Finding the perfect career that suits your natural abilities and interests can be a challenge. However, if you’re the type of energetic person who enjoys working with your hands and would rather be spending your days outside instead of sitting in an office or classroom, roofing may be a great option for you.
As part of our new post series, your ultimate guide to commercial roofing is right here on our blog to help you learn more about what it takes to properly care for these hardworking structures. We’re also promoting our industry by inviting new talent to join our tribe of skilled craftspeople.
Today we’re offering a closer look at what commercial roofers do, what they can expect to earn, and why you should consider roofing for your career, too.
What do Roofers Do? General Roofing Job Description
The job description for roofers can be varied depending on the geographic area where they’re based and whether they focus on commercial roofing, specialty roofing, or even residential roofing. That said, many job demands are similar no matter the type of roofing you plan to work with.
For instance, all roofers must be comfortable working outdoors in a range of temperatures and weather conditions (our Heidler Roofing craftsmen work year-round—in the heat and humidity of Mid-Atlantic summers through the freezing winters) with heavy materials and tools. Roofers absolutely cannot be afraid of heights, either, because your “office” as a roofer is typically on top of buildings, many stories above the ground.
What do Commercial Roofers Do?
Commercial roofers specifically spend their days repairing, replacing, and installing roofs on buildings where business takes place or services are performed, like distribution centers, warehouses, retail centers, or even hospitals and schools. (In cities, these commercial structures might be high-rise skyscrapers. In more suburban areas, they tend to be one to three-floor buildings, though the roofing might cover acres of indoor space.)
Here at Heidler Roofing, our commercial roofers do not typically work on many ultra-tall high-rises, though they do visit a wide variety of building types and encounter many different roofing systems. Check out our Commercial Roofing Gallery for some great visuals of real-life projects!
Commercial roofers also should be comfortable dealing with building owners and managers as they perform and explain commercial roof inspections, too. A customer service-oriented attitude is important for commercial roofers.
Commercial Roofing Systems You’ll Care For and Install
As we often discuss here on the blog, commercial roofing systems can vary widely from building to building. Prospective commercial roofers need to deeply understand the construction specifics and material differences between systems. These include TPO, PVC, and EPDM membrane systems, as well as BUR (Built-up Roofing)/asphalt, metal roofs, and even garden or green roofs. Learn more about these systems in our previous post about commercial roofing terminology definitions.
Roofer Salary: How Much Do Roofers Make?
When considering your career options, one of the main questions beyond whether you can and want to do the work is compensation. So, what do wages and other benefits look like for roofers in Pennsylvania and Maryland, which are the states we call home here at Heidler Roofing?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean salary for roofers in Pennsylvania amounted to $42,320 in 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available). In Maryland, that number was even better at $44,630. And that doesn’t factor in benefits provided by individual employers, which can include things like:
- Group medical insurance plus dental and vision insurance
- Short-term/Long-term disability and life insurance
- Paid vacation and holidays
- 401(k) with employer matching
- Profit sharing
- Opportunities for overtime
- Paid training programs
- Room for advancement and leadership opportunities
Education and Certification: What Does it Take to be a Commercial Roofer?
So, as a new high school graduate or someone looking to switch careers into the roofing field, what education and training are required? The good news is that you won’t have to spend another minute in school before you can get to work – most of your experience in the field will be gained on the job, while you’re getting paid.
Skills and Qualities of Successful Roofers
While roofing does not require advanced education to break into the field, there are attributes that successful roofers have. We already mentioned that you cannot have a fear of heights. Roofing is also a physically demanding job, and being fit, healthy, and able to use ladders and lift heavy materials and tools is critical.
Additionally, having a natural aptitude for basic math, reading blueprints and technical drawings, and troubleshooting, as well as being generally safety conscious, is helpful for roofers, especially those who are interested in advancing to roofing foreman and team leader positions.
Industry Outlook: Career Projections
As you examine careers, it’s always important to understand whether a particular field is on a healthy track for growth, which means you’ll have good job security in the future. Luckily, the job outlook for roofers according to the BLS is 11% growth through the year 2026.
Think that sounds modest? It’s not. The total projected growth for all tracked occupations across the country is just 7%. And even within the steadily-growing construction industry as a whole, which has a projected 10% growth, roofing is a particularly strong segment.
Already a Commercial Roofer? Heidler Roofing is Looking for You!
Whether you’ve already put in years of training within the roofing field or you’re looking for your first commercial roofing laborer job, we invite you to apply to join our hardworking team here at Heidler Roofing. (Or learn more about what makes Heidler Roofing different from other commercial roofing contractors and what we look for in our team members.) We have a variety of positions open now for roofers at different experience levels in both York, PA and Hagerstown, MD. We’d love to hear from you!