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Residential Roofing

Securing a Roofer Salary for a Competitive and Worthwhile Career

By Karen L Edwards

April 15, 2020

Roofer working on a roof

The roofing industry can provide a reliable and rewarding living with potential for growth. As the industry faces an unprecedented labor shortage, pay rates are increasing, and the industry has expanded offerings for training and certification programs to elevate roofing practices across the board.

How Much Do Roofers Make?

A roofer salary will vary based on a number of factors, including whether the work is residential or commercial. Residential roofing is more straightforward and can usually be completed in a short time.

Commercial roofing, on the other hand, may require more specialized training. The jobs are also much larger—sometimes lasting weeks or months, depending on the size and complexity of the roof.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the top five states with the highest employment level in roofers, the average annual salary ranges from $42,000 to $63,000. Depending on where in the country you work as a roofer, the annual salary can be as high as $87,000 per year. In 2022, the median roofer salary was reported to be $51,910 annually or $24.96 per hour.

What Makes Roofing a Rewarding Career?

The roofing industry can deliver a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities for advancement. Being able to work outside every day with amazing views from the rooftop inspires many craftsmen to consider a career in roofing. Often, workers start as an installer and then advance their way up to roles with more responsibility such as project manager, superintendent, estimator, or sales. Some even go on to start their own roofing companies.

Working in the roofing industry is typically stable. According to the US Census Bureau, there were roughly 144 million homes across the country as of July 2022. Every one of those homes has a roof that will need to be replaced at some point. On the commercial side, the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey estimated in their most recent report from 2018 that there are 5.9 million commercial buildings in the US. These commercial buildings will require regular maintenance, repairs, and eventually a new or restored roofing system.

What's Elevating the Modern Roofing Industry?

Working in roofing was not always seen as a professional, reputable line of work, but organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association have worked hard to elevate the reputation of the industry. They have established the Training for Roof Application Careers (TRAC) program to provide training for commercial and residential roofing installation as well as prepare workers to become successful foremen and managers.

In addition to the TRAC training program, the NRCA has started a ProCertification® program that allows experienced roofing installers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and become certified in the installation of specific roofing systems.

How Can You Get into Roofing?

If you think that a career in the roofing industry might be a good fit for you, there are plenty of opportunities. In the past, many installers could only learn on the job. Today manufacturers, including GAF, offer programs that prepare workers to enter the industry.

The GAF Roofing Academy is held in locations across the country and offers one- or two-week hands-on training programs that arm you with the skills you need to start your career in the roofing industry. Learn about the experience from recent graduates, and explore upcoming courses in your area.

About the Author

Karen L. Edwards is a freelance writer for the construction industry and has a passion for roofing, having worked in the industry for 20 years.

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