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Roofers
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Description: what do they do?
Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.
Also known as:
Roof Mechanic, Roof Service Technician, Industrial Roofer, Roofer, Sheet Metal Roofer, Residential Roofer, Commercial Roofer, Roofing Technician, Metal Roofing Mechanic, Roofing Foreman

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Roofers are the people who literally keep a roof over our heads. These workers install and repair the roofs of buildings to keep interiors dry and safe. Roofers take detailed measurements to calculate materials needed. They lay down layers of materials to create a lasting roof cover– starting with a vapor barrier, and the roofing material a client chooses, such as asphalt, traditional— or newer solar shingles, or long-lasting metal. Weatherproofing the seals around chimneys, vents, or other rooftop elements requires precision and spatial perception. Roofer helpers set ladders and scaffolds in place, and hoist or carry materials to roofs. They remove old roofing material, and assist roofers with roof installation and repairs. They also clean the work area and equipment. Roofing work is physically demanding. It involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling, often in very hot weather. Roofers work outdoors in all types of weather, and need to be comfortable working high above the ground. Most roofers work full time— although only seasonally in colder climates— and may work overtime to complete jobs quickly, especially when rain is expected. Most roofers and helpers work in crews for roofing contractors. Roofers and helpers usually learn on the job, though some roofers learn their trade through an apprenticeship— typically a 3-year program of technical training and paid on the job training.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Kentucky
1,270
2016 Employment
1,330
2026 Employment
4%
Percent change
130
Annual projected job openings
United States
146,200
2016 Employment
162,400
2026 Employment
11%
Percent change
16,500
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Roofers in Kentucky
LocationKentuckyUnited States
10%$25,900$25,590
25%$30,850$31,330
Median$37,850$38,970
75%$48,870$50,940
90%$61,520$64,860


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • No formal educational credential
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Inspect work sites to determine condition or necessary repairs.
  • Remove debris or vegetation from work sites.
  • Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
  • Estimate materials requirements for projects.
  • Estimate construction project labor requirements.
  • Apply adhesives to construction materials.
  • Install roofing materials.
  • Cut carpet, vinyl or other flexible materials.
  • Apply sealants or other protective coatings.
  • Apply paint to surfaces.
  • Install insulation in equipment or structures.
  • Install solar energy systems.
  • Smooth surfaces with abrasive materials or tools.
  • Spread sand, dirt or other loose materials onto surfaces.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas.
  • Install green structural components, equipment or systems.
  • Install doors or windows.
  • Drill holes in construction materials.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Gross Body Equilibrium - Keeping your balance or staying upright.
  • Extent Flexibility - Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Trunk Strength - Using your lower back and stomach.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Multilimb Coordination - Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Gross Body Coordination - Moving your arms, legs, and mid-section together while your whole body is moving.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Inspect problem roofs to determine the best repair procedures.
  • Remove snow, water, or debris from roofs prior to applying roofing materials.
  • Set up scaffolding to provide safe access to roofs.
  • Estimate materials and labor required to complete roofing jobs.
  • Cement or nail flashing strips of metal or shingle over joints to make them watertight.
  • Install partially overlapping layers of material over roof insulation surfaces, using chalk lines, gauges on shingling hatchets, or lines on shingles.
  • Cut felt, shingles, or strips of flashing to fit angles formed by walls, vents, or intersecting roof surfaces.
  • Apply plastic coatings, membranes, fiberglass, or felt over sloped roofs before applying shingles.
  • Install, repair, or replace single-ply roofing systems, using waterproof sheet materials such as modified plastics, elastomeric, or other asphaltic compositions.
  • Cover roofs or exterior walls of structures with slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, gravel, gypsum, or related materials, using brushes, knives, punches, hammers, or other tools.
  • Attach roofing paper to roofs in overlapping strips to form bases for other materials.
  • Waterproof or damp-proof walls, floors, roofs, foundations, or basements by painting or spraying surfaces with waterproof coatings or by attaching waterproofing membranes to surfaces.
  • Apply reflective roof coatings, such as special paints or single-ply roofing sheets, to existing roofs to reduce solar heat absorption.
  • Install vapor barriers or layers of insulation on flat roofs.
  • Apply alternate layers of hot asphalt or tar and roofing paper to roofs.
  • Cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement or caulking to prevent water leakage or rust.
  • Install solar roofing systems that have energy-collecting photovoltaic panels built into roofing membranes, shingles, or tiles.
  • Smooth rough spots to prepare surfaces for waterproofing, using hammers, chisels, or rubbing bricks.
  • Glaze top layers to make a smooth finish or embed gravel in the bitumen for rough surfaces.
  • Mop or pour hot asphalt or tar onto roof bases.
  • Install attic ventilation systems, such as turbine vents, gable or ridge vents, or conventional or solar-powered exhaust fans.
  • Install skylights on roofs to increase natural light inside structures or to reduce energy costs.
  • Spray roofs, sidings, or walls to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures, using spray guns, air compressors, or heaters.
  • Apply gravel or pebbles over top layers of roofs, using rakes or stiff-bristled brooms.
  • Attach solar panels to existing roofs, according to specifications and without damaging roofing materials or the structural integrity of buildings.
  • Punch holes in slate, tile, terra cotta, or wooden shingles, using punches and hammers.
  • Apply modular soil- and plant-containing grids over existing roof membranes to create green roofs.
  • Install layers of vegetation-based green roofs, including protective membranes, drainage, aeration, water retention and filter layers, soil substrates, irrigation materials, and plants.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.