Job Description:

Roofers re-slate and tile roofs, fit skylight windows and replace lead sheeting and cladding.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

In this job, you’ll:

  • remove or repair broken tiles or slates – stripping
  • check the condition of roof timbers
  • measure the roof area to work out how much material is needed
  • fit insulation
  • cut and fit roofing felt
  • cover roofs with slates, tiles, sheets or cladding
  • apply waterproof membranes to flat roofs
  • fit plastic or lead ‘flashings’ around chimneys, windows and walls
  • seal roof joints with mortar


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
    to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • knowledge of maths

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a roofer, specific subjects are not typically required. However, having a strong educational background in relevant areas can be beneficial. Here are some subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measurements, calculations related to roofing materials, and understanding construction plans.
  2. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can provide hands-on experience and knowledge in areas like construction techniques, woodworking, and project management.
  3. Science: While not mandatory, understanding basic principles of science, such as physics and materials science, can be beneficial for understanding roofing materials and their properties.
  4. Physical Education (PE): Roofing can be physically demanding, so being physically fit and having stamina can be important.
  5. English Language: Effective communication skills, including reading and understanding instructions, are important for safety guidelines and documentation.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can take a college course which will teach you some of the skills you’ll need to get a trainee position with a roofing company. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Roofing Occupations
  • Level 2 Diploma in Roof Slating and Tiling

You can get into this job through a roofer intermediate apprenticeship.

This can take up to 2 years to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

You could work as a roofing labourer or ‘mate’ and do further training while you work to get a roofing qualification.

Career tips
You can do specialist training courses if you’re interested in heritage and conservation skills in roof slating and tiling.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 42 to 44 hours a week, occasionally including evenings away from home.

You could work on a construction site, at a client’s business or at a client’s home.

Your working environment may be at height, dirty and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

You could become a roofing surveyor, estimating costs, dealing with contracts and working with architects. You could also be a site manager, move into equipment sales or work as a steeplejack.

With a lot of experience, you could train apprentices, set up your own business or specialise in heritage conservation work.