Roofer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Roofers Career Video



Covers roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, and related materials. May spray roofs, sidings and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate or soundproof sections of structures.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Inspects problem roofs to determine the best repair procedures.
  • Removes snow, water, or debris from roofs prior to applying roofing materials.
  • Sets up scaffolding to provide safe access to roofs.
  • Estimates materials and labor required to complete roofing jobs.
  • Cements or nails flashing strips of metal or shingle over joints to make them watertight.
  • Installs partially overlapping layers of material over roof insulation surfaces, using chalk lines, gauges on shingling hatchets, or lines on shingles.
  • Cuts felt, shingles, or strips of flashing to fit angles formed by walls, vents, or intersecting roof surfaces.
  • Applies plastic coatings, membranes, fiberglass, or felt over sloped roofs before applying shingles.
  • Installs, repairs, or replaces single-ply roofing systems, using waterproof sheet materials such as modified plastics, elastomeric, or other asphaltic compositions.
  • Waterproofs or damp-proofs walls, floors, roofs, foundations, or basements by painting or spraying surfaces with waterproof coatings or by attaching waterproofing membranes to surfaces.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Gravel Roofer --
  • Hot Tar Roofer --
  • Metal Roofer --
  • Slate Roofer --
  • Terra Cotta Roofer --