If you want to work as a roofer, you need to get specialized training. To get qualified for this type of work, you need to successfully complete an apprenticeship program. The program teaches people who are interested in working in this branch of construction the skills they need to install roofing products and make repairs to existing structures.
A fully-licensed roofer is trained to work on different types of projects. Residential roofers install shingles on homes. They also inspect for water damage, wind, and hail. Commercial roofers work on structures where businesses are located.
Essential skills for a roofer include the ability to read plans. Roofers also need to be able to use a hammer and other hand tools as part of their job. The job may also involve delivering or lifting materials up to the roof area before work can begin. Good communication skills and the ability to work well as part of a team are also essential skills for this type of work.
A person who is interested in working as a roofer should not be afraid of heights. He or she must be comfortable working in an area that is high above the ground, and at various angles. Some roof surfaces are steeply angled and the person working in that area must be able to concentrate on the job.
The apprenticeship program for a roofer takes three years to complete. The trainee completes 4,000 hours of training to get licensed to do this kind of work. The program includes classroom instruction as well as on-the-job training. While the apprentice is learning on the job, his or her work is supervised by an experience roofer.
To become a licensed roofer, the apprentice must pass a written exam after completing the apprenticeship program. A qualified roofer may be able to find work with a roofing contracting company or a construction firm. Some roofers belong to a union and are hired from union halls for available projects. Once the individual gains some experience on the job, he may want to start his own roofing contracting company, hiring employees to work for him.
Roofing is seasonal work, and the person who chooses to make a living in this way will be very busy over the warmer months. They can't work in wet or windy conditions, so there may be times when they are unable to work during the summer. During times when new construction is slow, roofers can still get work doing repairs for customers.