Roofers: Salary Overview
Roofers install, repair, and replace roofs on buildings.
A roofer’s job description typically includes inspecting the roof to see if there are any problems, measuring roofs, replacing damaged or rotting parts, installing roof ventilation, and installing shingles and other materials to make the roof waterproof.
In order to improve your earning prospects, you should be able to use a wide range of tools, from roof cutters, pry bars, nail guns, electric staplers, spraying tools to hammers, and different kinds of saws.
Also, you need to be able to read a blueprint or a diagram and to make one when you calculate the quantities of materials needed for your roof project.
Knowing how to install photovoltaic products and other green technology rooftop applications may increase your earnings prospects.
As a roofer you need good communication and teamwork skills because it is not a job that you can do by yourself, you will always be part of a team.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for roofers was $42,100 as of May 2019, which means that half of the workers in this profession earned less than this amount and half earned more.
Salaries for roofers vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the roofer’s experience, skills, employer, and industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,540 a year while the top 10 percent made more than $70,920 per year.
The 25th percentile for this profession’s salary distribution is $31,330, which means that 75% of workers in this occupation earned more than this amount.
Roofer Salary by Industry
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, roofers held 160,600 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them (72%) being employed by roofing contractors.
About 20% of roofers were self-employed and 3 percent worked for building constructors.
The average annual wage reported by roofers who worked for foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors was $42,720.
Roofers who worked in the industry of residential building construction earned, on average, $36,790 per year while those who were employed in the field of nonresidential building construction were paid, on average, with $52,440.
The average annual wage was $37,900 for roofers who worked in the field of employment services and $42,170 for those employed by building finishing contractors.
The highest average annual wage was reported by roofers who worked for local governments and by those employed by the federal executive branch.
Local governments paid roofers, on average, with $64,160 per year while the federal executive branch offered a mean average wage of $58,520 per year for this profession.
Salaries also vary depending on other factors, including the roofer’s experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the starting pay for apprentices is usually 50 percent of what journey workers make.
Your pay as an apprentice will also increase as you advance in your training.
Some roofers, especially entry-level employees, are paid an hourly rate.
The hourly rate also varies depending on the worker’s skills and experience.
Entry-level workers typically earn around $12 an hour and their total earnings depend on the number of hours they work.
Experienced workers may charge more than $30 per hour.
After earning a few years of experience you may apply for a certification offered by the National Roofing Contractors Association and specialize in a variety of roofing systems, such as asphalt shingles or thermoplastic systems.
This certification will prove to potential employers that you are an experienced, skilled worker and may help you advance in your career and increase your payment prospects.
Experienced roofers may advance as a supervisor, estimator, superintendent or they can start their own business.
As a business owner, their earnings will be directly influenced by their reputation, their technical skills but also communication skills and business abilities.
We should also mention that this is a physically demanding job and roofers have one of the highest rates of workplace injuries and one of the highest rates of occupational fatalities.
So this job can be quite dangerous and you will have to wear protective equipment and to follow very strict safety procedures.
According to a report published by payscale.com in July 2020, only 34 percent of all roofers had medical insurance and only 22 percent of them had dental insurance.
Also, as a roofer, you may face periods of unemployment during cold months when construction work slows down.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Roofers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.