Roofer Jobs in the United States

roofer jobsThere are plenty of jobs available in the US construction industry and roofer jobs are part of this industry. A roofer is a trained, semi-skilled expert providing roofing services. His job is to install, repair and replace roofs on homes, public buildings, commercial buildings and all sorts of structures.

Roofer jobs

Roofers use a variety of tools and gadgets to install, repair and replace roofs. Sometimes they are required to simply replace damaged or worn out roofing tiles and at other times they have to replace an entire roof. On one day roofing contractors may be replacing iron sheets on an old building and the next they may be re-slating and remodeling a roof in the suburbs. The range of work therefore varies greatly. Roofing experts need to have a head for heights and should not fear when they are up on roof tops. They also need to understand building plans because that will constitute a huge part of the job. It is also important that any prospective journeyman roofer be good with their hands and handy with a variety of tools. Such are the skills necessary for workers in this industry. This job does entail plenty of heavy lifting and lots of climbing, bending and kneeling for continuous periods of time.

Regular duties of a roofing contractor

There are lots of different kinds of duties and jobs that roofers generally engage in. however, if you are a worker in the roofing industry, then you can expect to engage in the following kind of work on a regular basis.
  • Measure the size of a roof in order to determine quantity of material needed
  • Conduct inspection of roofs and check for any signs of wear, broken material and damage
  • Regular or periodic installation of layers of insulation and vapor barriers
  • Accurately align materials such as wood beams and roofing tiles to the rest of the roof
  • Precise cutting of roofing materials so they fit limited and uneven areas
  • Weatherproof roofs by use of asphalt, metal or shingles and other suitable materials
  • Conceal any protruding screws or nails using roofing cement to prevent leaks
  • Carry out roof repairs to replace damaged or rotting wood frames or fixtures
To undertake any of these duties, a roofer will need proper training and sufficient exposure to working conditions that expose him or her to these kinds of jobs. Experienced roofers are better positioned to undertake most of these duties compared to their rookie counterparts. However, with time, the journeyman roofer will gain sufficient knowledge, exposure and experience and be just like the experienced roofers.

The need to properly install roofs

  • Roofs have to be properly installed so they keep out the cold, dust, rain, snow and prevent water from leaking into buildings. Water leakage can have serious consequences including damage to the interior, to furniture, equipment and other possessions.
  • In order to undertake a successful roof installation, repair or other roofer jobs, the roofers need to go for some skill training. Upon completion of the training, one can become a general roofing expert or specialized artisan such as a roof thatcher and lead worker.
  • Roofs generally come in two types. These are the low slope and steep slope. Roofing contractors are able to handle both types and can work with additional features usually incorporated in roofs such as plants and solar systems.
  • Experienced roofers understand the need for professionalism when it comes to installing a new roof or even repairing an existing one. It is advisable, therefore, to always have experienced roofing contractors in any team working on a given roofing project.

Work environment and conditions

Roofing work is physically demanding and does involve lots of manual work such as lifting and climbing. You will work on ladders and on scaffolding lots of the time and will be expected to wear safety equipment such as knew pads and helmet. There are plenty of jobs in this sector with over 123,000 roofer jobs in the USA in 2014 alone. Many of these workers are subcontractors and roofing contractors. Therefore there is no shortage of work and roofers can expect to find plenty of jobs in all categories of work. It is important to note, however, that due to the nature of roofing jobs, there are quite a number of injuries and work related illnesses. The figures are much higher than the national average in the USA because on many occasions workers slip and fall from roofs, ladders and scaffolding and sometimes get burnt by hot bitumen. These are the hazards of working as a journeyman roofer so proper care and precautions need to be taken. All roofing contractors need to observe workplace health and safety measures and make use of proper equipment so as to prevent most of these unnecessary accidents.

Job training

Anyone interested in becoming a journeyman roofer can do so either as an apprentice and learn on the job as an apprentice of experienced roofers or attend a technical training institute to learn the trade. There are some industry qualifications such as level 2 Diploma in Roofing and Diploma in Roof Slating and Tiling. Even then, most members join apprentice programs as roofing laborers. However, there are no specific entry requirements for anyone interested in learning this trade.

Job outlook and pay for roofers

The roofing sector is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. Analysts project a growth of 10 percent with a significant increase of roofer jobs. Roofer jobs will therefore be available in sufficient numbers to sustain the demand from the housing sector. It is worth noting that roofs on buildings deteriorate faster than the rest of the building, creating demand for repairs, replacements and construction of new roofing structures. The income is not bad either as a roofing laborer can take home anywhere from US$ 26,000 to US$ 30,000 annually. This compared to about US$ 52000 a year for experienced roofers and even more for roofing contractors. Roofers are some of the more important contractors in