What Does a Roofer Do?

Roofer works on roofing structures. Their responsibilities include inspecting problem roofs and recommending the best repair procedures. They also spray roofs, walls, and sidings with material to bind or seal them.


Roofers and shinglers usually undergo an apprenticeship program to learn their trade and obtain a journeyperson certificate. They must also attend yearly safety and skill training.

The working conditions of a roofer involve standing on ladders and scaffolds for long periods of time. They must also use hand tools such as shingle cutters and roofing hatchets. They may also glaze the top layers to make the surface smooth or embed gravel in bitumen for rough surfaces. Other duties include fitting skylight windows, re-slating and tiling roofs, and replacing lead sheeting and cladding. A roofer can expect to work 40 hours per week. Certification is available but voluntary.


Roofers are exposed to numerous hazards while working on a roof, including falling from the roof, slip, trip, and fall accidents, and injuries from power equipment or tools. These risks can lead to significant physical harm, such as broken bones or head trauma, and can also cause serious financial burdens for the injured individual and their family. In extreme cases, these injuries can even result in long-term disabilities or fatalities.

To minimize these risks, workers should use proper roofing techniques and safety equipment. They should also regularly inspect their work areas to identify potential hazards and take corrective action. In addition, they should ensure that all warning signs are clearly visible and in good condition.

Ladder-related hazards are among the most common risks for roofers. These include slipping and falling from the ladder, instability of the ladder during ascent or descent, and improper positioning of the ladder. To reduce these risks, roofers should follow proper ladder safety techniques and always secure the ladder to a stable surface. They should also ensure that they are not near power lines or other electrical hazards and keep tools within reach while climbing a ladder. Finally, they should use a full-body harness while on the roof and tie it to a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline, which will limit the force of a fall and prevent severe injuries.

Other common hazards include falling materials, tripping and slipping on uneven surfaces, and exposure to hazardous chemicals. To reduce these risks, roofers should wear comfortable clothing and footwear with rubber soles that can grip the roofing materials they are using. They should also avoid carrying heavy items on the roof and use a spotter to assist with material handling. In addition, they should avoid climbing over or leaning on skylights and other openings on the roof and use barriers or covers to secure these openings when not in use.

In addition to these safety measures, it is important for roofers to communicate and coordinate their tasks effectively. This can help ensure that all workers are aware of their duties and responsibilities, and it can also prevent miscommunication or confusion. In addition, roofers should designate a safety monitor who is familiar with roof safety procedures and regulations.

Education and training requirements

Roofers build, repair, and replace the flat or sloped structures that cover homes and commercial buildings. They must follow building regulations and safety procedures to minimize accidents. This career requires significant training and education before a person can start working in the field. There are several ways to become a roofer, including taking a trade school course or completing an apprenticeship. In some states, it is also possible to obtain a roofing license.

The qualifications for becoming a roofer vary depending on where you live. In general, you should have at least a high school diploma and some experience working with power tools. You should also have a good understanding of construction and math. In addition, it is a good idea to have a background in the insurance industry.

Most roofers get their initial training through an apprenticeship. These programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Most of these apprenticeships last for 4 to 5 years. They typically include four 12-month periods, at least 5,860 hours of on-the-job training, and three six-week blocks of technical training. Some apprentices may be able to accelerate their apprenticeship by having related work experience or by attending a program at a college or technical institute.

Those who wish to pursue a career as roofers should seek out apprenticeship opportunities offered by construction companies or unions. Some provinces offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to earn their way through the program. In addition to on-the-job training, many apprenticeship programs provide classroom training in subjects like the history of carpentry, tools and equipment, blueprint reading, and safety procedures.

Some states require that both residential and commercial roofers be licensed or insured. This can be a helpful way to show customers and potential employers that you are qualified to do the job. In addition to licensing, some states require that roofers obtain certification from the National Roofing Contractors Association.

While a degree from a trade school is not required for roofing operatives, it can make you more competitive in the hiring process. In addition, you should look for a program that includes hands-on experience with different types of roofing, such as sloped and flat roofs. You should also consider taking a supervisor training program that specifically addresses roofing operations.


A roofer can make a decent salary depending on their skills, education, employer, location, and other factors. They may be salaried or hourly employees and can receive bonus payments and other forms of compensation. Some roofing contractors also require their workers to attend training sessions on a regular basis.

A roofer typically works a standard 40-hour week, but during peak periods, overtime may be required. The average salary for a roofer is $48,248. The highest-paying locations for jobs.

The majority of a roofer’s job is spent working on roofs and with tools, but there are other duties as well. These include inspecting a client’s roof to determine the best course of action, measuring and cutting materials, installing vapor barriers and insulation, walking customers through their finished roof, and making sure all safety standards are followed.

In addition to these tasks, a roofer may also have administrative responsibilities. This can include preparing invoices, maintaining inventory, ordering supplies, and collaborating with salespeople and management if they are a supervisor or team leader. They may also be responsible for hiring, managing, and coaching more junior roofers. They are expected to be familiar with all construction processes and procedures. They are also required to follow all local and federal laws. Lastly, they should be able to effectively communicate with their coworkers and clients.

Annie Ritchey