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.

Roofers install and repair the roofs of buildings, using materials such as shingles and metal.

What Do Roofers Do?

Roofs are necessary to buildings to provide shelter and protect the people and items inside from the elements, and roofers are responsible for constructing and repairing them. They must properly measure and calculate the roofing materials needed to ensure that the roof completely covers the building, and then systematically place and secure these materials, which include shingles, metal, and bitumen. They also construct ventilation shafts and systems and install vapor barriers or layers of insulation. In addition to installing new roofs, roofers also repair old ones, inspecting them for weak points and damage and replacing worn or rotting parts. They perform their work using tools such as roofing shovels, pry bars, hammers, nail guns, drills, tape measures, and framing squares.