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Roofer Slater, tiler, flat roofer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £32,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 38 to 42 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but employers value experience.

You could gain experience through:

  • working as a roofing labourer
  • a college course in general construction skills, or more specific training like the Level 2 Diploma in Roof Slating and Tiling

Many employers will want you to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card before you can work on their sites.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Go Construct and the Roofing Industry Alliance have more information on construction careers and qualifications.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to understand building plans
  • good maths skills to work out areas, quantities and prices
  • practical ability

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • removing or repairing broken tiles or slates (stripping)
  • checking roof timbers
  • fitting felt sheets to roofs
  • measuring and cutting materials
  • covering roofs with slates, tiles or cladding
  • cutting and fitting lead 'flashings' around chimney stacks and walls
  • sealing roof joints with mortar

You'll usually work on jobs with other craftspeople, like joiners and plumbers.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £16,000 and £25,000

Highly Experienced: £32,000

Overtime and shift allowances can increase earnings. Self-employed roofers set their own rates.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 40 hours per week, but this may be longer in summer.

You'll work at heights, using ladders and scaffolding. You'll wear safety equipment like a hard hat and knee-pads. The job is physically demanding and dirty, and you'll be exposed to all weather conditions.

You'll travel from site to site, and may need to stay away from home at times.

6. Career path and progression

You can improve your career options with a qualification like the Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Roofing Occupations. You can do specialist skills training in areas like heritage conservation, thatching or installing solar panels.

With experience, you could become a roofing surveyor, estimating costs, dealing with contracts and working with architects. You could also become a site manager or move into technical sales. Other options include training, setting up your own business or working as a roofing consultant.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017