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Get a great career as a roofer. It will give you access to regular work with a steady stream of projects waiting for you. You need to be equipped with skills to work on different building types, including residential and commercial structures.
Ever wonder what exactly a roofer does, and how to become one? Read on and learn how to get into roofing, and discover what it takes to become one.
How To Get Into Roofing
What is a Roofer?
A roofer repairs make replacements and install roofs of building structures. They work with materials like shingles, metal, and tar. As a roofer, you will get the chance to work both from the ground and on top of buildings. More often than not, you will be standing on a slope.
To give you an idea of how to work in roofing, you will use tools for installing roofs and make assessments in roofing conditions. Part of your duties would be any one of these things, giving a customer an estimate, applying a waterproofing coat, or maybe replace an entire roof. You will be working with certified roofing contractors and operate under a business license, which will allow you to work on both commercial and residential buildings.
All of the above details answers the question as to what do roofers do. Additionally, on any given day, an inspection usually occurs after each completed job.
What Does a Roofer Do?
As a roofing company, they install and repair roofs of all types using all kinds of materials. This includes asphalt, cedar shingles, metal, and more. As a roofer, you will have to be prepared to work in all kinds of weather conditions, and almost any situation involving rooftop conditions.
It is possible that you might be working on a steep-sloped roof in the rain one day, and, on a flat roof under the hot sun the next. Every time a new roof is installed, thick plywood is laid down first, then after that, felt is installed. This contraption makes it easier to keep your footing after that comes to the shingles, which are either metal panels or an asphalt membrane.
Roofers must be detail-oriented since the quality of the work done will depend much on how good of a job was completed. It will be inspected and checked if done properly. It will seal any leak that could cause damage inside the building.
They also install attic fans and vent boots on the roof.
How To Be A Good Roofer
A good roofer is when he gets to finish difficult tasks in not-so-good weather conditions. He or she can also work high above the ground and follow protocols for all kinds of jobs. You must be efficient as you follow guidelines depending on the materials you use.
You will need good communication skills as well as the physical strength to move and carry heavy tools and various materials. All these you will be doing with a positive attitude. Working for both residential and commercial clients will require you to be culturally sensitive, coupled with good customer service skills. These are crucial components to being a good roofer.
What Do Roofers Wear?
Working as a roofer also requires proper gear and clothing. It should be able to protect you from environmental factors such as accidents and other dangerous materials. Eye protection and a hard hat sometimes are required.
Wearing long-sleeve shirts and thick pants will protect you from cuts, scrapes, and even sunburn. Work boots with thick soles can help with its necessary grip that is needed while you walk on the roof surface. The thick soles will also help protect your feet from the hot surface of the roof.
Gloves serve to protect your hands from burns while at the same time improving grip.
What Tools Do Roofers Use?
Tools are used for installing, making repairs, and removal of roofs. Basic tools like hammers and ladders are the most commonly used. They also use shingle removers, shovels, roofing nailers, roofing hammers, hammer tackers, some utility knives, and power machines.
Depending on the specifications of the job, you might be using a power drill, or maybe a power saw to cut and install materials. You will also be using a crowbar to remove shingles, shears, cut asphalt, or fiberglass shingles. Other peripherals include a tape measure and level to measure the roof slope.
Having experience using these tools will be helpful to your roofing career.
Do Roofers Work in the Rain?
Depending on the type of roofing job that needs to be done, roofers are required to work even if it’s raining. For example, during a storm, if a tree fell on a building, roofers must get to work and make repairs just so that water doesn’t get into the structure.
Admittedly, it is risky for roofers to be working in such conditions, so much so that companies avoid sending in a team to the roof unless it is an emergency. What roofers do is cover their work with tarp or plastic to protect against any leak in the event of a storm.
What Type of Training/ Credentials Does a Roofer Need?
Most roofers learn through on-the-job training. They take up a formal apprenticeship program that is complete with classes and paid training. Even when they are still in training, they get to do and complete real roofing jobs.
An apprentice gets to learn to use the necessary tools and safety precautions needed. The experience and certification give them the chance to be hired as a full-time roofer. A good roofer also needs to study and make the necessary upgrades as a roofing professional throughout his career.
Physical fitness is a must since this job is also equally physically demanding. You must not be afraid of heights and must have a good sense of balance. You also must be able to take care of details and maintain focus in potentially dangerous situations.
Teamwork is crucial to the roofing business as well as the ability to work independently. A good roofer does not need much supervision. A survey conducted by Owl Guru cites the top 5 skills and knowledge that roofers must have:
Building and Construction
Education and Training
Customer and Personal Service
Are Roofing Jobs Readily Available?
Why be a roofer?
It so happens that taking up roofing as a career today gives you bright job prospects. There is an ongoing housing boom that started a few years back where roofing repairs and replacements have become in demand.
Our economic recovery has created a growing market for projects both in residential and commercial areas. Along with that demand will raise the need for more quality roofers. Opportunities are steadily on the rise, and more positions are becoming available.
If you like working with your hands, this job is for you!
It’s a situation that we are all too familiar with, lousy weather, and wind wreaking havoc and pulling our shingles from our roofs. Not only does this have a negative aesthetic impact on the house, but this can often also lead to leaks and drafts, nobody wants that! As a solution, many homeowners would simply call a roofing contractor to fix the issues. There is no single, industry-wide standard or certification for becoming a roofing contractor; this process often differs hugely depending on your jurisdiction and its own specific rules for the process.
In this article, we will explain the process of how to become a licensed roofing contractor in detail, summarizing the different processes involved depending on where you reside. This process can differ significantly from state to state; it’s, therefore, essential that you find the correct process for your location; this is not a “one size fits all” situation.
Do Roofing Contractors Need a License?
While, as previously stated, there is no single, industry-wide qualification, certification, or license for roofing contractors, the construction industry has also grown into one of the most strictly regulated industries in the United States. As such, each state has its own, unique contractor licensing laws, specialty classifications, and specialty contractor application requirements, making this a process that differs greatly from state to state.
Essentially, what it comes down to is whether the contractor has the intention to carry out residential or commercial roofing work. For example, in states such as Minnesota, a residential contractor is only required to carry out their Residential Roofer New License Application in order to begin work. Whereas, when a roofing contractor in Minnesota specializes in commercial roofing work on the state level, they must also carry a license on a local level in order to do so legitimately and legally.
As of writing this article, 32 currently states require a license for residential and commercial roofing contractors at the state level, meaning that this is an essential part of the process in these said states. The remaining 18 states, however, require a contractor’s license at all levels, that being the state, county, and municipal level. Any given state could, therefore hypothetically require licensure at two of these levels, or even at all three if they were so inclined.
How To Become A Qualified Roofer
There are a wide variety of other requirements that you may need in order to become a roofing contractor. These requirements may include, but are not at all limited to:
Proof of your worker’s compensation insurance.
Proof of your unemployment insurance.
Proof of passage of residential, commercial, or industrial examinations that have been carried out.
Proof of your liability and property damage insurance
Proof of submission of your surety bond.
Proof of the designation of a qualifying party or construction supervisor license
Your own copies of the Articles of Incorporation or Partnership Agreement.
Steps to Become a Qualified Roofing Contractor
Learning How to Roof
An essential step, and often the first taken toward becoming a licensed roofing contractor, is ensuring that you have all of the physical, roofing skills down and ready. To be a contractor, you must be a versatile worker, willing to confer with your clients over the specifics of a job and venture outside of your comfort zone. You must present a friendly and approachable personality to your clients, assuring them that they can come to you with any of their questions or concerns. Many learn to roof “on the job” or through practice, while others choose to go the route of taking a class at a technical or community college that may be appropriate for the job. While the latter may be a more time-consuming method, the skills that you will gain for not only this trade but likely a variety of others, more than make up for this time spent and can be a huge asset to your career in many ways.
It is of the highest importance when working as a roofing contractor, to have adequate insurance for both yourself and your business, this is in order to protect yourself and your business from possible lawsuits, usually involving matters such as personal injury or property damage. The National Roofing Contractors Association has added a special section to its own website that is dedicated to roofing contractor insurance. The page explains what you will need for the process, as well as providing a list of companies that can provide them.
Joining a National or Regional Association
A very important step that many contractors take after being granted their license is to join a national or regional roofing association. Not only does joining one of these associations improve your credibility, making you stand out amongst a sea of other contractors, but it also keeps you informed and in the loop on all of the latest developments and happenings from within the roofing industry itself, should there be any changes in rules or regulations, you will be the first to know if you become a member of a national or regional roofing association.
Roofing License Requirements from State to State
NOTE:This information is provided as a service. To the best of our knowledge, it is correct and up-to-date; however, it is not expected to be taken as legal advice and you must always check with local authorities before making any business decisions. Requirements and regulations are subject to change at any time.
In order to become a Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractor in the state of Alabama, you will first need a state license. This state license is issued by the Licensing Board for General Contractors, to be eligible, there must be commercial projects to the worth of $50,000. Alternatively, you can also be eligible for residential jobs worth $10,000 or more. On top of this, you will also need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and a law exam. You must be able to provide Proof of completion of at least three roofing projects from within the past three years of your work.
In Alaska, roofing contractor work requires a state license from each of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing. In order to obtain a non-residential license, you will need to be able to provide Proof of liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and place a bond of $5,000. Alternatively, to obtain a residential license, you will instead need to complete the Alaska Craftsman Home Program within two years prior to applying for the license, as well as passing an exam.
In order to begin roofing work in the state of Arizona, you’ll need a state license; this will be issued by the State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors, or ROC. Roofing is classified as a specialty profession in Arizona, with specific licenses needed for both residential and commercial work. As well as this, you will also need to pass a trade exam, provide your financial statement, and finally, you will need to provide Proof of worker’s compensation, as well as a surety bond.
Any type of construction work that is found to have a value of $2,000 or higher requires a state license in Arkansas before it can be carried out. In Arkansas, there are commercial and residential Home Improvement contractor licenses; both of these licenses are granted by the Contractors Licensing Board. If you are attempting to apply for an unlimited license, you must then provide a financial statement, and Proof of worker’s compensation insurance on top of this.
In order to obtain a roofing license in California, you must be licensed to work on roofing projects worth more than $500 within the state of California. To be able to be granted a roofing license in California, you must pass an exam. However, before you apply, you will also need to be able to provide at least four years of roofing experience within your past ten years of work. You will additionally need a $15,000 surety bond in order to obtain a roofing license in California.
In Colorado, roofing contractors fall under the title of “general contractors” and are therefore not required to hold a state roofing license at all. It is required that you have a business license, however. It is also very important to check your own local requirements, as the regulations may differ from place to place.
In Connecticut, roofing contractors are not required to have a state license, however, if your business does operate under the title of “home improvement contractor,” you will then also need to be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection. There is a yearly fee for registration with this department.
In the state of Delaware, for any roofing contractor job that is worth more than $50,000, you must register with and get a business license from the Delaware Division of Revenue. As well as this, a Class B Asbestos Abatement Certification is also issued by the Division of Facilities Management; you will need to complete an approved training course in order to receive this specific type of license.
In order to become a roofing contractor in the state of Florida, a license is required to be certified to work anywhere in the state. This “Division 2 Contractor License” is to be issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You will also need to pass an exam, and in order to be eligible to take the exam, you must show four years of experience in your specific area. You will also be required to provide Proof of financial stability, as well as Proof of insurance.
Any roofing project worth more than $2,500 in the state of Georgia requires a state license. Said license is issued by the State Construction Industry Licensing Board in Georgia. In order to be licensed, you will need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. You will require pre-approval for this exam, demonstrating at least two years of experience, as well as completion of at least two projects in your area, and finally Proof of insurance.
In the state of Hawaii, a C-42 Roofing Contractor License is required to begin roofing. This is issued by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing. You will also need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. I order to be eligible to take this exam; you will need to show at least four years of supervisory work experience in the past ten years.
In the state of Idaho, roofing regulations do not require a contractor to hold a state license. Instead, you are required to register with the Idaho Contractors Board. There are no requirements for experience, education, or examination by this board. However, you will need to provide your business information, as well as Proof of insurance.
How To Become A Licensed Roofer in the state of Illinois? A license is required in Illinois in order to begin roofing. This license is issued by the Department of Professional Regulation. There are three types of licenses, you must apply for the license of the type of work you plan to do primarily – Residential, Commercial, or Commercial/Industrial, though you will need to pass the Residential license exam before you can apply for this. In order to qualify to apply, you must pass the state exam, if applicable, you must also show Proof of insurance and provide a $10,000 surety bond.
The state of Indiana does not require roofing contractors to hold a license. However, there may also be local requirements that apply to you, so do be sure to check on these before you begin any roofing work.
In Iowa, any construction contractor, of any kind, who earns more than $2,000 per year, is required to be registered with the Iowa Division of Labour. There is no state exam, but you must be able to show Proof of unemployment insurance. A state license is only required for roofers if you’re working with asbestos.
While there is no requirement for roofers to have a state in Kansas, you must hold a roofing contractor registration certificate; this is issued by the Kansas Attorney General. You must also be able to provide Proof of liability insurance, as well as worker’s compensation insurance.
There are no set roofing contractor requirements of licenses required in the state of Kentucky. However, you may personally wish to become certified with the Kentucky Roofing Contractors Association (KRCA) for its added benefits.
The state of Louisiana requires a state license for any building construction work worth more than $75,000, as well as for home improvement or repair work worth more than $7,500. It is the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors that issues these commercial and residential licenses, and home improvement registration. You will need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. You will also need to provide Proof of general liability, as well as worker’s compensation insurance.
In the state of Maine, roofing contractors do not require any specific state license, unless they are working with asbestos. In which case, you will be required to attain a Conditional Asbestos Abatement License from the Department of Environmental Protection.
In Maryland, general contractors, including roofers, do not need any kind of state license in order to carry out their work. However, certain types of roofing work may fall under the banner of “Home Improvement”, which does require a state license. This license is issued by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, or MHIC. In order to apply for this license, you’ll need to be able to provide two years of work experience and pass the exam. You will additionally need to provide Proof of insurance.
In the state of Massachusetts, roofing contractors are required to be licensed by the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards. This is known as the Construction Supervisor License; however, if you work primarily on existing structures, you will also need a state registration as well. There is no exam for this, but there is for the Construction Supervisor’s License. You will need to pass the exam and additionally be able to provide three years of work experience.
Roofing contractors in Michigan are required to hold a state license from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This roofing license falls under the title of “Residential Maintenance and Alteration”. Before you are ready to apply, you will also need to complete 60 hours of education, as well as then passing an exam.
As previously explained, in the state of Minnesota, there are different requirements for residential and commercial roofing work.
How To Become A Certified Roofer In Minnesota, you’re required to hold a state license if the total of your yearly work is above $15,000. This license is issued by the Department of Labor and Industry in Minnesota. In order to attain a license, you will need to pass the residential roofer trade exam; you must additionally provide Proof of insurance, as well as posting a $15,000 surety bond.
In Mississippi, if your residential roofing services are worth over $10,000, you will require a Residential Roofing License from the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. You will also need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. You will also be required to provide your financial information and show Proof of insurance before you can be approved.
There are no specific state requirements in Missouri for roofing contractor work. However, it is important that you check local requirements for your area as these may still be in place and need to be adhered to.
In Montana, there are similarly no set requirements for roofing contractors. However, roofers, along with all other construction contractors and subcontractors with employees, are required to register with the Department of Labor and Industry. In the case that you have no employees, you can still register if you so wish, but you are no longer required to.
While there are no specific requirements for roofing contractors in Nebraska, roofing contractors, as with all other general contractors and sub-contractors who perform construction or repair work in Nebraska, are required to register with the Nebraska Department of Labor.
In Nevada, it is required that roofing contractors obtain a C-15a Roofing Contractor License, this is issued by the State Contractors Board. In order to be pre-approved to take the necessary exam, you will be required to provide at least four years of experience in the past ten years. Education may also be used as a substitute for some of these years of experience. You will be required to show your finances, obtain a bond, and finally show Proof of worker’s compensation insurance. You will only then be approved to take the trade, business, and law exams needed.
Unless you are working directly with asbestos, a roofing contractor license is not required in order to work as a contractor in the state of New Hampshire. Though, as always, local requirements should be researched beforehand.
While you are not required to carry any form of contractor’s license in New Jersey for roofing, you are required to be registered. On top of this, from March 2018 onwards, you no longer require a construction permit in New Jersey for roofing jobs on one- and two-family homes in particular.
In New Mexico, roofing contractors operate under the title of “Construction Contractors,” meaning that they need a state license in order to begin working. In order to then take the required exam, you must provide two years of experience in your given area. You must also pass the trade exam, in addition to the business and law exam.
In the state of New York, you are not required to have a state license in order to begin carrying out roofing contractor work. However, as previously mentioned, there are still local requirements often, and these should be fully looked into beforehand.
In order to work as a roofing contractor in the state of North Carolina, you will require a state license, though this is only for any jobs worth $30,000 or more. This license is issued by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. You will need to be pre-approved before you are able to the exam. To do so, you must demonstrate a minimum working capital, which is appropriate depending on the size of the jobs you wish to bid on in the future.
If you wish to carry out roofing jobs worth more than $4,000 in the state of North Dakota, there are a number of requirements involved. There are four classes of licenses that are issued by the Secretary of State of North Dakota; these mostly depend on the size of the jobs you plan to embark upon. There is no exam requirement in this state, though you will need to be able to show that you don’t owe any taxes, as well as being able to provide Proof of worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance.
As with a number of the other states list, there are no state licensing requirements in order to be roofing contractor work in the state of Ohio. As with previous entries, we advise that you still be sure to check your local requirements before you begin work.
You are not required to carry a state license in order to carry out roofing contractor work in Oklahoma. However, you do need a Roofing Contractor Registration. In order to be registered and be granted the equivalent of an Oklahoma roofing license, you will be required to provide proof of worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
In the state of Oregon, roofing contractors require a state license to begin working. You will need to finish your pre-license training and pass a test before you are granted a license from the Construction Contractors Board. You will also be required to provide Proof of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
There are no requirements in the state of Pennsylvania for roofing contractors to have a state license before they begin work. However, we still advise that you enquire into the local requirements for roofing contractors in your area before you consider beginning work.
In order to become a roofing contractor in the state of Rhode Island, a state license is required. This license is granted by the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board. In order to become licensed, you will need to pass an exam, as well as complete at least ten hours of roofing education per year. You will also need to be able to proof of insurance and be bonded.
In South Carolina, roofing contractors require a state license before they are able to begin work in this area, unless they fall under the title of “Residential Speciality Contractor, to do so you must be registered with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In order to register, you first must provide references and a surety bond, so long as your work is expected to be worth more than $5,000.
In South Dakota, there are no requirements for roofing contractors to carry state licenses. We advise that contractors in South Dakota still research their local roofing contractor requirements before beginning work, as these may differ.
In the state of Tennessee, as of January 2014, all roofing contractors are required to carry a state license in order to perform any projects that are expected to be worth more than $25,000. In order to do so, you must first pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. You must then also provide a financial statement and provide Proof of general liability, as well as worker’s compensation insurance.
In the state of Texas, there is no requirement for its roofing contractors to carry any sort of state license to carry out their work. There is, however, a voluntary licensing process through the Roofing Contractors Association in Texas, if this is something you are interested in looking into.
All kinds of construction contractors, roofing contractors included, require a state license issued by the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. To do so, you will need to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. In order to become eligible to take this exam, you must first have four years of work experience. In addition to this, you must also be able to provide Proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
In Vermont, there is no requirement for roofing contractors to carry a state license in order to be doing their work. As always, we do advise that you look into local contractor requirements for your area before beginning this work, as this can affect it.
For Virginians, it is a requirement for roofing contractors to have a state license, issued by the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. In addition to this, you will need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and a law exam. In order to become eligible to take this exam, you must first have four years of work experience in this area; you must also be able to provide Proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
In Washington State, there is no requirement for its roofing contractors to carry any sort of state license before they begin carrying out their work. There is, however, a requirement to register with the Department of Labor and Industries Contractors’ Registration Section if you reside within this state.
In the state of West Virginia, roofing contractors are required to attain a state license in order to begin their work. This license is granted by the Division of Labor West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board. You will need to be able to pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. As well as this, you must also be able to provide Proof of worker’s compensation insurance.
In the state of Wisconsin, there is also no requirement for roofing contractors to be granted a state license before carrying out their work. It is important to note, however, that if you work closely with asbestos, you will then require to be certified by the Asbestos Unit Bureau of Public Health.
Finally, in Wyoming, there are no requirements for roofing contractors to attain a state license before they carry out their work. We maintain that it is important, if you reside in this state, to look into your own local requirements as well as just the state ones.