Become a Roofer

Roofers Nashville install and repairs roofs on commercial, residential, or industrial buildings. They use various tools to complete their work and follow all safety guidelines while working at heights.


They may collaborate with other construction professionals and adjust their work schedule to accommodate the overall construction timeline. They are also expected to follow any additional guidelines for working in industrial environments.

Roofers are specialists who repair, replace or build new roofs. They can work as employees of roofing companies or as self-employed contractors. Whether they are working on commercial or residential buildings, their job duties are to ensure that the roofs protect the structures from rain and sunlight. Depending on the type of work, they may also install gutters and fascia. Other duties include analyzing construction plans and making sure the roofing is done in accordance with the specifications. They may also help other roofers by performing tasks requiring less skill.

The duties of roofers may include tearing off existing roofing materials, inspecting and repairing the decking and installing new sheathing as required. They also perform repairs to the lead sheeting and cladding of buildings. They fit skylight windows and re-slate and tile roofs. They also erect scaffolding and ladders to allow them to reach the roof. They may also clean and sweep roofs, tarpaulins, and walls as well as paint or spray surfaces to bind, seal, or insulate.

They can use a variety of tools and equipment including hammers, saws, sanding poles, pliers and shears, roof rippers, and tin snips to perform their duties. The work requires them to be comfortable using ladders and scaffolding and they need to have a good eye for detail. They must also be competent at assessing damage to roofs and determining the best course of action to take.

In some cases, they may need to interact with customers and provide price quotes before the work begins. They are generally skilled at estimating the cost of materials and labor needed to complete the project.

Roofers must have a strong work ethic and be willing to learn and adapt to the demands of the job. They should be comfortable working in different weather conditions and with a wide range of roofing materials and styles. They are normally expected to work as part of a team or crew with the supervision of a foreman or supervisor.

Depending on the type of work, roofers may need to have a license and insurance coverage. In addition, they need to be able to communicate clearly and have the physical ability to climb, stoop, kneel, and lift heavy loads. They are also at risk of falling from heights while on the job and must be able to follow the safety requirements of their employer.

Education and Training Requirements

Roofers install, repair, and replace building roofs using a variety of materials. They also inspect and assess damage to a roof and its components. Most roofers don’t need formal education, but they can receive training through a paid apprenticeship program. In addition, many trade schools offer coursework in roofing and other construction related fields. Those who choose to become roofers need good balance and strength, as well as the ability to work at heights.

Most roofers learn their skills informally on the job, beginning as helpers for experienced roofers. They start out by learning the basic tasks of preparing work sites, carrying equipment and material, erecting scaffolding and hoists, and other essential skills. Once they have acquired these basics, they move on to more complicated jobs. Some roofers attend 3-year apprenticeship programs sponsored by local roofer unions or by contractor organizations. These programs generally provide 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of classroom instruction per year, in subjects like safety, tools, arithmetic, and roofing construction and materials.

Regardless of their level of experience, all roofers must pass regular safety inspections to ensure they are working safely and according to industry standards. This inspection includes a review of the roofer’s safety plans, as well as the condition of equipment and the quality of workmanship. Additional safety training may be required for those who use certain specialized tools, such as torch applicators for polymer-modified bitumen roofing products. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for this type of work.

Working Conditions

Roofers often work in a team, and they must be able to coordinate their efforts. They also must have the stamina to do heavy lifting, climb and crouch as they install or repair roofs. The job usually requires a 40-hour workweek, and workers often earn overtime pay. In addition, the job can be dangerous. For example, roofers are at risk of slips and falls on ladders or scaffolding or of getting burns from working with hot bitumen.

In addition to installing and repairing roofs, roofers also protect stone and concrete walls, swimming pools and tanks from water damage by damp-proofing them. They prepare surfaces by removing rough spots and then brush or spray on waterproofing compounds. In some cases, they may be required to paint the waterproofing compound as well to ensure it adheres properly. In addition, they can install skylights and solar panels on roofs.

While the work is rewarding, roofers often face many challenges. Their salary is not enough to afford basic necessities, and they sometimes struggle to find adequate housing. In addition, many of them are not able to afford health insurance. This can be problematic in the long run if they develop serious health issues and are not able to work anymore.

Moreover, the physical strain of this occupation can be overwhelming for some people and they may end up developing serious back problems or other health issues in the future. It is important for people to weigh these pros and cons carefully before deciding whether or not to become a roofer.

One of the benefits of this profession is that it allows workers to see the results of their labor every day. This can be motivating for some people who prefer hands-on jobs to sitting in front of a computer screen all day. Additionally, a career as a roofer can provide you with knowledge of the construction industry that you can use to advance into other areas. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a project manager or an estimator, you can use the skills that you’ve learned as a roofer as stepping stones to achieve those goals.

Job Outlook

Roofers are tradespeople who specialize in the construction of roofs. They repair, install and replace them and use a variety of materials to do so. They may also work on walls and ceilings, spraying material to bind or seal sections of structures.

This type of work is extremely physically demanding. It involves lots of climbing and bending, as well as lifting heavy materials, particularly shingles. It is not recommended for people with back problems or other medical conditions that affect their ability to perform such physical tasks. In addition, the job is very hot, especially during summer. Many roofers and shinglers are self-employed, but some work for roofing contractors or in related businesses.

A career as a roofer can be very rewarding. It is not as impacted by the economy as other construction trades. Many residential and commercial structures require regular roof repairs or replacements, which creates a demand for the trade. In addition, the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on building rooftops could provide additional job opportunities for these tradespeople.

If you are interested in becoming a roofer, contact roofing contractors or other construction companies to find out what jobs are available. Local employment agencies and classified ads in newspapers may also be helpful. If you have a postsecondary degree, ask your college placement office about the availability of apprenticeship or training programs in the trade.

Some career colleges offer certificate programs that lead to a career as a roofer. These are usually a few years long and provide the student with the necessary skills to begin working as a roofer. Other trade schools and community colleges offer associate degrees that prepare students to become a roofer. Students in these degree programs usually learn about construction, mechanical drawing and basic math. Applicants to these degree programs should have excellent physical strength and be unafraid of heights. They should also be prepared to spend a lot of time outdoors and work under all types of weather conditions. Some community colleges also have continuing education courses that help roofing professionals keep their skills current.