RoofViews

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.

Related Articles

Group of Roofing Academy students speaking with Trevor Leeds of BYLTup
In Your Community

Roof Raiser: Trevor Leeds, Elevating the Roofing Industry

The roofing industry has long been a competitive space for contractors, but that healthy competition has helped drive innovation and lift up independently-owned businesses across the country. BYLTup, Inc. is one such business, and CEO Trevor Leeds is committed to elevating the greater roofing industry through everything his company does.After many years in roofing, Trevor partnered with his brother, Brady Woodside, in 2022 and co-found BYLTup, Inc. in Southern California. The pair started from scratch with a blank slate, allowing them to create a culture and brand experience that raises the industry bar, which is important to them.Trevor knew GAF would be a part of their success from the start. He experienced GAF-certified contractors'* support through his previous company and knew the organization's vision and innovation would be key to building the business.Enhancing Roofing Professionalism and SafetyTrevor is passionate about the roofing industry and believes everyone—from manufacturers and distributors to the contractors performing the installations—should work together to create a professional and positive customer experience. Even more importantly, Trevor advocates for the industry's employees and their experiences; safety is an area he wants more people to consider."We need to be making sure that we are taking care of employee safety," Trevor says. "Everyone should be focused on that. Everyone should be concerned about their employees going home safe and sound every single night. When an accident happens in the industry, it's devastating to the business owner and the individual, but it impacts the industry too. We all feel that in some form or fashion."Guiding the Next Generation through GAF Roofing AcademyTrevor's concern for employees and the industry's future led to his involvement in the GAF Roofing Academy. While he didn't have an immediate need for labor in his business, he recognized that taking action now could contribute to building a pipeline of skilled workers that would benefit the roofing industry as a whole.Trevor observed the pool of talent and skilled workers dwindling during his time in roofing. "You have the baby boomer generation that is retiring and a younger generation that wants to get into tech and doesn't want to get into the trades," he notes. "We've got to be able to hire and attract young talent back into the industry or we're all going to suffer."Training Students at the SoCal Roofing AcademyTrevor first learned about the GAF Roofing Academy at a regional conference and stepped up to assist. His company was involved in the first SoCal Roofing Academy, which had three tracks: residential roofing, commercial roofing, and sales training. BYLTup hosted the training's residential portion, and Trevor was impressed by the students' interest and engagement."I was blown away at how engaged they were. GAF had certainly done a very good job screening and prepping these individuals coming in, but they were green," he says. "The trainer was fantastic. The students were shingling after three days."Once the groups completed the tracks, they were brought back together for their graduation ceremony, which was a life-changing experience for many. "I realized that many of these people had probably never been recognized like this before," Trevor says. "They were very proud, holding their certificates and sending photos to their families."Making an Unexpected Hire at BYLTupJust before hosting the SoCal Roofing Academy, GAF Roofing Academy Operations Manager Erick Osuna reached out to Trevor and shared recent graduate Jose Navarro's resume. Jose had completed the commercial roofing training program and stood out to Erick, so he connected with Trevor about possibly hiring him."At that time, I wasn't looking for someone on the commercial roofing side. We weren't really expanding that crew, but we were looking for a production role," Trevor shares. "Long story short, we loved him. He was going to be a great fit for the company, and we hired him as our assistant production manager."Jose excelled on the job. BYLTup quickly moved him into a full production manager role, hiring an assistant to work with him. Trevor says Jose was a great hire. "He's young, he's hungry, he wants to learn. I've never seen another individual in the industry that just wants to learn roofing, and he's a sponge."Committing to Supporting GAF Roofing AcademyTrevor has seen the caliber of students attending and graduating from the GAF Roofing Academy, inspiring his commitment to support ongoing trainings. "I was pleasantly surprised at the overall outcome of the [Roofing Academy] event," he notes. "It encouraged me to the point that I said, 'I want to do this, whether we benefit from it or not, I want to support this at least twice a year, and we want to get more contractors involved in it.'"Want to get involved in supporting the future of the roofing industry? Learn how to participate in a future Roofing Academy and discover the training opportunities available to your team through GAF CARE.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the Contractor Terms of Use. Visit www.gaf.com/gaf-contractor-terms-of-use for details.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

June 17, 2024

GAF Roofing Academy Graduate holds up his certificate of achievement.
In Your Community

How Attending the GAF Roofing Academy Changed One Graduate's Life

Meet Austin Teague, recent GAF Roofing Academy graduate who shares his transformational journey from ball field to the roof. Prior to the GAF Roofing Academy, he was involved in sports, worked in customer service, but lacked the experience needed to break into the roofing industry. Once he graduated from the GAF Roofing Academy, doors were then opened for him, leading to well-paying jobs as an installer and later as a salesperson, where he is currently on track to meet his financial goals.Attending the two-week program proved to be a life-changing decision for Austin, providing him with the tools and confidence needed to succeed. The course not only equipped him with technical expertise, but also instilled in him the ability to educate customers effectively. Take a listen as Austin shares his story of how he found clarity and direction in his professional life, enabling him to thrive in the industry and build a successful future for himself and his family.Are you interested in a career in the roofing industry? Look for a Roofing Academy course in your area. Video TranscriptMy name is Austin Teague. I'm originally born in Tyler, Texas. Moved to Washington when I was a kid at ten. Well, prior to joining the Roofing Academy and, you know, taking my skills to that test, I was sports, strictly sports. Everything in my life I would, you know, I'd work a customer service job. I was in the, you know, the retail industry. I worked at Walgreens, but my personal life was hectic. It was football practice, baseball practice. It was always something going on.There was always something to do. Everything when it comes to roofing, for me, started after the Roofing Academy. When I tried to get into the roofing industry before going to the Academy, nobody wanted me because I had no experience. They're going to have to train everybody on the job. But because of the roofing academy, because I knew what I was going to do day one, I knew what my job was. I couldn't run into any hiccups because I knew what showing up day one was going to look like.[00:00:56.770]So they gave me a GAF certificate with my name, the location I trained out of, and then when I graduated. And what I did with that is I took it to every single applicant or job interview I had because I wanted them to know that I have this certificate. Not saying I have it, but also bring it, so they can see it.After the academy, I landed a job at 28 an hour as an installer, which is substantial in this living, making life, making payments. And then after that, I got bumped up to 32 an hour when I was working in New Mexico. And now that I'm sales, I'm straight commission. But in this month, I'm on pace to hit 20,000. Our goal at Tristate is to educate the customers firsthand. So being at the Roofing Academy allowed me to know roofing like the back of my hand. As an installer, as a sales, as an owner, you got to see the value in the systems. And it allowed me in my head to build those value, actually explain it to the customers. Where is this number coming from? Well, it's coming from this material because this material is going to cost more, of course, but it's obviously better.[00:01:58.920]I think someone coming to the Roofing Academy right away, no experience, is going to set you up for success. That's what you want. You want to be set up for success. You want to be as many tools as you can in your tool belt to get you to that point you want to be in life. And showing up to the Roofing Academy, it changed my life drastically. I didn't know what I was going to do. I literally didn't know, if roofing wasn't the pathway for me- what was the next plan?I was just grateful. I mean, I was one day on indeed looking for jobs and I saw the Roofing Academy post on indeed looking for academy students, and I thought, why not? What's two weeks out of my life that I get to change it? If I get an opportunity to change it and that two weeks changed my life. There's no time wasted. You're here from nine to three or nine to four at the latest for your classes.You're with guys that you actually enjoy being around. The guys in my class or in the class today, they're fun guys. They all get to make mistakes and learn from each other. And it just makes me grateful that I got that opportunity to make something of myself. I'm not just another guy on the street.[00:03:00.340]I don't know what my life's going to look like in the next six months, but I guarantee it's not going to slow down. I'm going to work harder than ever. I know I got two kids at home. I have something to push me. I would say that all the success started with the Roofing Academy because my life before the Roofing Academy was kind of on a snowball effect. It had started from when I left college and then came home and it kind of just started snowballing. One thing after another was another problem, another problem. Bills at 18, going into debt. You're 18, your life isn't, you're going to ruin your life already. So you got to figure some out. And I figured it out. I got lucky enough that I found GAF and you know they still treat me well to this day. I have my Academy teacher's phone number and I call them up and help him out from time to time, and he helps me out from time to time.We still get along. And it was two weeks of my life that I knew the guy, and he still gives me a call and checks up on me and tries to: How are you doing in roofing? You still in roofing? You still making a name for yourself? You still doing what you said you were going to do? And I am. It's just good to have someone to talk to. Even if you're in this industry for ten years, I guarantee you GAF CARE will probably still give you a call and check on you. That's just what they do.

By Authors GAF Roof Views

April 12, 2024

A GAF Roofing Academy instructor shows a student how to cut and measure roofing materials.
In Your Community

GAF Roofing Academy Benefits Graduates and Contractors in Southern California

This past fall, more than 50 students participated in GAF Roofing Academy training week in Southern California. The free, week-long event united roofing leaders, contractors, and aspiring roofers, eager to learn the trade. The event concluded with a career fair, which allowed students to immediately meet with potential employers. GAF is a leading proponent of roofing education and training, providing countless opportunities like this to align industry leaders, reduce the industry labor shortage, and empower communities from the ground up with long-term, well-paying roofing opportunities.Helping the Roofing Industry and Graduates"The roofing industry is dealing with a labor shortage and lack of skilled labor," says Scott Bolt, a third-generation roofer and president of Celoseal Roofing in Orange, California. "GAF is the only manufacturer in the construction—not just the roofing but the construction—industry that is listening to the call that contractors need help. The fact that GAF provides contractors with highly organized events like this, with eager recruits and competent trainers—it means a lot to me."The Roofing Academy was just as valuable to the graduates. "I got a roofing job starting this Monday," says GAF Roofing Academy graduate Joncele Cavona Soto. Soto, a US military veteran born in Puerto Rico, served for years while deployed around the world. Recently searching job sites, he learned about the Roofing Academy training. "I applied, was accepted, and now I have a roofing job just one month after leaving the military. This is big for me," he says.Preparing Students for SuccessThe SoCal training covered three key industry sectors: residential steep-slope roofing, commercial low-slope roofing, and roofing sales and insurance. Students chose one focus, then participated in a five-day course combining in-classroom education and hands-on training. Throughout the event, they gained the necessary basic skills to begin a roofing career. The courses were hosted by three GAF certified contractors, eager to share their expertise with the next generation of roofers.BYLTup from Long Beach, California, taught the residential steep-slope roofing class.Celoseal Roofing from Orange, California, taught the commercial low-slope roofing class.Antis Roofing & Waterproofing from Irvine, California, taught the sales and insurance class."When GAF wants to do anything, Antis wants to partner with them," says Charles Antis, owner of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. "Yesterday, GAF donated 60 squares of shingles to the Sister League of San Diego that we installed." The GAF Community Matters ethos matters to Antis. "We can go into communities across the country and bring people into the trades that otherwise wouldn't get here. I'm super gung-ho about the GAF Roofing Academy," he says. His business has partnered with GAF on seven roofing classes over the years, plus the roofing sales and insurance course at the Roofing Academy event.Students weren't required to have experience—just a passion to learn the trade. "I saw GAF Roofing Academy scrolling through Instagram," says 22-year-old Angelique Mojina from Fontana, California. "I clicked and I signed myself up. I wanted to leave warehouse work and this was my opportunity." Now that Mojina has graduated, the ability to put a roof over someone's home gives her a feeling of gratitude and accomplishment.Securing Jobs and Reducing Labor ShortagesWorkers and companies who participated in the GAF Roofing Academy training week enjoyed immediate benefits.At the career fair, Nathan Blackburn, general manager at Celoseal Roofing, says, "We've hired 20 people today. It's amazing. We've complained for years about not being able to find qualified employees, and now I've got 20 eager people knocking on my door who just spent a week learning how to roof. They want to work; they want this opportunity."The academy also fostered mutually beneficial relationships. Bolt of Celoseal Roofing worked side by side with students in his commercial low-slope roofing class. One student in the class brought him a job application, and he offered him a position with Celoseal Roofing on the spot. "Over the week, I had seen his natural potential, ambition, compassion for co-workers, and leadership skills," he says. "He's looking for a career and a change of direction in his life, and we have something to offer him. He'll onboard Monday, so we have our first recruit."Fostering a Rewarding Career PathThe GAF Roofing Academy offers a new path forward for students of all walks of life. Jacob Mosprey from Anaheim, California, worked in security for 17 years. "In security, you secure property and protect life, but you're not held in high regard. And there was no growth opportunity," he says. "I have a wife and three kids. I want my wife to know she has a husband who has a respectable career."Mosprey's journey is a powerful and hard-won story of perseverance. "During my life, I did go through homelessness, and I was incarcerated a couple of times," says Mosprey. "Now... I appreciate my struggles." Participating in the Roofing Academy has given him a new skill set and an opportunity to improve his own life, as well as the lives of others.Interested in participating in the GAF Roofing Academy and changing your trajectory? Enroll as a student today or partner with GAF Roofing Academy as a contractor.

By Authors Annie Crawford

January 03, 2024

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!

Subscribe now