Employment Prospects


There are approximately 161,600 people employed as roofers in the United States. Most (about 73 percent) work for established roofing contractors. Approximately 19 percent of roofers are self-employed, and many specialize in residential work.

Starting Out

People who are planning to start out as helpers and learn on the job can directly contact roofing contractors to inquire about possible openings. Job leads may also be located through the local office of the state employment service, online employment sites, or newspaper classified ads. Graduates of vocational schools may get useful information from their schools' placement offices.

People who want to become apprentices can learn about apprenticeships in their area by contacting local roofing contractors, the state employment service, or the local office of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers.

Advancement Prospects

Experienced roofers who work for roofing contractors may be promoted to supervisory positions in which they are responsible for coordinating the activities of other roofers. Roofers may also become estimators, calculating the costs of roofing jobs before the work is done. Roofers, who have the right combination of personal characteristics, including good judgment, the ability to deal with people, and planning skills, may be able to go into business for themselves as independent roofing contractors.

Tips for Entry

Visit for information on apprenticeships.

Read Professional Roofing ( to learn more about the field.

Talk to roofers about their careers. Ask them for tips on breaking into the field.