Roofers, also known as roof mechanics, are essential trade workers who specialize in roof construction, installation, repairs and maintenance. This article provides a comprehensive guide on roofers – their job role, types of roofers, main responsibilities, skills required, work environment, job outlook and more.
What defines a good Roofer in Auckland?
A roofer is a construction trade worker who specializes in roof construction. Their main job duties include:
- Replacing old and worn out roofs
- Installing new roofs on residential, commercial and industrial buildings
- Repairing roofs damaged by bad weather, fallen trees etc.
- Maintaining and servicing existing roofs
Roofers have expertise in working with various roofing materials in Auckland, NZ like asphalt shingles, wood shakes, metal sheets, clay tiles etc. They use a variety of tools and equipment to install, replace or repair roofs.
Why Hire a Professional Roofing Company in Auckland, NZ?
While some minor roof repairs can be DIY projects for homeowners, major roof installation or replacing jobs should be handled by qualified professional roofers due to safety concerns and building codes.
Benefits of hiring a licensed and certified roofer:
- Ensures roofing project complies with local building codes and manufacturer’s installation guidelines
- Access to quality roofing materials at reasonable prices
- Latest techniques and tools for efficient roofing
- Safety – Roofers are trained and experienced in working at heights with appropriate safety gear
- Manufacturer warranties – Many shingle manufacturers require certified roofers for providing product warranties
- Insurance and liability coverage – Protects homeowner from damages or injuries
Types of Roofing Contractors in Auckland NZ
There are several categories and specialty areas when it comes to roofers:
Based on Area of Specialization
1. Residential Roofers
- Work on private homes and apartments
- Well-versed in techniques like asphalt shingle installation and repair of common issues like leaks
2. Commercial Roofers
- Handle large roofing projects on commercial buildings like warehouses, factories, office complexes etc.
- Requires advanced expertise in specialized commercial roofing systems like EPDM, TPO, PVC etc.
3. Industrial Roofers
- Service roofs of industrial facilities like manufacturing plants, refineries etc.
- Trained to work in hazardous environments with chemicals, heavy machinery etc.
Based on Services Offered for Roofing in Auckland NZ
1. Roof Installation Contractors
- Specialize in complete roof system installation
- Offer services for tearing down old roofs and installing new ones
**2. Roof Repair Contractors **
- Fix specific issues related to roofs like leaks, holes, wind damage etc.
- Conduct inspections to identify faults and undertake repairs
3. Roof Replacement Contractors
- Replace entire roof systems after assessing condition and life span
- Expertise lies in removing old roofs and replacing them with new materials
Based on Nature of Business
1. Independent Roofing Contractors
- Self-employed contractors who take up roofing jobs
- May work alone or have a small team
- Ideal for small residential re-roofing or minor repairs
2. Roofing Companies in Auckland
- Offer a variety of roofing services with multiple crews
- Equipped to handle bigger commercial projects
- Can provide manufacturer warranties on new roof installations
3. Storm Chaser Roofers
- Contractors who travel to areas recently affected by major storms
- Specialize in roof repairs and insurance claims processing
- Generate business by directly soliciting to homeowners after natural disasters
Main Responsibilities of a Roof Restoration Company in Auckland
Roofers have a range of core duties and responsibilities associated with their job:
1. Inspection & Analysis
- Inspect roof condition and identify issues
- Determine repairs needed or recommend replacement
- Analyze issues to find root causes e.g. inadequate drainage
2. Consulting Homeowners
- Present inspection findings and discuss repair/replacement options
- Provide recommendations on suitable roofing materials
- Discuss project costs, timelines, manufacturer warranties etc.
3. Roof Installation
- Tear down old roofs and remove debris
- Install roof decks and insulation layers
- Lay out roofing surface with underlayment
- Install final roofing surface (asphalt shingles, metal sheets etc)
4. Roof Repairs
- Locate leaks and identify affected areas
- Repair holes, cracks, loose trim and damaged surfaces
- Replace worn out shingles to match existing layout
- Reinforce and seal problem areas
5. Regular Inspections & Maintenance
- Conduct periodic inspections to check for defects, roof leaks etc.
- Perform preventive maintenance like sealing asphalt surfaces, cleaning gutters etc.
- Check for storm damage after major weather events
6. Safety & Quality Control
- Strictly follow safety protocols for fall protection, ladder usage etc.
- Ensure roof installations meet code requirements
- Deliver final roofing surface that meets quality benchmarks
Must-Have Skills for an Auckland Roofing Company
To be effective in their job, roofers need to have certain core skills:
- Knowledge of varied roofing materials – asphalt, wood, metal, thermoplastics etc.
- Understanding of roofing techniques for different surfaces and pitches
- Proficiency in using roofing tools – hammers, measurers, saws etc.
- Skill to operate lifting equipment like cranes and hoists safely
- Cardiovascular fitness and stamina to work for long hours
- Balance and coordination for working at heights
- Strength and mobility to lift heavy materials and supplies
- Attention-to-detail to spot small issues before they become big leaks
- Communication skills to interact with homeowners and explain repair options
- Time management and ability to stick to schedules & deadlines
- Teamwork skills to coordinate with crews and other contractors
In addition to the above, certification and on-the-job training are vital for becoming an accomplished roofer.
The typical work environment of a roofer may include:
- Outdoors at height on ladders, scaffolding and roof surfaces
- Noise from equipment like hammer drills and industrial fans
- Exposure to extreme weather – sun, rain, snow
- Working alone or alongside crews of 2 to 20 members
- Collaboration with other trades like carpenters for large construction projects
Roofing requires constant climbing up and down ladders while transporting tools and materials. It also demands carrying heavy loads like roof tiles, metal sheets and shingles for long time periods.
Appropriate safety precautions need to be taken at all times due to the high-risk nature of the job. Roofers must use harnesses, protective headgear and suitable footwear when working to minimize potential hazards.
Career Outlook for Roofers
- Employment of roofers is projected to grow 1 percent over the 2021-2031 period – slower than the average across all occupations
- 15,000 new job openings for roofers are expected over the next decade to replace retiring workforce
- Higher demand in warmer southern states and coastal areas which see expensive storm damage to roofs
- Most jobs will be with specialized roofing contractors focused on residential re-roofing projects
- Candidates with varied skills in roofing installation, repairs, maintenance and good customer service will have better prospects
In summary, while total employment growth will be limited for roofers, there are still plenty of opportunities due to retirements and geographic demand. Specialized skills and training help candidates stand out in the job market.
How Much do Roofers Make?
Average Roofer Salary (May 2022) according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Median Annual Salary: $42,970 (~$20.67 per hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $82,970+
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $28,320 (~$13.62 per hour)
Salaries for roofers may vary based on:
- Geographic location
- Roofing specialty – commercial or industrial roofers earn more than residential
- Professional certifications and training
- Years of overall roofing experience
- Union vs Non-union jobs – Union jobs often have higher hourly rates and benefits
Besides salaries, many roofing contractors or companies also offer performance bonuses, training stipends, health insurance coverage and other benefits to full-time employees.
Career Progression Opportunities
Some of the potential career growth trajectories for experienced roofers are:
- Crew Supervisor – Lead projects autonomously and supervise team of roofers
- Master Roofer – Specialize in complex roofing systems and train junior roofers
- Roofer Inspector – Conduct roof inspections and recommend repair solutions
- Insurance Claims Adjuster – Assess roof damage, process paperwork and settle claims to facilitate customer payments for repairs
- Commercial Roofer – Graduate from residential projects to specialized commercial roofing
- Roofer Engineer – Combine technical knowledge with roofing expertise to handle infrastructure and R&D focused roles
- Entrepreneur & Business Owner – Launch own roofing contractor company
Many roofers choose to progress from being an employee to starting their own independent roofing contractor company. This allows them take on more ownership and flexibility while leveraging their years of expertise. With strong marketing and customer service focus, an independent roofing contractor can build a successful small business.
Job Hazards for Roofers
Working on rooftops involves dealing with heights, heavy loads and dangerous equipment on a daily basis. Hence, roofers have higher rates of injuries and fatalities compared to other construction professions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021 there were 59 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time roofers in United States compared to just 3.6 deaths per 100,000 across all professions.
Some of the common causes of fatalities and injuries for roofers include:
- Falls – Falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolds leading to serious injuries & deaths
- Electrocution – Coming in contact with overhead power lines
- Heat Exhaustion – Extreme heat especially in summer causes fatigue & fainting
- Respiratory Issues – Chronic exposure to dust debris and chemical fumes
- Wounds – Cuts from sharp tools and slipping on debris leading to gashes
- Musculoskeletal Injuries – Lifting heavy material causing back & muscle strain
Safety practices like harnessing up, anchoring ladders properly, hydration breaks, rotating heavy lifting tasks among crew members is vital to mitigate these job hazards for roofers.
Proper fall protection controls need to be implemented at worksites along with adequate OSHA training for handling risks associated with heights during roofing tasks.
Roofing Industry Challenges
Some of the major challenges faced by the roofing industry currently are:
1. Skilled Labor Shortage
- Many qualified roofers retiring faster than they can be replaced
- Not enough younger generation workers joining the roofing trade leading to talent deficit
2. Weather Uncertainty & Natural Disasters
- Unpredictable storms, wildfires and other extreme weather events damaging more roofs, straining insurance systems
- Rising sea levels causing flooding damage need to be accounted for in coastal roofing
3. Sustainable Roofing Practices
- Shift towards environmentally sustainable materials like solar shingles and recycled composites
- Balancing green roofing technologies with functionality and affordability
4. New Advanced Materials
- Modern materials like thermoplastics lasting longer, reducing replacement demand
- Light-weight metals, high-end customized clay tiles gain popularity
- Keeping updated on latest materials & how best to work with them
5. Increased Administration & Paperwork
- More complex licensing requirements and codes to follow at state & federal levels
- Additional paperwork for processing insurance claims
Mastering these macro challenges while delivering quality workmanship will set leading roofers apart in the industry.
Types of Roofing Projects
Roofers work on a variety of residential, commercial and industrial projects. Some examples include:
1. Asphalt Shingle Roofing
The most common roofing job in America – asphalt roof shingles have a proven reputation for affordability and durability. Roofers install these shingles across sloped residential roofs.
2. Tile Roofing
Concrete and Clay roof tiles, popular options across Southwestern U.S., lend great aesthetic appeal while being extremely weather-resistant. Roofers adept at working with tiles are in high demand.
3. Metal Roofing
Pre-formed steel panels and aluminum sheets make for durable & energy-efficient commercial roofs. Specialized expertise needed for metal roof handling.
4. Flat Roofing
Low-slope flat roofs on warehouses and factories often use single-ply or hot tar-based systems. Roofers waterproof and coat them for longevity.
5. Green Roofs
Sustainable green roof systems with drainage layers, growing medium and plants help commercial buildings save energy. Complex installation.
6. Solar Roofs
Rooftop photovoltaic systems generate solar energy for eco-conscious homeowners. Advanced electrical know-how required.
In addition to new roof installation, repairing storm damage, fixing leaks, ventilation improvements and scheduled maintenance constitute major parts of a roofer’s job.
Tools Used By Roofers
Roofers use an array of tools to construct, repair and maintain roof systems:
Extendable and telescopic ladders provide access to roof surfaces for tasks like stripping old layers or laying new shingles.
2. Utility Knives
Blades that easily cut through roofing materials – felt rolls, sheets and asphalt shingles. Useful for trimming.
3. Roofing Hammers
Lightweight head with magnetic nail-starter tip helps drive roofing nails into rafters and shingles.
4. Roofing Shovels
Scoops used to remove old roofing debris before installing the new surface. Shape adapted for easy lifting.
5. Roofing Brackets
Adjustable stands prevent materials like metal flashing slipping off pitched roofs after being cut.
6. Lift Platforms
Equipment like cranes and cherry pickers safely hoist heavy roofing materials to roof elevation.
7. Fall Protection Gear
Harnesses, anchors and ropes enable roofers to work securely at heights.
8. Roof Membranes & Underlayments
Roll-out sheets that cushion protect finished roof. Self-adhesive for easy install below shingles.
9. Nail Guns
Pneumatic nailers drive fasteners through layers to bind roof systems & drain flashings to substrates.
10. Measuring Tools
Gauges, tapes and angle finders to quantify roof planes and triangles for precise cutting & fitting.
A roofer’s toolkit contains varied tools assisting in essential roofing jobs like tearing down old materials, installing new ones and safety. They invest in reliable equipment over their careers specific to their specialization.
Key Statistics about Auckland Roofers
1. Size of Roofer Workforce
According to May 2022 BLS data, there were 131,980 roofers actively employed. This accounts for 0.08% of 131 million employees across all occupations in United States.
2. Type of Employment
- 90% Contractors – working on foundation, structure and exterior projects
- 10% Salaried – hired by roofing companies or as government staff
3. Experience Level
Vast majority have only 0-5 years’ experience as professional turnover is high. This points to continuous demand for fresh roofing talent.
**4. Gender Diversity **
It’s still a male-dominated profession – only around 7% are women roofers indicating room for improvement on gender inclusion.
5. Fall Fatality Rate
Roofers have the highest fall fatality rate among all building construction trade workers as per 2017 BLS census of fatal occupational injuries study.
6. Unionization Rate
About 15% of roofers were part of labor unions although the percentage varies hugely state-by-state. Higher in northeast & west coast vs southern states.
Having looked at key stats, next we’ll cover five leading roofing markets ranked by construction activity.
Top 5 Hottest Roofing Markets in United States
Markets with greatest momentum currently due to population growth, investments and natural disasters:
1. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
- One of fastest growing metro areas needing new roofs for 300 people moving there daily
- High hail damage from storms boosts re-roofing demand significantly
2. Orlando, Florida
- Sunshine state requiring frequent roof repairs and coating maintenance already attracts retirees for warmth
- Further population rise expected with 1,000+ moving every week
**3. Phoenix, Arizona **
- Second fastest growing city after Dallas secures roofers stable demand
- Intense summer heat warrants heat-reflective coatings and insulation upgrades
4. Atlanta, Georgia
- Major hub in southeast with both commercial and residential verticals requiring roofing services
- Hosting of 2026 FIFA World Cup leads to stadium and hospitality investment
5. Seattle, Washington
- One of the fastest growing tech hubs driving influx of younger demographics needing housing
- Notorious rainfall means preventive maintenance is constant requirement
For roofers seeking relocation, targeting above opportunity-rich destinations ensures no shortage of projects year-round.
Roofing Apprenticeships & Training
For aspiring roofers, the best way to gain expertise in roof installations and become employable is through structured apprenticeship programs. These typically have both classroom and on-site training components.
Benefits of completing roofing apprenticeship training:
- Learn techniques from experienced contractor mentors
- Get familiar with tools like flashing brake and shingle hoist safety
- Understand building codes and manufacturer specifications
- Boost starting salaries significantly vs untrained novice roofers
- Clock minimum 8,000+ hours to get journeyman certification
Types of Auckland Roofing Apprenticeships
1. Union Apprenticeships
- Offered by United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local Unions
- Combines paid on-site hours with night-school classroom instruction
- Competitive process with multi-step application and readiness eval
2. Independent Apprenticeships
- Registered under state & federal programs like Department of Labor
- Train with licensed roofing contractors recognized as program sponsors
- Less competition but qualify for same completions certificates
3. Manufacturer Apprenticeships
- Conducted by leading roofing materials suppliers like GAF, Firestone, Carlisle
- Specialize in particular product systems and preferred installer status after finishing
- Great for boosting career prospects with large roofing companies
Key Skills Developed During Apprenticeship
- Proficiency in using varied commercial tools for roofing tasks
- Building skills for different applications – steep pitch, low slope etc.
- Understanding of roofing mechanics and load distributions
- Reading blueprints & plans for accurate measurements & layouts
- Knowledge of industry safety standards and local building codes
- Troubleshooting leaks, ventilation issues or weather proofing
Accreditation & Certifications
Completing accredited roofing apprenticeship program leads to recognized industry credentials:
- Roofer Journeyman Certificate – validates professional competency through logged supervised hours
- OSHA 30 Certification – Occupational Health & Safety training
- Licensed Roofing Contractor – Mandatory in certain states to independently offer roofing services
Getting these qualifications early on fast-tracks a roofer’s career and ability to secure well-paying jobs.
Roofing Software & Tools
Technology is making aspects of roofing easier, safer and more efficient. Roofers now have helpful software and tools at their disposal:
1. Roofer Business Software
- Manage scheduling, dispatch crews, track material orders and payroll
- Streamline proposals and invoicing to get payments faster
**2. 3D Modeling & Takeoff **
- Create digital blueprint models of roof structures with accurate areas and slopes
- Automate material takeoffs for precise ordering and cost estimates
3. Roof Inspection Drones
- Survey entire roof surfaces easily with custom drones and high-res imagery
- Annotation software identifies damage patterns needing repairs
4. Smart Safety Wearables
- Internet-connected harness monitors detect risky situations like slack ropes or accidental unclip
- Geo-tracking keeps roofers within designated safe work-zones
**5. AR-Assisted Shingle Installs **
- Augmented reality visors guide step-by-step processes during tricky installs
- Reduces rework from incorrectly laid starter rows or mixed-up materials
Adoption of such roofing technologies improves productivity, safety and customer experience. Blending roofing craft mastery with smart tools and software provides contractors an edge.
Now that we have covered various aspects of the roofer profession, let’s recap some of the key takeaways:
- Roofers are essential construction trade workers specializing in roof installation, repairs and maintenance
- Distinct from DIY roofing by homeowners, professional roofers ensure structural integrity, weatherproofing, building code compliance and manufacturer warranties
- Many specializations exist – residential, commercial, industrial roofers along with repair generalists, replacements specialists and storm damage contractors
- Core skills needed include physical stamina for outdoor work, technical know-how of materials and methods, attention-to-detail, communication ability and teamwork
- Fall fatality rates are very high for roofers indicating constant safety vigilance is a must with harnessing, controlled access zones and strict protocol enforcement
- Apprenticeships provide the best training ground through mentored hours logged across classroom and on-site learning
- Leading markets currently are Dallas, Orlando, Phoenix and Atlanta seeing continued growth, investment and storm repairs dashing roofer demand
- Technology adoption with drones, software and wearables aid roofing productivity, safety and customer deliverables
In closing, roofing remains an essential construction trade and provides good employment opportunities for those comfortable working outdoors, able to use tools and building materials deftly and ready to progress from apprentice to journeyman levels. Blending technical expertise with stellar professional conduct results in best-in-class roofers any contractor would love to hire!