How to become a Roofer

Roofers cover houses and other structures with roof tiles, slates, shingles or steel sheeting to form waterproof and durable surfaces.

Personal requirements of a Roofer

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good sense of balance
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Willing to work at heights and outdoors

Education & Training for a Roofer

To become a roofer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Metal Roofing and Cladding, Roof Tiling or Roof Plumbing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Roofer

Roofers may perform the following tasks:

  • examine drawings, specifications and worksites to determine materials required
  • assess risks
  • erect ladders and tile elevators
  • erect and dismantle restricted-height scaffolding
  • place roofing underlays over eaves and secure them by nailing or stapling these to roofs
  • correctly space and nail wooden strips (battens) across the roof rafters on which the tiles or other roofing material will be placed
  • measure and cut roofing material to fit around vents, chimney edges and the hips and valleys of the roof
  • fix roof flashings (weatherproof covering)
  • fix the ridge caps and gable ends with cement mortar or tech screws
  • apply protective paint coating systems
  • clear the roof of debris after job completion.

Working conditions for a Roofer

Roofers' work involves a lot of bending, climbing and lifting. They work outdoors, at heights and in all weather conditions.

Employment Opportunities for a Roofer

Many roofers are self-employed or work for small companies that supply and fix roofs. They are usually subcontracted to roofing manufacturers on a semi-permanent basis. Roofers are also directly employed by manufacturing companies and by state, territory or local government bodies concerned with public works.

Additional Information
Depending on the value of work being carried out, roofers may need to be accredited as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. In some states and territories, steel roofing falls under the category of plumbing, which requires a licensed contractor. See the separate entry for Plumber and refer to your local industry authority for advice. When working at heights, industry standards require roofers to complete a Work Safely at Heights short course provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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