Residential roofs remain in high demand in both urban and rural areas across the United States. Roofing is a physically demanding job that requires climbing, bending, kneeling, and lifting heavy objects. Roofers can work overtime to finish a particular job, especially during the summer months. They work outdoors in extreme temperatures, but they usually don't work during inclement weather.
Technological advancements, such as green roofs, green roofing materials, and drones for roof inspection, have increased the demand for roofing products. Roofers replace, repair, and install building roofs using various materials like shingles, bitumen, and metal. With experience, roofers can become supervisors, labor superintendents, estimators, or even start their own business. Countries like China and India are becoming favorable destinations for the export of construction materials like shingles due to the continuous demand from residential and commercial construction sectors.
Roofers must be able to handle spending hours standing or crouching in hot weather. They can install roofs in layers by accumulating piles of felt crimped in hot bitumen on insulation plates to form an impermeable membrane. Unionized roofers can move up within their local union to become business managers or instructors for internships or other union leadership positions. Some groups like the United Roofers Union, Waterproofers & Allied Workers, and some contractor associations offer apprenticeships for roofers.
Storm and hail tracking applications have been helpful in developing potential new businesses and are expected to continue advancing to help roofers anticipate inclement weather. Roofers must be precise when handling and installing roofing materials to avoid damage to the roof and building. The replacement and repair of roofs as well as the installation of new roofs will create a demand for roofers. They often install asphalt shingles but can also place shingles, solar shingles, metal shingles, slate, or slats (raw wood shingles) on steeply sloped roofs.
Roofers have one of the highest rates of injury and illness among all occupations as well as one of the highest rates of occupational deaths. Governments of countries like India and China have invested heavily in infrastructure development which also drives demand for bituminous roofs in the global roofing market. To learn more about internships or other job opportunities for roofers, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors or companies that employ roofers, or the local learning committees of unions and management.