Roofers (NOC 7291) may also be called:
- Roofing mechanic
- Roof tiler
What Would I Do?
You construct and repair roofs on residential, industrial and commercial buildings. There are two types of roofs: flat and sloped. Most houses have sloped roofs, while most commercial and industrial buildings have flat roofs. You can work on both types of roof or specialize in just one.
Some main duties include:
- install and repair roofing systems using materials such as hot asphalt and gravel, shingles, shakes and other roofing tiles
- install and repair metal roofs and install sheet metal flashing
- set up scaffolding to provide safe access to roofs
- you may estimate materials required and prepare cost quotes for clients
Am I Suited For This Job?
Working as a roofer is most rewarding if you enjoy physical exercise, being outdoors and working with your hands.
You spend most of your day working on roofs, ladders and scaffolding so you should be comfortable working at heights. You must be very safety conscious and able to work in potentially dangerous places with machines like mechanical saws.
You should be able to do physically demanding work including heavy lifting, climbing and kneeling. Good manual dexterity and an eye for detail are helpful.
You need to be prepared to work outside in all kinds of weather including rain, snow and summer heat. You may work both independently or in a team setting.
Sometimes overtime may be required to finish projects and meet construction deadlines. Your work is project-based and seasonal, so working hours may not be regular throughout the year.
Sources: Career Cruising database (Profile for Roofer), WorkBC Career Profile
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the median annual salary is $45,760. Your wages are affected by location, employer, and the number of hours you work each year.
In BC’s regions, you can expect to make:
Table from Job Bank Wage Report
Some roofers belong to a union. This means that your wage rates and benefits are negotiated on your behalf by union representatives.
Unionized workers may also have access to benefits, such as life and health insurance, and paid sick leave.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile, Career Cruising database
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
There are approximately 3,200 roofers employed in BC. The Construction Sector Council predicts the job outlook for roofers will be balanced to good over the next 9 years.
Roofers are needed for ongoing replacement and repair work as well as new construction. As a result, roofers are typically busy even when new construction activity slows.
Chart from WorkBC
Sources: WorkBC, Careers in Construction
How Do I Become a Roofer?
Roofer is an Inter-provincially recognized Red Seal trade. With a Red Seal, you can work in this trade anywhere in Canada.
Trade certification is not mandatory in B.C., but it will likely increase your job opportunities. You can become certified by completing a three year apprenticeship program through BC’s Industry Training Authority (ITA). Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of work experience and technical training. You must find an employer who is willing to sponsor you in the program.
Once you complete the apprenticeship program and successfully pass the Interprovincial Red Seal exam (the final exam for this trade), you become certified as a roofer. You also receive the Red Seal endorsement.
Challenge Certification/Recognition of Prior Experience:
If you have significant work experience as a roofer but have never been certified in Canada, you may apply to challenge the certification. This includes completing 5,400 hours work in the trade and successfully writing the Interprovincial Red Seal exam.
How Do I Find A Job?
Where would I work?
Roofers work for:
- roofing companies
- general contractors
- construction companies
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.
Online Job Postings
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ roofers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “roofing” and click SEARCH.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
- Habitat for Humanity (can volunteer at construction sites or at ReStores)
For additional tips see:
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
With experience you may move into supervisory or estimating positions. You are also able to transfer your skills to related trades, such as carpentry or sheet metal work.
Some experienced roofers start their own businesses.
Where Can I Find More Information?
STEP is a no-fee employment program that helps immigrants get jobs in the construction industry