Do you enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions at heights? If yes, a career as a Roofer might be perfect for you.
Roof Plumbers study specifications and drawings to determine the design of plumbing systems and supplies required. They fabricate, install, maintain, and overhaul flashings, wall claddings, metallic roofs, and rainwater products.
You can become a Roof Plumber without formal qualifications. However, VET training in roofing or cladding and an apprenticeship are beneficial. A Certificate III in roof plumbing will help you gain technical competency to perform this job. The course also enables you to apply for a roofing contractor license to work as a roofer in Australia legally.
Keep reading this blog to explore who a roofer is, what he does, what licensing requirements he needs, how much he earns, and how to become a Roofer in Australia.
1. Who Is A Roofer?
Roofers are an inevitable part of the construction industry. They cover buildings, houses and other structures with roofing materials to create robust, weatherproof and durable structures.
Roofers, also called Shingler, Steel Roof Installers, or Roof Tilers, work with roof drainage systems on residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
2. What Does A Roofer Do In Australia?
From studying plans, selecting roofing materials, laying tiles, and applying the waterproof coating and protective paint, roofers carry out a variety of tasks based on the construction project. Their most common duties involve:
Understand technical drawings, specifications, and construction sites to identify the suitable materials
Assess associated risks
Erect tile elevators, limited-height scaffolding, and ladders
Handle a wide range of roofing structures and materials, including metal, fibreglass, glass, or polycarbonate
Measure roofing material and align it with roof edges
Cut roofing material to the desired shape to fit around chimney edges, vents, and the roof valleys.
Use clay tiles, shingles, sheet metal, waterproof membranes, or slate to finish the roof surface in overlapping layers.
Secure roofing material with staples, nails, and wire, and overlap sequential layers of tiles
Fix ridge tiles and edge in cement mortar
Caulk and flash visible nail heads to stop leakage in roofs
Slip roofing material beneath the prefabricated flashing and secure it
Install and overhaul roof drainage systems to collect and dispose of stormwater, such as rainwater tanks, flashing, gutters, and downpipes on roof structures.
Apply protective paint
Place and secure waterproof sheets over the roof space
Clean the debris and perform maintenance after completion of the job
3. Roofer Skills For Success
To work as a roofer, you need to have the following skills:
Enjoy manual and practical work
Able to comprehend and interpret technical diagrams
Able to work in all weather conditions
Comfortable working outdoors and at heights
Good hand-eye coordination
Active listening skills
Good sense of balance
Good time management skills
Able to work to deadlines
Effective problem-solving skills
Able to accurately estimate the number of materials needed
4. Roofer Qualifications in Australia
Roofing is a trade job in Australia. To work as a professional roofer, you must complete an apprenticeship or traineeship certification to secure a roofing license.
Complete Year 10 education
Undertake a 4-year roofing apprenticeship under a licensed plumbing practitioner and complete a nationally accredited qualification in metal roofing and cladding, roof plumbing, or roof tiling simultaneously
To work in the construction industry, complete safety induction training and obtain a Construction Induction Card or White Card.
Roofers who work at heights must complete a Work Safely at Heights short course at a Registered Training Organisation.
As Australian states have different trade licensing and accreditation requirements, you must check the state's licensing authority where you want to work as a roofer.
The state-level trade licensing bodies in Australia are as follows:
NSW – Fair Trading
TAS – Department of Justice
5. Steps To Become A Roofer In Australia
You need to be licensed to work as a professional roofer in Australia. The following steps will help you meet licensing requirements and become a licensed roofing contractor.
Step 1: Get Qualified
What education do you need to be a roofer? Aspiring roofers should complete a certified roofing contracting course such as Certificate III in Roof Plumbing, Certificate III in Roof Tiling, or Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding.
The course satisfies the competency level by Australian national standards. It opens the door to numerous exciting career paths within the roofing sector.
Most Australian trade schools offer these courses as apprenticeships or traineeships that combine practical and theoretical coursework. It enables trainees to develop the most-sought practical skills and foundational knowledge to work as a trade-qualified roofer.
A Roof plumbing apprenticeship teaches students about welding, laying, installing, bending, joining, testing, and maintaining underground pipes in the rainwater system.
Step 2: Acquire Necessary Licenses
Once you gain the relevant qualifications, obtaining a contractor licence is next. It allows for conducting residential building or trade work.
Here are the conditions you must meet to get a roofing contractor's licence:
18 years and above
A fit and proper person
Should not be of mental incapacitation
Should not be prohibited from holding an authority under the law
Possess relevant qualifications and practical experience as stated by the authority
Should not be an existing trainee/ apprentice
Should pay the required fees
Additionally, there are specific licenses for various roof contracting jobs, such as roof plumbing, roof tilting, or roof slating. You can consider getting the relevant license in Australia based on your specialisation.
Step 3: Meet Industry Requirements
Roofers intending to work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and obtain a Construction Induction Card. You may further require specialised training to work at height on construction sites.
You can apply for roofer jobs in Australia with the necessary qualifications and licenses.
Step 4: Get A Job After Graduation
Update your resume and create a job-specific cover letter to kickstart your professional roofing career. Highlight your achievements and personal strengths in your resume and do a lot of networking to land your first job.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Do you want to run your roofing contractor business in Australia? In addition to the above, you must register your business and acquire an Australian Business Number. Become eligible to register your business under the Australian Business Register.
Step 6: Get Insured
A roof contracting firm must get appropriate insurance such as indemnity, public liability, and work cover before providing different roofing services. The insurance provides financial coverage for any injuries or accidents happening in the workplace.
6. Roofer Courses In Australia
Qualified roofers must carry out all roofing work in Australia. Each state or territory has its statutory body that determines specific roofing qualifications to issue trade licenses to work in that region.
Here are the nationally recognised courses that qualify you as a roofer to work in Australia:
Roofing courses cover the following aspects:
Reading and interpreting Roofing plans and specifications
Carrying out precise measurements and calculations
Marking the site of installation
Using specialised plumbing hand and power tools
Basic roof frame fabrication
Collection and storage of roof water
Designing complex stormwater and roof drainage systems
Erecting and dismantling restricted height scaffolding
Erecting roof trusses
Installing roof drainage components and composite roof systems
Constructing roof coverings for rounded structures
Handling roof-tiling materials
Knowledge of OHS (occupational health and safety)/WHS requirements
Safe working practices
Certificate II in Plumbing
Certificate II is an entry-level course that prepares you for a plumbing apprenticeship with an employer and a career in roof plumbing. It is a nationally approved 10-week full-time vocational course with classroom-based theory and practical workshop sessions.
Completing this pre-apprenticeship course equips you with the necessary skills and training to instil confidence, technical understanding, and experience in different areas of the plumbing trade.
Swinburne University of Technology
Australian Trade Training College
Certificate III in Roof Plumbing
Do you want to progress your plumbing career by becoming a trade-qualified roof plumber? A Certificate III in Roof Plumbing is the best course to accomplish your aspirations.
This nationally recognised three years full-time apprenticeship is the ideal pathway to becoming a qualified roof plumber.
Most Australian training schools offer this course in Apprenticeships and Traineeships. The course helps trainees develop the skills and knowledge to install roof sheeting, non-metallic roof materials, wall cladding, and roof insulation.
Students will also learn the installation of roof drainage components such as fascia, flashings, downpipes, gutters, ridge capping, valley gutters, underground pipes, and wall cladding.
South Metro TAFE
Australian Trade Training College
Certificate II In Metal Roofing And Cladding
The qualification facilitates entry into an Australian Apprenticeship. It teaches practical skills and knowledge that open doors to future employment opportunities within the roofing industry.
Besides gaining a basic introduction to the construction industry, and its culture, students also learn work planning, OHS requirements, communication skills, industrial and work organisation structure, and operation of tools and materials. Apprenticeships are available in commercial, domestic, and maintenance areas.
Certificate III in Roof Tiling
It is an industry-accepted apprenticeship/traineeship qualification specifically designed for those who want to become professional roof tilers. It is a four-year full-time course that prepares trainees to work on various commercial, industrial, and domestic roof-tiling projects.
By completing this course, you gain essential competency and abilities to apply for a roof tiler's licence to undertake roof tiling tasks in residential/ commercial construction industries.
7. How Long Does It Take To Become A Roofer?
You must get licensed to work as an independent commercial roofer on commercial and industrial buildings.
Generally, the roofer apprentice programs in Australia take around 3 to 4 years. To qualify for this role, a trainee must complete at least 4,000 hours of extensive training.
8. Work Environment Of A Roofer
The job of a Roofer involves a lot of climbing, lifting, and bending. It is a purely outdoor job that requires working at heights and in all kinds of weather.
Roofers generally equip themselves with various safety tools and equipment as the job involves the risk of falling.
9. Where Does A Roofer Work?
Roofers usually work in a roofing manufacturer company on a subcontracted or semi-permanent basis.
They may also find work opportunities in local government, state, or territory bodies related to public works. The profession also gives the flexibility to work as a self-employed roofing contractor.
10. What Jobs Involve Roofers?
Roofers can find employment opportunities either in privately-owned or government-run companies. They work in the following positions:
Roof plumbing tradesperson
Roof plumbing contractor
Plumber and drainer
Plumber and gasfitter
11. Areas of Specialisation
A roofer may specialise in new roof installation, repair, removal/replacement, tiling, or working with different roofing materials.
This roofer works with clay tiles, wooden shingles, or stone slates on residential projects on large commercial premises. They use an overlapping method to fabricate waterproof and weatherproof roof surfaces.
Metal Roof Plumber
This roofer works with metal sheeting and waterproofing materials such as fibreglass, synthetic membranes, polycarbonate, and method sheeting.
They install insulation and roof plumbing components such as gutters, roof mesh, downpipes, equipment pumps, rainwater tanks, and roof plumbing systems.
Flat roofers maximise the space in a building. They specialise in manufacturing roofs having little to no 'angle' or' pitch' to them.
12. Job Prospects For Roofers In Australia
It is an in-demand skill that is needed more than ever. Due to this, there is a need for a skilled roofer workforce in many regions of Australia.
Moreover, growth in the construction industry indicates additional work opportunities for a roofer. The Australian government's Job Outlook estimates strong industry growth for roof tilers and plumbers over the coming years.
The number of roof tilers grew strongly over the past five years. The profession will expand with around 29,000 new job openings over the next five years.
Around 84% of workers work full-time. It shows low part-time work opportunities in this profession. Those employed full-time work standard hours weekly. The average worker's age in this profession is 32 years, with around 25% of workers below 25 years old. With only 1% of the female workforce, the industry is for males.
13. Roofing Licensing And Qualifications To Work In Australia
The below nationally recognised roofing qualifications are acceptable in all Australian states and territories:
Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding
Certificate III in Roof Plumbing
Certificate III in Roof Tiling
Different Australian states may have other licensing requirements to obtain a roofing license:
|State||Trade Licensing Body||Required Licensing Requirements|
|VIC||Victoria Building Commission||
|QLD||Queensland Building and Construction Commission||
|SA||Consumer and Business Services||
|WA||Building Commission of the Department of Commerce||
|TAS||Department of Justice||
|NT||Building Practitioners Board||
14. How Much Does A Roofer Make In Australia?
The roof plumber's salary in Australia depends on their experience and work area. The average roofer's salary in Australia is $80,060 per year, equivalent to $40.92 per hour in Australia, entry-level roof roofers earn around $40,000, and more experienced workers earn $90,000 on average.
Top Paying Cities For Roofers In Australia:
Surfers Paradise Queensland: $97,014 per year
Brisbane Queensland: $84,163 per year
Sydney, New South Wales: $83,122 per year
Burleigh Heads Queensland: $79,638 per year
Gold Coast Queensland: $79,015 per year
Marrickville, New South Wales: $78,572 per year
Penrith New South Wales: $77,046 per year
Sunshine Coast Queensland: $73,704 per year
15. Safe Working Tips For Roofers
The biggest threat associated with working on a roof is "falling". Due to this reason, roofers must wear non-slip footwear to ensure safe walking on the roof. Roofers should use a fall prevention system when they walk within 2 meters of a roof edge.
It is also good to avoid working on the roof in bad weather. You also need to use roof safety systems to ensure safety throughout the work. These systems include the following:
Plastic sheeting skylights
16. What Tools Do A Roofer Use?
Access to the correct roofing tools makes the job safe and time efficient. The following tools and equipment form part of the Roofing contractor's toolkit:
Chalk line tools
Shingle removal shovel
Roofing nail gun
Pneumatic nail gun
Australia's construction business provides a great business opportunity for roofers. The industry has great potential for future growth.
Whether you want to become a Roofer or start a roof contracting business, follow the above steps and requirements to get licensed and certified to provide contracting services in Australia.
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