what is a roofer?

A roofer specialises in roof construction for both commercial and residential buildings. As a roofer, you monitor the entire process, from analysing the construction plans to installing the new roofing materials. That means you will build, remodel and maintain roofs on offices, public buildings, stadiums, factories and residential houses. Since buildings have different types of roofs, you need to be familiar with them. For instance, most industrial and commercial properties have flat or slightly sloping roofs, while residential homes have pitched roofs. As a roofer, you need to know how to work on both types of roofs.

what does a roofer do?

Roofing projects differ depending on the construction plan, and you should be comfortable working with different materials, including grey slate, sheeting, red tiles and thatch. Aside from the installation of new roofing, roofers also maintain the existing roofing materials or work on the necessary repairs. Most maintenance works require inspecting the roof and finding the perfect way to remodel. You also have to replace the plywood and joists or install new metal panels to ensure the roof is structurally sound. The job requires physical fitness to work on rooftops and handle heavy materials.

Would working as a roofer suit your interest in hands-on work? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a roofer role.

roofer jobs

average salary of a roofer

According to National Careers, the average salary of a roofer starts from £17,000 per year for beginners. Experienced roofers often earn over £35,000 per year, and your compensation package may vary depending on your employer. Some pay on a project basis and provide hourly wages. Aside from salary, most companies pay bonuses to their employees and overtime wages. You will also enjoy various benefits, including medical insurance and contribution to pension benefits.

what can affect the salary of a roofer?

As a roofer, your earnings depend on the scope of your position and the employer. For instance, roofers working on roof installations for new construction projects are likely to earn more than those dealing with repairs and maintenance. Repairs may include changing part of the roofing in a building, while installation involves working on the entire house. Your qualifications and work experience also influence your pay. When you are an apprentice, your earnings are lower than roofers with better educational qualifications. A few years of hands-on experience also warrants a salary bump due to expertise in handling different roof types.

Since roofers work for various employers, the salary varies depending on the industry sector. For instance, your salary relies on the project type if you work for a construction contractor. Roofers involved in the construction of commercial properties are likely to earn more than those working on residential properties.

male wearing protective gear at work
male wearing protective gear at work

types of roofers

You can specialise in a specific roofing style or building type as a roofer. Some of the types of roofers include:

  • commercial roofers: as a commercial roofer, you lay out roofs of commercial buildings and industries. The installation often requires specialised skills and experience in using heavy equipment. Aside from installing the roofing materials, you recommend the maintenance procedure to maintain the roofing standards. During a remodel, you inspect the roof and recommend the repairs necessary to fix damages.
  • residential roofer: your job is to fix roof problems on private residences. Since the process is not as technical as roof installation, it requires fewer skills and time.
  • metal roofer: your job involves installing metal components of the roof. You install metal panels in residential or commercial buildings before the work begins.
  • shinglers: as a shingler, you are responsible for installing roofing materials that require nailing them in place. You can install tiles, shakes, shingles and other products.

working as a roofer

Becoming a roofer is an exciting career with promising prospects. Let's look at the daily routine and responsibilities of a roofing contractor.


education and skills

Some of the ways of becoming a roofer include:

  • college training: you can find roofing courses at various colleges, some offering certificate and diploma qualifications. Consider taking a Level 2 Diploma in Roof Slating and Tiling or Roofing Occupations. The entry requirements are two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A to D). When you complete the course, you become a roofing operative trainee.
  • apprenticeship: to become a roofing operative, you need to pursue an intermediate apprenticeship in roofing. During the apprenticeship, you will be employed working 30 hours a week and attend a college. You can join the programme with 2-3 GCSEs at grades 9 to 3.

skills and competencies

The following skills will benefit anyone considering a career as a roofer:

  • interpersonal skills: as a roofer, you work with a team during the installation or replacement of roofing materials. You need interpersonal skills to collaborate with other members of your team.
  • physical fitness: your job often involves lifting heavy items and working at heights. Physical fitness helps you endure spending hours on your feet and climb scaffolds and ladders.
  • manual dexterity: handling and installing roofing materials requires manual dexterity. You need to be precise to avoid damages to the roof or building.
  • attention to detail: as a roofer, you need to be detail-oriented. For instance, if the roofing follows a specific pattern, attention to detail helps you match the design patterns and check for crevices to ensure the roof is waterproof.
focused male looking down wearing protective gear at work
focused male looking down wearing protective gear at work


FAQs about working as a roofer

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