California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

   Roofers in California

May also be called: Built-Up Roofers; Composition Roofers; Cool Roofing Installers; Green Roofers; Metal Roofers; Roofing Applicators; Single-Ply Roofers; Slate Roofers; Tile Roofers; Waterproofers; Wood Shingle Roofers

What Would I Do?

Roofers repair, replace, and install roofs made of composite (asphalt) or wood shingles, or other materials, such as clay or concrete tile, metal, slate, or thermoplastic. Most commercial roofs are applied in layers using a "hot mop" method. A small but growing number of buildings now have “green” roofs that incorporate plants.

Green Economy(1)
Roofers will play a role in the emerging green economy through the installation and maintenance of energy-efficient roofing materials. Advancements in technology may cause changes to the work and worker requirements, such as new tasks, skills, knowledge, and credentials.

The work performed by Roofers is physically demanding. Roofers work outdoors, typically in dry weather; however, they may work in inclement weather, particularly when making repairs. Most Roofers work a 40-hour week, but due to the seasonal nature of the job, they may work fewer hours in the winter and frequent overtime in the summer. Some employers require that Roofers have their own tools.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Roofer may appeal to those who enjoy being outdoors, are not afraid of heights, and like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2017 for Roofers in California was $51,170 annually, or $24.60 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2017Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2017 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Roofers covered by union contracts generally receive medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as vacation, holiday, and retirement benefits. Self-employed Roofers are responsible for their own benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

Since having a rain-tight roof is not something homeowners or business owners can put off indefinitely, demand for Roofers is typically not as affected by the economy as other construction trades. Also, the emerging green economy may be a source of job opportunities due to the retrofitting of existing buildings.(1)

(1)This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.

How Do I Qualify?

Employers generally prefer to hire workers who have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Roofers typically learn the trade through on-the-job training, but formal apprenticeship or vocational programs provide more comprehensive training.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job listings may also provide job leads. Roofers who belong to a union can also find work through their local union hall. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Roofers