Roofers are an important aspect to the construction industry. They help to build and repair rooftops of homes and businesses, as well as repairing the inside of swimming pools. Roofers must be experienced at what they do because the job is not an easy one. They have to work many long hours in many different types of weather conditions.
Roofers are expected to work on hot summer days that can get up to one hundred and four degrees in some areas, and in freezing conditions that can get down to ten degrees. Repairing roofs is also a dangerous job, especially in slipper ice and snow. They will also work on many shapes of roofs, such as flat roofs, and slanted roofs. Roofers will also have many tools near them at their disposal. They work with hammers, nails, scrapers, drills, caulking materials and guns, brooms, mops, and knives. They will also work with many types of roofing materials, such as tar, shingles, asphalt, plastic sheets, bitumen, rubber sheets, and cement.
The job can be tedious work with twelve hour days of doing nothing but fastening shingles to the top of a roof. The job can also be very rewarding when they look back at their new handiwork that has just saved someone’s roof from caving in. They will repair the foundation and structures on the exteriors of the roof.
Repairing roofs is a strenuous hardworking job, but it is an important job. Roofs are what keeps people safe from outside elements, such as rain, hail, and snow. When a person has holes in their roof caused from weather and water damage or rotting, it is up to a roofer to repair the damage and make the roof look like new. Roofers will need to be in good physical health, as well as have great balance, for when they work on slanted roofs where it is easier to slip and fall. Roofers who have a fear of heights, will not last long in this business.
The salary for most roofers stay in the $36,000 a year range. The hourly salary for a roofer will be around $14 to $15 an hour generally. The salary can depend on the city the person lives in, and the company they work for. The lowest salary for a roofer is $9 an hour, and the highest has been $19 an hour. When roofers work over time, they can make a good paycheck. If a roofer is part of a union, they will also receive benefits, such as medical and dental insurance, retirement, holiday, and vacation pay. Some roofers can lose more pay when weather conditions are too harsh for roofers to continue working.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
The outlook for roofers are good because there will always be roofs that will need fixing. Unlike many other jobs that can be downsized, or processed out to other countries, the construction business will never run out of business. People and companies will always be looking for experienced roofers. Over 160,000 roofers have been employed in the last six years, and there is no chance of it slowing down anytime soon. Employment for roofers is expected to raise even more within the next few years. The nature of the job as a roofer will be rebuilding, reroofing, and repairing roof tops on homes, apartment buildings, and businesses. Roofers are also helping homes and businesses to go green using safer materials for the environment, and by repairing the roofs to contribute to a safer environment. People who have leaky roofs, will need a roofer to repair the roof by using tar, gravel, and asphalt materials on top of both low and higher sloped roofs. Most homes will have steeper roofs than apartment buildings, and businesses. The steeped roofs are harder to work on because they have the most dangers of slipping off of a roof. On Steep sloped roofs, roofers will need to work with a lot of different materials, such as shingles, nail guns, and knives.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
Roofers need a lot of experience in safety on issues with how to carry materials and equipment on to roofs, as well as working with hoists, and scaffolds. Most companies and unions want roofers to take safety training classes that will train them in these areas. They also want roofers to train in how to work with tools and materials, how to cut, fit, and measure materials, and how to lay shingles, fiberglass, and asphalt on to every type of roof. They also want roofers to train in how to use waterproof materials for walls.
Most apprenticeship programs will last for three years with continuous on the job training that will include over two thousand working hours, coupled with over one hundred and forty classroom hours. Roofers can also get on the job training by being hired as a helper for trained roofers. Once a helper has been trained in all areas of roofing, they can go on to become contract roofers that work for a union. People with a high school diploma who have taken classes in working with metals are looked at favorably.
Roofers who work for many years in the roofing business can eventually work for themselves, and they can also move up at a contracting company by becoming an estimator or a supervisor.
The only certification requirements for a roofer is a completed apprenticeship program with 2000 on the job training hours and 144 classroom hours.
- National Roofing Contractors Associations
- United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers
- United States Department of Labor’s Education and Training Administration