Roofers apply built-up composition roofing and many other materials such as tile, slate, composition shingles, metals, various types of plastic materials, and other surfaces. Roofers also remove old materials in preparation for new roofing material. Some of the equipment they use are tar kettles, power-operated hoists and lifts, compressors, shingle removing equipment, and spray rigs.
Roofers work as part of a crew, usually in the open, so they are dependent on good weather conditions. The majority of the work is at some height, (on roofs or scaffolds), so much of the time is spent climbing ladders. Work is strenuous and involves standing, climbing, bending, and squatting, often in a very hot environment.
Aptitude and Interest
Roofers must be physically strong, with flexible muscles and joints. Roofers often work high above the ground and anyone with a fear of heights should look for another field. Roofers often work in very hot or very cold weather.
To become a skilled roofer training is essential. It can be acquired informally through “learningby-working;” through company on-the-job training programs; by attending trade or vocational/technical schools; through unilaterally (management or labor) sponsored trainee programs; through registered labor-management apprenticeship programs, or a combination of the above. It is generally accepted that the more formalized training programs give more comprehensive skill training. Recommended high school courses include mathematics, blueprint reading, and general shop.