How To Become A Roofer In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become roofers in Australia.


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 licenses he needs, how much he earns, certifications, qualifications, apprenticeships, and how to become a certified 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 

  • Physical strength

  • Able to work in all weather conditions 

  • Comfortable working outdoors and at heights

  • Technical understanding

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Spatial awareness 

  • Active listening skills

  • Good sense of balance

  • Spatial awareness

  • Effective communication

  • Collaboration

  • Teamwork skills

  • 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.


  1. Complete Year 10 education

  2. 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 

  3. To work in the construction industry, complete safety induction training and obtain a Construction Induction Card or White Card.

  4. 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:




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

  • Roof framing

  • 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

  • RMIT

  • 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 tiler

  • Roof slater 

  • Roof Plumber

  • Roof plumbing contractor 

  • Plumber and drainer

  • Plumber

  • Plumber and gasfitter

  • Gasfitter



11. Areas of Specialisation


A roofer may specialise in new roof installation, repair, removal/replacement, tiling, or working with different roofing materials.



Roof Tiler


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 Roofer


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



Roofing Licenses


Different Australian states may have other licensing requirements to obtain a roofing license:



State Trade Licensing Body    Required Licensing Requirements
NSW Fair Trading
  • Fair Trade license (for roof plumbing, roof slating, or roof tiling)

  • Safety induction training 

  • Construction Induction Card


VIC Victoria Building Commission
  • Registered Building Practitioner license

  • License classed as either DB-Limited, DB-Manager, or DB- Unlimited (for jobs above $5,000)

QLD Queensland Building and Construction Commission

  • QBCC trade license

  • Trade license classed as Nominee Supervisor or Trade Contractor (for jobs above $3,300)

  • Contractor license for Wall Cladding, Roof Cladding, or Roof Tiling

SA Consumer and Business Services
  • Contractor or Supervisor license
WA Building Commission of the Department of Commerce
  • A contractor or practitioner license (for the cost of work above $20,000)

  • Membership in a trade organization such as the Housing Industry Association or the Master Builders Association

TAS Department of Justice
  • Accreditation with the Department of Justice (equivalent to a trade license)
NT Building Practitioners Board
  • No roofing license is needed except for projects above $3,000



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:


  • Hard hats

  • Safety harnesses

  • Plastic sheeting skylights

  • Roof brackets

  • Roof assessors

  • Safety glass

  • Toe boards

  • Warning signboards

  • Roofing ladder



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:


  • Ladder

  • Caulking gun

  • Pry bar

  • Hammer tacker

  • Wheelbarrow

  • Utility knife

  • Framing square

  • Hammer

  • Screwdrivers

  • Tin snips

  • Wrenches

  • Chisels

  • Measuring tape

  • Ladder hoist

  • Chalk line tools

  • Shingle removal shovel

  • Roofing hatchet

  • Shingle cutter

  • Ripper

  • Roofing nail gun

  • Pneumatic nail gun

  • Air compressor

  • Drill

  • Reciprocating saw

  • Circular saw

  • Generator



17. Conclusion


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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