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Roofers replace, repair, and install the roofs of buildings, using a variety of materials, including shingles, bitumen, and metal.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for roofers are expected to grow by 11%, and should have about 17,200 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Roofers are more likely to be automated than 75% of other careers.
Workforce size
Roofers, with 146,200 workers, form a larger workforce than 73% of careers.
Only 3% of roofers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by roofers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer roofers have bachelor's degrees than 95% of other careeers.
The median (middle) salary for 64% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for roofers. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most roofers.
This job's median $40KAll jobs' median $39K$38K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Women account for 1% of roofers -- that's a smaller percentage than 97% of other jobs.
Gender of roofers
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women roofers actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
About 11% of roofers are minority, and 49% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of roofers
Pacific Islander
American Indian
Context: Foreign-born workers (49%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Roofers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 16% of roofers, and 28% have company-sponsored health insurance (8% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for roofers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of roofers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to High Places (100%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (91%)
  • Time Pressure (81%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (77%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (68%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (65%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (61%)
  • Consequence of Error (37%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (33%)
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do roofers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for roofers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for roofers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for roofers (BLS Salary Data)
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all roofers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for roofers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for roofers (ACS Salary Data)
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where roofers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Roofers (ACS)
Private for-profit (82.6%)
Private not-for-profit (1.3%)
Local government (0.3%)
State government (0.3%)
Federal government (0.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (11.2%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of roofers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$28K$26K$27K$31K$45K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of roofers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$40K$54K$40K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000State governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for roofers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$26K$33K$29K$37K$26K$37K$32K$30K$23K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Roofers and gender

With 1% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 97% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
Gender of Roofers
Men (99%)
Women (1%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

Although nationally the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, in roofers, the median salary for women is 9% higher than the median salary for men. There are only 19 other jobs in which the median women's salary exceeds the median men's salary. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.


Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race and origin of roofers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority roofers than for 88% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of roofers
White (72% )
Other (18% )
Black (4% )
Hispanic (2% )
Multiracial (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Asian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
Distribution: Salaries for roofers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

Distribution: Salaries for roofers by nativity
$26K$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by roofers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roofers typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as roofers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for roofers.

Education attained by roofers
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Details: Education and training recommended for roofers

There are no specific education requirements for roofers.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for roofers? Below we see the distribution of roofers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as roofers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$25K$31K$31K$32K$31K$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (46%)High School (38%)Some College (12%)Associate's Degree (2%)Bachelor's Degree (2%)Master's Degree (0%)
Certificate/degree pathways
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for roofers

What jobs will most roofers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of roofers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

RoofersConstruction laborersManagers (specialized areas)CarpentersFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersHand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversConstruction managersGrounds maintenance workers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for roofers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as roofers as well as 1% of respondents after working as roofers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for roofers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as roofers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of roofers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Read about roofers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Roofers typically do the following:

  • Inspect problem roofs to determine the best way to repair them
  • Measure roofs to calculate the quantities of materials needed
  • Replace damaged or rotting joists or plywood
  • Install vapor barriers or layers of insulation
  • Install ventilation systems
  • Install shingles, asphalt, metal, or other materials to make the roof weatherproof
  • Align roofing materials with edges of the roof
  • Cut roofing materials to fit around walls or vents
  • Cover exposed nail or screw heads with roofing cement or caulk to prevent leakage

Properly installed roofs keep water from leaking into buildings and damaging the interior, equipment, or furnishings. There are two basic types of roofs: low-slope roofs and steep-slope roofs.

Low-slope roofs rise less than 3 inches per horizontal foot and are installed in layers. Most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings have low-slope roofs, making them the most common roofing type. The complexity of low-slope roof installations varies with the type of building. When installing low-slope roofs, roofers typically install a single-ply membrane of a waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compound.

Steep-slope roofs rise more than 3 inches per horizontal foot and are typically covered with asphalt shingles, which often cost less than other materials. Most single-family homes have roofs with asphalt shingles. Although less common, roofers can also lay tile, solar shingles, metal shingles, or shakes (rough wooden shingles) on steep-slope roofs.

Roofing systems may also incorporate plants and landscape materials. A vegetative roof, for example, is typically a waterproof low-slope roof covered by a root barrier and harboring soil, plants, and landscaping materials.

It is becoming increasingly popular to take advantage of solar energy on rooftops. Roofs may incorporate solar reflective systems, which prevent the absorption of energy; solar thermal systems, which absorb energy to heat water; and solar photovoltaic systems, which convert sunlight into electricity. Roofers install some photovoltaic products, such as solar shingles and solar tiles, but solar photovoltaic (PV) installers typically install PV panels. Plumbers and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics also may install solar thermal systems.

Roofers use a variety of tools when working on roofs, depending on the type of roof being installed. They may use roofing shovels and pry bars to remove old roofing systems. They may use hammers, nail guns, drills, knives, pavers, tape measures, chalk lines, and framing squares to install new roofing systems. 

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of roofers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Roofers should have excellent balance to avoid falling, because the work is often done on steep slopes at significant heights.
Manual dexterity
Roofers need to be precise when installing roofing materials and handling roofing tools, in order to prevent damage to the roof and building.
Physical stamina
Roofers must have the endurance to perform strenuous duties throughout the day. They may spend hours on their feet, bending and stooping—often in hot temperatures.
Physical strength
Roofers often lift and carry heavy materials. Some roofers, for example, must carry bundles of shingles that weigh 60 pounds or more.
Unafraid of heights
Roofers must not fear working far above the ground, because the work is often done at significant heights.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for roofers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 64% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for roofers. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $40KAll jobs' median $39K$41K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for roofers are anticipated to grow by 11% over the next decade; only 23% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for roofers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most roofers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as roofers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
Number of Roofers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where roofers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for roofers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for roofers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
Median salary ratio: Roofers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which roofers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Roofers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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