You For Your Own Life

Not only will you be able to help out many people during your career as a roofer, but your roofing knowledge can also greatly help you in your private life.

For instance, if you want to build a home, you can do all the roofing yourself and this can save you lots of money compared to a state where you would have to hire a roofing company.

Moreover, you can also make sure that you choose the best quality roofing tiles so that your roof will last for quite a long time.

Where Can I Go

Once you complete your apprenticeship, youll be able to work independently as a roofer anywhere in New Zealand.

As you become more experienced, youll be able to progress to higher-level roles, such as project manager or supervisor.

Many roofers go on to start their own business, increasing both their freedom and income. Others choose to go into consulting, training, or other roles.

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Roofer Career Video Transcript

Roofers are the people who literally keep a roof over our heads. These workers install and repair the roofs of buildings to keep interiors dry and safe. Roofers take detailed measurements to calculate the materials needed. They lay down layers of materials to create a lasting roof cover starting with a vapor barrier, and the roofing material a client chooses, such as asphalt, traditional or newer solar shingles, or long-lasting metal.

Weatherproofing the seals around chimneys, vents, or other rooftop elements requires precision and spatial perception. Roofer helpers set ladders and scaffolds in place, and hoist or carry materials to roofs. They remove old roofing material, and assist roofers with roof installation and repairs. They also clean the work area and equipment.

Roofing work is physically demanding. It involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling, often in very hot weather. Roofers work outdoors in all types of weather, and need to be comfortable working high above the ground. Most roofers work full-time, although only seasonally in colder climates and may work overtime to complete jobs quickly, especially when rain is expected.

Most roofers and helpers work in crews for roofing contractors. Roofers and helpers usually learn on the job, though some roofers learn their trade through an apprenticeship, typically a 3-year program of technical training and paid on the job training.

Commercial Roofer Job Description

In Need of a New Roof

Between the years 2018 and 2028, commercial roofer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as “much faster than average” at 12%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought “should I become a commercial roofer?” Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of commercial roofer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 19,000.

On average, the commercial roofer annual salary is $38,372 per year, which translates to $18.45 an hour. Generally speaking, commercial roofers earn anywhere from $28,000 to $50,000 a year, which means that the top-earning commercial roofers make $22,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a commercial roofer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That’s why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a shingler, roofer apprentice, roofer assistant, and shingles roofer.

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Roofing Contractors Enjoy Decent Job Security

Roofers are also in quite high demand right now.

Due to the housing shortage, there are many construction projects that need to be carried out in a rather short period of time and this means that you will be able to get more jobs than you could ever complete as a roofer.

Consequently, you also dont have to worry about becoming unemployed and even if you do for some strange reason, chances are that you would find another job pretty soon.

What Is A Roofer

A roofer is a professional who specializes in roof construction. Roofers monitor the entire process of roofing in residential as well as commercial construction. They analyze the construction plans and make sure that the roofing is done in strict accordance with the design. Roofers also determine the materials, substrates and supportive accessories to be used for roof installations. Even the specifications of the beams, trusses and rafters upon which roofs are installed are decided by roofers.

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How A Roofer Assistant Compares

The third profession we take a look at is roofer assistant. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than commercial roofers. In fact, they make a $1,203 lower salary per year.

Using commercial roofers and roofer assistants resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as “repair procedures,” “safe access,” and “safety rules,” but the other skills required are very different.

As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from commercial roofers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like “pvc,” “tpo,” “roof systems,” and “osha.” But a roofer assistant might have skills like “nail guns,” “pulleys,” “construction sites,” and “general maintenance.”

Roofer assistants typically study at similar levels compared with commercial roofers. For example, they’re 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Master’s Degree, and 1.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

How Roof Ventilation Works

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Now you know what roof ventilation is, we will now discuss in-depth about how the system works. Natural ventilation systems rely on air being able to naturally flow through the attic. This uses the stack effect and wind effect, but what are they?

The stack effect is when hot air rises into the attic, causing high pressure within the high points of the roof. Exhaust is when hot air escapes through the attic. However, the hot air can only escape when there is a way for cooler air to flow into the attic. Intake is when this cool air enters the attic.

When wind hits the roof from the outside, this increases the intake and exhaust, and this is known as the wind effect. Both intake and exhaust are important because they help encourage the natural circulation of air.

Whether you can use natural vents or require a mechanical roof vent, the idea is the same. Roof vents will work at allowing air to circulate the attic to regulate the temperatures.

But how many roof vents are needed? Having the right number of intakes and exhausts is essential to creating proper ventilation. Intake and exhaust both work together to manage the temperature within the attic and roof. You can never have too many, but you can have too little, so it is important to get it right.

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Roof Mechanics Dont Make A Lot Of Money

You should also not expect to make good money as a roofer.

Sure, you will often earn enough money to cover your basic expenses.

However, you will still only earn a small fraction of what other people like doctors or investment bankers make.

Hence, make sure that money is not your primary driver in life before you decide for a career as a roof mechanic.

Its Worth Springing For Long

If you are hoping to reroof your home now and never again, a metal or slate roof might be your best bet. According to the National Association of Home Inspectors, a metal roof will last up to 80 years, while a slate roof is good to go for 150. For concrete, you should get 100-plus.

And roof life is just one benefit to using these types of materials. They also have tremendous sustainability benefits, says Josh White, president of Hoosier Contractors, a roofing company in Indianapolis.

Most of these materials are eco-friendly and lessen the amount of water and energy usage inside a home compared to a conventional roof, White says, adding they also enhance in-home air quality.

The downside? The longer-lasting materials are also the most expensive. Slate, for example, can cost up to $45,000 for the average home.

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You Barely Have To Work In The Evening Or At Nighttime

Another upside to becoming a roofer is that you will also not have to work at nighttime.

Quite often, you will just work from 9 to 5 and will come home rather early from work.

Not only will you have the opportunity to spend lots of quality time with your family, but you could also meet up with your favorite people after work. You could also spend your time on your hobbies.

Opportunities are almost endless in this regard and I am sure you will have many things to do in your life that you like even more than working.

What Kind Of Roof Sheathing Is Better In Case Of Replacement

What to Do During a Roofing Emergency

Roof sheathing is made with two types of materials, usually made from oriented strand board or plywood.

Of these two types of roof sheathing, most roofers prefer Oriented strand boards . The reason is that the OSB is lightweight, and its price is low.

On the other hand, plywood is durable, but its price is higher than oriented strand boards.

If the roof is made of heavier materials such as slate or concrete roofing tiles, then plywood will be the best option.

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Are You Suited To Be A Roofer

Roofers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means theyâre independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also investigative, meaning theyâre intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if roofer is one of your top career matches.

How To Become A Roofing Operative

There are no formal qualifications required to become a roofing operative. However, you could complete a college course, an apprenticeship, or on the job training to move into this career.

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card to work on a construction site.

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Climate Should Dictate Material

You may love the aesthetic of asphalt. But if you live somewhere with extreme heat, like Texas or Arizona, you may have to settle for metal, slate, ceramic or concrete.

Asphalt does not function very well in extreme and it will deteriorate much faster when installed in the wrong climate, Steckel says.

However, if you live somewhere cold, like Alaska, North Dakota or Minnesota, youre in luck with roofing options. Most standard materials will do just fine. Discuss this with your roofing contractor to be sure, of course.

If you like the look of wood roofing, it may be viable. Just understand that wood is susceptible to mold and fire, so its best to avoid if you live in an extremely wet area or a region prone to forest fires.

Work Environment For Roofers

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Roofers hold about 161,600 jobs. The largest employers of roofers are as follows:

Roofing contractors
Construction of buildings 3%

Roofing work is physically demanding because it involves climbing, bending, kneeling, and heavy lifting. Roofers work outdoors in extreme temperatures, but they usually do not work during inclement weather.

Although some roofers work alone, many work as part of a crew.

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You Can Avoid Working In Classical Office Jobs

As a roofer, you will also not have to work in traditional office environments. Instead of sitting in front of a computer screen all day long, you can enjoy the fresh air.

Sure, some people also like working in those office environments.

However, many people dont since they feel kind of strange and unnatural in those office towers and rather want to do hands-on work instead of boring presentations.

Consequently, you should ask yourself what type of person you are. If you dont want to work in classical office jobs, you may become much happier with working as a roofer or a tradesperson in general.

Avis Hail Preparation Summer

Oh hail no!Areyou prepared for another season of storms? Its a good thing that we alwaysare. Here are a few tips that weve learned from our knowledge and experiencethroughout the years.

As Colorado Natives, weve been through a hailstorm or two. We help homeowners understandwhat to look for when inspecting a home for hail damage, and what todo to prevent as much damage as possible. In the next section, we’ll take you on a standard walk-through with us so you know what to look for and how to stay safe.

What we look for after a storm that has potentially caused hail damage to the home:

  • When inspecting for damage, remember that thereis a possibility of broken glass and other dangerous materials in placesunseen. Thats why were here to do it for you! In case youre walking the property, make sureto wear safety gear such as – but not limited to – safety glasses, gloves, andsturdy, supportive shoes.
  • Keep an eye out on the metal flashing around theroof, as it is common to have damage after a powerful storm.
  • We check closely around the downspouts andgutters, as the mineral granules may become disconnected from the roofingmaterial.
  • We look over the shingles to see if there areindents there could potentially be damage to the materials underneath theshingles, as well.
  • Damaged shingles left on a roof will ultimatelybecome water absorbent, seeping underneath the roofing materials.
  • Since hail will cause cracks in asphalt shingles,leaks may occur subsequently.

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What Are The Duties Of A Cool Roofing Installer

The next role we’re going to look at is the cool roofing installer profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $5,633 lower salary than roofers per year.

Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Roofers and cool roofing installers both include similar skills like “tpo,” “different types,” and “repair procedures” on their resumes.

While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren’t so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that roofer responsibilities requires skills like “safety rules,” “pvc,” “epdm,” and “safety procedures.” But a cool roofing installer might use skills, such as, “hand tools,” “windows,” “band saws,” and “easy application.”

It’s been discovered that cool roofing installers earn lower salaries compared to roofers, but we wanted to find out where cool roofing installers earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $28,383. Additionally, roofers earn the highest paychecks in the energy with an average salary of $38,492.

When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, cool roofing installers tend to reach similar levels of education than roofers. In fact, they’re 0.7% more likely to graduate with a Master’s Degree and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

Increases The Strength Of The Roof And Supports The Roof

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Roof sheathing covers the roof by giving equal weight to all parts of the roof. Since sheathing boards fix the joints and tresses of the roof, nothing can enter through it.

Snow or any other heavy object falls on the roof sheathing first, so there remains no damage to the roof. Moreover, the leaves of the trees often fall, or water accumulates on the roof and damages the roof. This damage can be avoided by using roof sheathing.

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Working As A Roofer Can Be Physically Demanding

One disadvantage of being a roofer is that it can be physically demanding.

Quite often, you will have to work on the roofs of people and this means that you will have to balance your body on a regular basis.

Moreover, you will also have to lift heavy tiles on a continuous basis.

This can be quite exhausting and many roofers come home tired and just want to sit on their couches after work instead of doing something fun.

What Hours Do Roofers Work

Roofers will usually work a standard 40-hour week. Most roofing work has to take place during times of nicer weather, so there tends to be less work in the winter, particularly in the northern states. Many roofers work long hours during the summer and dry periods to make up for this, so they will take advantage of the increased daylight in the afternoons and evenings to put in more hours.

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Employers That Recruited In The Last 2 Years

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Interest in copying information to apply waterproof coatings to concrete and other masonry surfaces above, and below, ground level


Interest in operating hand and power tools to install and repair metal roofs


Interest in repairing roofing systems, and in installing, repairing and replacing shingles, shakes and other roofing tiles on sloped roofs

The interest code helps you figure out if youd like to work in a particular occupation. Its based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory , which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means its a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Most flat roofs can be covered by a:

  • Conventional roof system
  • Elastomeric roof membrane system
  • Thermo plastic roof membrane system
  • Modified bitumen roof membrane system

On the flat roofs of commercial and industrial buildings under construction, roofers:

  • Put a layer of vapour/air barrier or insulation on the roof deck
  • Spread hot bitumen over and under layers of roofing felt or apply single-ply membranes of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds to make the surface watertight
  • Install metal or membrane flashing to protect the edges of roofing materials

Roofers also may:

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg


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