Roofer Job Description
A roofer repairs, replaces, and installs roofs on residential homes or commercial buildings. They use a variety of materials such a metal, aluminum, wood, shingles, tiles, slate, and steel. Roofers scale the tops of a property to repair leaky roofs, replace broken tiles, or seal areas to make them watertight. Roofing is physically demanding and requires the stamina to stand, climb, and carefully walk in hot, cold, windy, snowy, or rainy weather. The work that roofers do ensures that buildings are structurally sound and safe for those who enter. Roofers can work on a full- or part-time basis, and many receive weekly salary payments.
Roofer Duties and Responsibilities
While a roofer’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Perform Roof Pre-Inspections
Before they begin a job, roofers inspect a roof to determine the best repair or replacement procedure. They inspect their work area to make sure that all required tools are present. Their evaluation incudes calculating the total amount of materials and labor needed to complete the job.
Measure and Cut Project Materials
Roofers have to ensure that any materials they use are properly trimmed to tightly fit along the edges of a roof. They are responsible for altering materials as needed. Roofers make sure that their materials fit around chimneys, vents, gutters, and walls, and other intersecting surfaces.
Smooth and Level Roof Surfaces
Before adding new layers, roofers smooth out rough spots and prepare a surface for new shingles or waterproofing. They use hammers, chisels, or other abrasive materials such as bricks, sand, and dirt to level out surfaces. After new shingles are placed, a roofer may glaze the top layer of their work and embed gravel to fill crevices.
Install Roofing Materials
The roofer’s primary job is to construct a weatherproof roof by installing materials such as shingles and asphalt. During this process they replace any areas of the roof that are damaged or rotting. To create a more weatherproof seal, a roofer may also use insulation or vapor barriers. During installation, roofers use caulk and mortar to cover any exposed nails or screw heads to prevent leakage.
Complete Site Set Up and Clean Up
Preparing and cleaning up a job location is a roofer’s responsibility. When they first arrive on site, roofers set up ladders, scaffolding, and other temporary structures. These tools enable them to conduct all needed roof work in a safe way. Once the job is completed, they are required to break down the site.
Roofer Skills and Qualifications
Successful roofers are detail-oriented people who like outdoor construction. Employers typically seek candidates with a minimum of three years roofing experience, but many are willing to train the right candidate. Companies seek people who possess the following skills:
- Roofing – roofers are expected to insulate and cover structures with shingles, asphalt, and slate in a professional manner
- Dedication to construction safety – the ability to safely handle a variety of tools and roofing assignments is critical for roofers who can face serious injury if they are not careful
- Waterproofing – roofers are often required to waterproof or damp-proof walls and surfaces
- Communication skills – the ability to establish and keep positive working relationships with peers, customers, and other contractors is essential for roofers
- Physical fitness – roofers face many physical requirements, such as the ability to lift up to 75 pounds of heavy materials and tools and the ability to withstand extensive bending, kneeling, and walking in hot weather
- Interpersonal skills – roofers are expected to work cooperatively with a team to get the job done
- Customer Service – delivering outstanding customer service to provide a great experience throughout the roofing process is critical for this job
Tools of the Trade
Roofers work in outdoor construction environments and are comfortable using the following tools and equipment in a typical workday:
- Power hand tools (grinders, screws guns)
- Height tools (scaffolds, ladders)
- Roofing materials (shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood)
Roofer Education and Training
There are no specific education requirements for roofers, although some employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma or GED. Many roofers learn their trade through apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs where experienced roofers show them how to use roofing tools, equipment, machines, and materials. During training, new roofers learn how to measure and cut roofing materials and how to lay shingles. With time, new roofers also learn more advanced roofing techniques.
Roofer Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for roofers is $38,970. The lowest 10 percent of earners make less than $25,590. The highest 10 percent earn more than $64,860.
The BLS projects employment of roofers to grow 11 percent through 2026, which is faster than average for all other occupations. Since roofs deteriorate faster than other parts of a building, more roofers will be needed for roof replacements and repairs. Roofing jobs are usually more plentiful in the spring and summer.
We searched the web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a roofer. This list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect, and engage:
National Roofing Contractors Association – get free training, networking, and job opportunities from this career center specifically created for aspiring roofers
Becoming Top Ranked: A Roofer’s Guide to Dominating Your Local Marketplace, Outselling Your Competition, and Achieving Your Dream Life – learn how to start and grow a successful service business in roofing
SPRI – this networking organization provides commercial roofing industry information, professional resources, industry event updates, and more
International Federation for the Roofing Trade – this global organization is dedicated to the craft of roofing. It provides free training and career readiness resources to help you jumpstart your career in this field
Metal Roofing Alliance – get access to professional training, job listings, and more from this metal trade association dedicated to the residential roofing industry
Roofing with Asphalt Shingles (For Pros by Pros) – over 80 percent of homes in America are roofed with asphalt. Learn how to work with asphalt shingles using the professional techniques described in this book
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers – training and education, job leads, and apprenticeship opportunities are available from this union, one of the most active roofing organizations in the country
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