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How to become a Roofer

roofer careers

What does a Roofer do?

Roofers construct and repair roofs on all types of buildings. The jobs can range from stripping and re- slating a roof on a domestic household to working on renovation of historical buildings or being involved with a new commercial development.

There are various techniques used in roofing and roofers will often specialise in one or more areas. These include:

  • roof slating and tiling – using traditional slate, pre- fabricated concrete tiles and synthetic slates to cover pitched roofs and walls
  • built-up felt roofing and mastic asphalt – using felt or mastic asphalt to provide a waterproof shield, often found on flat roofs
  • roof sheeting and cladding – fixing lightweight metallic or synthetic sheets to a building’s superstructure, such as a new factory unit
  • leadsheeting – creating a waterproof covering by using lead (sometimes copper) rolls, often seen on schools and churches
  • thatching – specialist skill using natural materials to provide roof coverings – see Thatcher profile.

The main aspects of a job include stripping off (where appropriate) the existing roof; checking the underlying structure is sound, for example roof timbers; calculating surface areas to be covered and quantities of materials required; in the case of slating - re-sizing, cutting and re-holing of slates; with felt roofing - working with hazardous materials such as molten bitumen; re- covering the roof area and finishing off with mortar or synthetic sealants to ensure the roof is watertight.

Although a lot of materials such as slates can be re- used, some ordering and taking delivery of new materials will often be required.

Depending on the job roofers may work in conjunction with other construction tradespeople, for example joiners and plumbers.

What's the working environment like working as a Roofer?

Roofers work 40 hours a week, but this varies when deadlines must be met.

Roofers work mainly outdoors and at heights, using ladders and scaffolding. The work is physically demanding and roofers have to work in cold, dirty and windy conditions. Similarly, during the summer, roofs can get very hot as heat is reflected from the surface. Protective clothing such as hard hats and knee pads are usually required.

Roofers travel from site to site to complete jobs and although not essential, a driving licence would be useful. Depending on the contract, they may have to work away from home for periods of time.

What does it take to become a Roofer?

To be a roofer you should:

  • have good practical skills
  • be able to understand technical drawings and plans
  • have good numerical skills to work out areas and calculate quantities and prices of materials
  • enjoy working outdoors and have a head for heights
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be aware of health and safety issues
  • be physically fit.

Roofer Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Roofer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

CITB-ConstructionSkills
Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
Norfolk
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577
www.citb.org.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Tel: 0870 417 8777
www.cscs.uk.com

Equal Opportunities Commission
www.knowyourplace.org.uk



Courses to help you become a Roofer