What does a roofer do?

A roofer performs many tasks over the span of a construction project. They erect ladders and scaffolding to allow access to the workspace, specify the materials to be used and cut them to fit. In addition to laying tiles or sheet metal, they affix waterproof underlays, nail down battens across roof rafters and maintain roofing. Roofers also apply protective paint and waterproof coating systems to a roof to improve its performance and lifespan.  

Tasks:

  • Risk assessment and safety
  • Measure and cut roofing materials
  • Erect and dismantle scaffolding
  • Clear debris and perform roof maintenance

What skills do I need to be a roofer?

A roofer works outdoors, at heights and in all weather conditions. The ideal candidate would enjoy practical and manual work, have a great sense of balance, good hand-eye coordination and be comfortable working at heights. An understanding of technical diagrams and the ability to accurately estimate the quantity of materials needed for the job at hand will help you advance to more senior positions as a construction professional.

Skills/attributes
  • Strength, fitness and balance
  • Technical understanding
  • Ability and willingness to work at heights and outdoors
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Spatial awareness and active listening skills

Specialisations

Roofers can specialise in different stages of roof installation or repair. They can also specialise in working with different materials. More recently, they have been called on to help install roof gardens that can turn a roof into a green space.

Roof tiler

Working with tiles, shingles or slate, roof tilers use an overlapping technique to ensure a water- and weatherproof roof surface. They are more likely to work on a residential project than large commercial premises.

Metal roof plumber

These roofers work with metal sheeting and a variety of waterproofing materials including synthetic membranes or malthoid sheeting. They are responsible for installing insulation as well as the roof plumbing elements such as gutters, downpipes and rainwater tanks.

Flat roofer

A flat roofer specialises in the building of flat roofs with little to no ‘pitch’ or angle to them, in contrast to familiar sloping roofs. While a flat roof maximises space within a building, they are more difficult to effectively waterproof and require careful handling.

Study pathways for roofers

Most roofers undertake a combination of vocational training and an apprenticeship in order to understand both the technical aspects and hands-on skills needed for the job.

Getting Started

Search for courses that offer introductory knowledge in the construction industry.

Skill Building

Build your skills and develop your professional knowledge of roofing and construction.

Professional Development

Find courses that will take your career in construction further.

Industry Recognition

Roofers are required to undergo safety induction training and receive a Construction Induction Card (CIC) and may require special training to qualify for working at heights.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your roofing career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Growth in the construction industry may provide some additional job opportunities for roofer. Strong industry growth is predicted for both roof tilers and plumbers over the next five years