Roofers install, maintain and repair roofs on residential and commercial structures, using materials like tar, rubber, metal and shingles. Most learn the profession on the job by assisting experienced roofers. However, three-year apprenticeships are available. Other qualifications include strength, stamina and good balance. Roofers cannot be afraid of heights.
The median wage for roofers was £10.60 hourly or £22,080 annually as of May 2009, with about 108,180 workers in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, earnings can go as low as £6.90 or £14,443 for the lowest-paid 10 per cent and rise as high as £18.4 or £38,324 for the top 10 per cent of earners.
The highest-paying employers for roofers are building equipment contractors, with compensation at £16.40 or £34,261, and the federal government, at £16.40 or £34,170. However, these industries differ from the ones with the greatest number of jobs. These are foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors, with salaries at £11.70 or £24,349, and residential building construction, with pay at £9.50 or £19,935.
The states with the best-paid roofers are Minnesota, with wages at £16.10 or £33,611, and Hawaii, at £16.0 or £33,403. For cities, the top salaries belong in Rockford, Illinois, with compensation at £20.2 or £42,139, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, at £18.9 or £39,487.
These cities differ from areas with the most numbers of jobs. For states, the greatest number of roofers per capita is in Florida, with pay at £10.2 or £21,229; and Washington, at £13.30 or £27,813. For cities, the biggest concentration of roofers are in Morristown, Tennessee, in which rates are at £6.90 or £14,371; and Muncie, Indiana, at £11.20 or £23,361.
The BLS predicts that employment for roofers is expected to grow four per cent from 2008 to 2018, which is slower than average for all positions. This is despite the field having a higher-than-normal proportion of workers leaving than in any other construction trade. Because the work is strenuous and dirty, many roofers consider their jobs temporary, until they find better construction work. As with many other construction workers, employment depends on the economy as well as the season, with more jobs available in the spring and summer.