Sign In
OverviewSalaryAboutEducationWhere are the jobsEmploymentGenderRace/Origin
Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials. May spray roofs, sidings, and walls with material to bind, seal, insulate, or soundproof sections of structures.
Explore Pathways
Titles for this career often contain these words
Fewer details
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
  • Remove existing roof systems
  • Install vapor barriers or layers of insulation
  • Install roof ventilation
  • 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 installing and repairing roofs keeps water from leaking into buildings and damaging the interior, including equipment and furnishings. Roofers install or repair two basic types of roofs: low slope and steep slope.

Low-slope roofs are the most common, as they are typical on commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings. The complexity of installing low-slope roofs varies with the type of building. Roofers may install these roofs in layers, building up piles of felt set in hot bitumen over insulation boards to form a waterproof membrane. They also may install a single-ply membrane of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compound over roof insulation boards.

Steep-slope roofs are typical on single-family homes. Roofers commonly install asphalt shingles, although they may also lay tile, solar shingles, metal shingles, slate, or shakes (rough wooden shingles) on steep-slope roofs.

Roofers also install green technology rooftop applications. These include vegetative roofs, rainwater harvesting systems, and photovoltaic products, such as solar shingles and solar tiles; however, 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 installing or repairing roofs. Their tools include roofing shovels, roof cutters, and pry bars to remove old roofing systems and hammers, nail guns, and framing squares to install new ones.

Median salary: $43,580 annually
Half of those employed in this career earn between $33,810 and $56,860.
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for this career compare to other jobs' salaries?
Fewer details
Salary growth for roofers
Is this job likely to reward you for sticking with it through pay raises and promotions? The higher a job’s “experience quotient,” the more you are likely to get as you stay there.
Experience quotient percentile
Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?
Salary distribution
Number employed
About Roofers
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs? The availability of health care, especially employer provided health care, and pension plans can add significantly to the value of compensation you receive in a career. These charts compare how this career compares to other careers with regard to health care and pension plans.
Employee has health insurance
Employer is providing health insurance
Worker concerns
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.
  • High Places (100%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health (91%)
  • Time Pressure (81%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (77%)
  • Hazardous Conditions (68%)
  • Hazardous Equipment (65%)
  • Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites (61%)
  • Consequence of Error (37%)
  • High Conflict Frequency (33%)
Fewer details
Personality and skills
Can you see yourself in the ranks of Roofers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.
Ability to work at heights
Roofers must be comfortable working at great heights.
Attention to detail
Roofing materials must be installed to precisely match design patterns and to ensure that the roof is waterproof. 
Roofers should have excellent balance to avoid falling, because they often work on steep slopes at great heights.
Manual dexterity
Roofers need to be precise in handling and installing roofing materials in order to prevent damage to the roof and building.
Math skills
Roofers use math to measure and calculate roofing areas. 
Physical stamina
Roofers must be able to endure spending hours on their feet or bending and stooping, often in hot weather.
Physical strength
Roofers often lift and carry heavy materials, such as bundles of shingles that weigh 60 pounds or more.
Injury and Illness
About 361 roofers become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, making this job more dangerous than 99% of other careers. The most common specific illnesses or injuries are detailed following.
Soreness and pain
Heat (thermal) burns
Education pathways to this career
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.
Details: Education and training recommended for roofers

No formal educational credential is typically required for roofers.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for roofers

Roofers may obtain specific certification to qualify for additional work opportunities or greater pay.

The National Roofing Contractors Association offers certification for experienced roofers. Experienced roofers may become certified in various roofing systems, such as thermoplastic systems or asphalt shingles. Certification as a roofing foreman is also available for experienced roofers.

Most employers require that roofers complete safety certification that meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, either before or after being hired.

Some employers require roofers to have a driver’s license to enable commuting to different jobsites.

Education level of Roofers
Only 3% of roofers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by roofers
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Fewer details
Programs recommended by the Department of Education
The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.
Number of degrees awarded in 2018
Education level of awarded degrees
Gender of graduates
Race/origin of graduates
Where are the jobs
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.
Select a state to see local area details
Number of Roofers per 1,000 workers (ACS)
Fewer details
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.
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.
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which roofers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this figure 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
Location-adjusted median salary for Roofers (ACS)
15% of Roofers are working part time.
We’ve found that some jobs have a huge number of part-time workers, and typically that is because they are unable to find full-time work or the job itself can’t provide full-time hours. With 15% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 57% of careers.
Employer types
This donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire for this career.
Employers of undefined (ACS)
Private for-profit
Private not-for-profit
Local government
State government
Federal government
Self-employed incorporated
Self-employed not incorporated
Working without pay
Fewer details
Distribution: Salaries of roofers by type of employer
Here are the salary distributions based on employer type.
$30K$30K$27K$47K$33K$48K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Roofers and gender
With 1% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 98% of careers.
Gender of Roofers
Men (99%)
Women (1%)
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary in this career? The closer the bars are, the less discrepancy there is.
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
Fewer details
Context: Women in the workforce
How does this career compare to other careers with regard to the percentage of women in the career.
Race and origin of Roofers
This donut shows the distribution of race and origin among those employed as Roofers.
Race/origin of roofers
White (71% )
Other (18% )
Black (5% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Asian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Distribution: salaries by race/origin
Some careers might have a pay disparity based on race or origin, the closer the below bars are the less of a discrepancy is present.
$18K$24K$25K$27K$29K$31K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAmerican IndianBlackHispanicMultiracialOtherWhiteAsian
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.