Career as a roofer

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Steve Adams joined a local construction company as a Modern Apprentice. After attending college part-time for two years, he qualified as a joiner/carpenter and went on to train as a roofer.

Where does your role fit into the building work?

Roofers and tilers can only begin their work when the building is ready for the roof to be installed. The work must then be completed before any internal work can be started. As a result, roofers tend to move from site to site as work progresses.

How do you begin to tile a roof?

The beams must be in place before we can start. We then fix the cross laths and cover them with reinforced felting to make the roof weatherproof. We have to measure and cut the felt. The tiles then have to be transported onto the roof – either by carrying them up a ladder or operating a hoist. The tiles have moulded hooks and we place them in rows overlapping them. At gable ends we have to cut the tiles to ensure that they meet.

What do you like about being a roofer?

I like being outside in the open air. The only problem for a roofer is heavy rain which effectively means we cannot work.

What equipment do you use?

Apart from the hoist we use hammers, tape and lines for accuracy and saws for trimming.

What skills and qualities are needed for the job?

The main one is a good head for heights. You must have the ability to work above ground level and use scaffolding.

Steve's route to his career as a roofer

  • GCSEs.
  • Modern Apprenticeship in joinery and roofing.

Steve's roofing career tips

  • Never be afraid of hard work.
  • Ensure that you enjoy working outdoors in all weathers.

Roofer related jobs

Salary of a roofer

  • Starting salary is around £14,000-£16,000, rising to £18,000 with experience.
  • Salaries can be boosted by overtime and bonus payments. However, some roofers/tilers start their own businesses and can expect earnings to exceed £25,000.
  • The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) agrees wage rates annually –currently around £7.50 a hour.

Career as a roofer

  • Roofers work for specialist building firms and building contractors.Foundation GNVQ/GSVQ Level I in Construction and the Built Environment or GCSE/S grades (A-D/1-4) level education will provide a background for entry as a Modern Apprentice (Skillseekers in Scotland) which many firms will support. This will include part-time attendance at college.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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