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How to Become A Roofer

Roofers install, repair and replace roofs of buildings, using different types of materials such as metal, bitumen, and shingles. The housing boom in the past few years has generated the demand for roof replacements and repairs, thus job prospects and salary potential for roofers is quite good.

If you want to join this line of work, then this article might be of great use to you. It will help you understand how to become a roofer in the U.S., along with information on salary and career outlook.

Should I Become a Roofer?

As part of their job, roofers typically do the following:

  • Install ventilation systems and layers of insulation
  • Inspect and repair roofs
  • Replace rotten or damaged plywood or joists
  • Measure and cut out roofing material to fit around vets and walls
  • Cover exposed screw heads and nails with caulk or roofing cement to avoid leakage
  • Install metal, asphalt, or shingles, to make the roof weather resistant

Roofing work can be challenging, exhausting, and physically demanding, since it involves working in extreme temperatures, performing tasks such as heavy lifting, kneeling, bending, and climbing. At times, these professionals have to work overtime in order to finish their projects, especially during the peak summer season.

If you think you have the temperament and skills to pursue this line of work, then you should keep reading!

The table below shows the skill requirements, salary estimates, and growth prospects for roofers.

Education Required

No specific education requirements.

Major Requirement



License Required in most jurisdictions


Mostly on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

Key Skills

Manual Dexterity, Physical Strength, and Physical Stamina. Roofers should not fear working at heights.

Annual Mean Salary (2019)


Job Outlook (2018-28)


Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for Roofers

It is estimated that the job opportunities for Roofers will grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028. Installation, repairs, and replacement of roofs will generate the demand for these workers. Roofs deteriorate at a much faster rate than other parts of the building, thus they need to be fixed more often. Moreover, construction of new buildings would also increase the demand for Roofers, who would be required to install new roofs. Besides that, many people are opting for solar installations these days, which will increase the demand for these professionals.

It is predicted that job opportunities in this field will be ample. Many vacancies will be created as existing Roofers leave the profession or switch to other jobs in the construction industry. It is generally easier for Roofers to find employment during the spring and summer seasons, which are peak periods for construction activities.

Employment levels, salary potential, career prospects also depend on the area where the roofers are working. For instance, Florida had the highest employment level for Roofers in 2019, with 22,800 jobs, followed by California, Texas, New York, and Washington. In May 2019, the top paying state for Roofers in the U.S. was New York ($67,250), Hawaii ($64,590), New Jersey ($63,450), Connecticut ($60,850), and Alaska ($60,510).

Steps to Become a Roofer

Step 1: Complete High School Education

Although there are no such education requirements to become a Roofer, it would be beneficial if you obtain a high school diploma or a GED. The high school curriculum will expose you to basic courses like mathematics, which may come in handy when you start your roofing career. Roofers have to measure roofs to find out the amount of materials required, therefore quantitative and analytical skills can be developed by studying mathematics at school level.

Step 2: Complete an Apprentice Program and Gain Work Experience

A number of contactor associations and groups, such as the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers, sponsor apprenticeship programs for roofing professionals. These programs consist of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. During these programs, experienced professionals will teach you how to use roofing material, machines, equipment, and tools. You will also work on demo projects, which will help you learn about complex roofing techniques. Once the apprenticeship program concludes, you can start looking for work.

Step 3: Consider Starting Your Own Roofing Business

After gaining some roofing experience, you may want to start your own roofing business. For this, you will have to check with your state for contractor licensing requirements. Each state has its own set of requirements which you will be expected to meet. Roofing contractors are generally expected to clear a trade exam, as well as a law and business exam in order to get the license.

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