All homes and buildings need roofs, which means that roofers are always essential and always in demand. This fact makes it a great, dependable skill and career to pursue.
Once you’ve decided to learn the trade and become a roofer, you have to learn how to do this critical service. Let’s look at how you do that and some of the best roofing training courses available now.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Roofer?
There are very few formal qualifications needed to be a roofer in most states; typically, no formal education is required. That’s good and bad news: it’s good because you don’t have to worry about passing an exam or anything similar to that. You also don’t need to obtain a complicated license.
But it’s also bad because you have to figure out how to learn this trade on your own in the absence of formal requirements. Let’s look at some of the common ways that roofers learn their craft.
Ways to Become a Roofer
Aspiring roofers have two main avenues to learn: the first is to become an apprentice or learn on the job. There are a few issues with this method, though:
- It may be hard to find a position without any skills
- The pay might be relatively low
- You will learn all of your teacher’s bad habits, and there’s no way of knowing whether they use best practices for the industry.
That’s why we recommend a formal training course, which is the second method of learning to roof.
Three Training Courses for Beginner Roofers
Below are three of the best training courses available for brand new roofers. While some basic carpentry skills are helpful, none of these have prerequisites.
1. Tile Roofing Industry Alliance
- TRI is a recognized industry leader.
- They offer certifications.
- Graduates of their program have their information listed on TRI’s website.
- They offer both online and in-person training programs around the country.
- They offer ongoing training for specialty services and new technologies.
- You only learn tile roofing, not other types of roofing
- You have to wait for a class to be offered to start
- Membership entails ongoing costs, even after certification is complete.
2. National Roofing Contractors Association
- NRCA is a nationally recognized organization, and training certification from them means a lot to a potential employer.
- They offer a membership which reduces the price of training.
- You can sign up for one introductory course and add additional training certifications over time as you grow in your career.
- All training is online.
- Because all training is online, it will be up to you to get the necessary hands-on experience.
- Because each course is priced individually, it can become expensive.
3. United Union of Roofers
- This union facilitates on-the-job training, so you can work and earn money while you train.
- The union will help you find a placement to train.
- You will receive union benefits while training, potentially including health care and other benefits. Members of this union receive a pension and may be eligible for unique career opportunities.
- Membership in the union means added protections, as well as listing on local and national databases and other resources.
- This training program does not have outside costs aside from union membership fees.
- You must join the union in order to take advantage of this program. While it has benefits, there are also drawbacks, such as being subject to all their rules and conditions and restrictions.
- This path to becoming a roofer isn’t a formal training program per se; it is more of a (paid) apprenticeship training program. This means that you may still learn bad habits from your teacher(s) or miss some best practices.
Stay on Top of the Latest Trends and Technologies
Remember that even after you complete your certification or training program, you still need to stay on top of changes within your new field of work to use best practices and remain competitive. Membership in a trade organization can help with that.
Once you have the skills necessary and gain some valuable experience, you can begin to enjoy your new life as a career roofer, and perhaps go into business for yourself one day.