How to Become a Roofer
So, you’re interested in becoming a roofer. With so much information floating around, it can be tough to figure out where to start. Luckily here at Elite Claim Solutions, with over 40 years of expert experience, we can help you on the right track. We’ll walk you through three of the most common career paths in the roofing industry: Installers, Salesmen and Owners.
What is a Roofer?
A Roofer is a trade professional that specializes in keeping residential and commercial buildings secure by repairing and maintaining roofs. This job requires physical labor and works with various materials like metal, asphalt shingles, tile, cedar shingles, etc but some roofers may specialize in one kind of roof over the other.
Where to Start
Now that you’re ready to be a Roofer, you have to decide if you want to learn and grow within an existing roofing company or start your own business. The first step of becoming a Roofer is learning the trade and completing some basic training. Having the willingness to learn will certainly give you a leg up in the industry.
Working the Trade as an Installer
Roofing installers or roofing crews are the folks on the jobsite that apply the underlayment, shingles, and accessories to the base roof structure. There are two main ways to become a roof installer: trade schools and apprenticeships.
The first way to become a roofing installer is by attending a trade school. Some trade schools may not have specialties in roofing, so if there isn’t a school that offers roofing within your area you can still consider something in a related field to get your foot in the door.
Sometimes trade school isn’t entirely necessary, but having a high school degree is. You can also learn about roofing on your own time with online courses and resources.
Once you’re equipped with knowledge, you can consider taking an apprenticeship. This is where you can apply your knowledge to the industry by working with an experienced Roofer to learn further about the trade and gain hands-on experience.
When you’ve gained enough experience and on-the-job training to feel confident in your knowledge and skills, you have several career path options. You can continue as a roofing installer or find new opportunities in sales, production management, or even start your own roofing business.
Work for a Roofing Company
Before you even work at a roofing company, practicing due diligence on the business must be done to find the right fit for you.
This is important to consider. You have to ensure this company treats its employees with respect and stays true to their word. Make sure that you’re working with an ethical reputable company that not only brings value to you, but also to its customers.
Finding reviews from employees on Indeed, Glassdoor, and Zip-Recruiter is a good place to start. These sites list down everything from how long they have been around or how the people there are, but also cover areas such as benefits, salaries, culture, work-life balance, and personal unfiltered opinions of the company whether good or bad.
Look to see how the business interacts with customers by finding their reviews on Google or other reputable sites, like Yelp or Angie’s List. Even word of mouth. Honest, ethical companies tend to make more money in the long-run.
Part of excelling in your field as a roofer relies on the proper training you’re receiving. Ensure that your employer offers training opportunities, whether that means learning on-the-job or offering other development resources in-house or external. To really thrive in this industry you must develop expertise in storm restoration inspections, reading scope of loss, supplementing, marketing, etc.
Elite Storm School offers comprehensive courses covering these aspects that you can find HERE. Each course goes in-depth on each topic, with some offering certification, and the best part- everything is self-paced!
List of a Few Courses We Offer
- Intro to Storm Restoration
- How to Read a Scope of Loss
- Storm Restoration Inspection Training
- Roofing Tile Training
- Supplement Training Bundle
- Marketing & Canvassing for Your Roofing Business
Growth & Advancement Opportunities
Lastly, growth and advancement in the roofing industry is a great opportunity to showcase and get recognition for your expertise in the field. If your employer indicates room for advancement, that will open more doors from starting at entry-level and help you move closer to your career goals.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when choosing the right roofing company to work for. In the end, use your best judgment based on all of your extensive research.
Start Your Own Roofing Business
There are various aspects to consider when starting your own roofing business from the ground up. If it is mandatory in your state to have a license this is the perfect time to take the exam and obtain your roofing license. Your license is the last ticket to securing your position in the industry. Other things to consider when starting a roofing business are:
Storm vs. Retail Business
What kind of roofing business are you interested in creating?
A Storm Roofing business, also known as Storm Restoration or sometimes Storm Chasers, follows wherever storms have hit. Here in the Midwest if a thunderstorm, hail storm, or tornado has caused damage in the area, this type of business will visit and knock on doors offering to inspect the roof as most homeowners are unaware of their roofing damage. They also focus heavily on insurance claims and will help homeowners have a smoother insurance process.
A Retail Roofing business is usually a large-sized company that has a huge sales force. Homeowners will typically reach out instead because they are aware of an active problem happening on their roof or just want to change up the look of their roof. They also handle roof installs on new construction. When a roof needs replacement, this type of business can quickly get it done. They typically don’t handle the insurance process.
In-house vs. Outsourcing
Do you need to outsource parts of your staff?
Running a medium to large roofing business involves various departments and staff. Whether that’s having an Office Manager to help with paperwork, Designers to help with marketing, Sales Reps to sell roofing services, Estimating Specialists to help with supplementing, or Subcontractors to repair buildings, you’ll need to ensure that your business has the right team for the job. This could mean either recruiting directly for in-house staffing or outsourcing those extra hands. Keep in mind that some jobs in the roofing industry have high turnover rates, so having a solid hiring strategy will help with this process. Do you need help recruiting top talent for your roofing business? We can help with hiring by CLICKING HERE!