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Licensed roofers are certified contractors who repair and install roofs on commercial and residential buildings. To become a licensed roofer, an individual must typically gain some on-the-job experience and complete a certification process. Governments in some areas require roofers to be bonded and to obtain insurance before they can complete the licensing process.
People employed in this profession use materials such as tiles, metal sheeting, asphalt and gravel to install roofs on property. Building codes exist in many areas that specify the manner in which these materials are to be installed and anyone wishing to become a licensed roofer must learn about these local regulations. In some areas, a licensed roofer may also be able to install solar panels in which case contractors must be familiar with electrical wiring procedures and local ordinances that govern this type of work. Some firms offer formal apprenticeship programs while other trainees receive no formal training but acquire knowledge while working under the direction of experienced professionals.
Many local government agencies have rules in place requiring applicants for the licensing process to have completed a certain number of hours working in the roofing trade, whether as apprentices or entry-level contractors. People who meet this requirement may have to attend a series of training classes that cover local regulations, installation techniques, liability issues and building materials. These classes usually culminate in a written or practical examination during which an assessor determines whether applicants possess the requisite skills to earn a license. Individuals who successfully pass the examination may submit a formal application for a license and in many instances, this process includes having to pay a fee.
Prior to a license being issued, laws in some nations require roofers to buy a bond and a liability insurance policy. The bond protects the financial interests of both the contractor and third parties in the event of a lawsuit stemming from the contractor's work. In exchange for a one-time premium payment, the bond issuer agrees to make a payout to cover damages that the licensed roofer may be ordered to pay during a damages lawsuit. Bond payouts are capped and in some instances, the bond coverage level may be insufficient to cover the required payout. Therefore, many local governments require contractors to buy liability insurance for an amount in excess of the bond coverage.
Having bought a bond and a liability insurance policy, the roofer must provide the licensing authority with evidence of both. A self-employed roofer may also have to register as a business entity or owner with the state before being able to complete the licensing process. Depending on local laws, a licensed roofer may have to reapply for a new license after a certain period of time while in other areas these professional designations never expire.