How To Become A Roofer In Australia: A Complete Guide

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 legally work as a roofer in Australia.

 

Are you interested in making a career in Roofing? Keep reading to explore who is a Roofer, 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 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

 

 

3. 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 right materials 

  • Assess associated risks

  • Erect tile elevators, limited-height scaffolding, and ladders

  • Handle a wide range of roofing structures and materials, including metal, fiberglass, 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 for the collection and disposal of stormwater, such as rainwater tanks, flashing, gutters, and downpipes on roof structures.

  • Apply protective paint 

  • Place and secure waterproof sheets over roof space

  • Clean the debris and perform maintenance after completion of the job

 

 

4. 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

  • Manual dexterity

  • Able to work safely

  • Teamwork skills

  • Good time management skills 

  • Able to work to deadlines

  • Able to work collaboratively and unsupervised

  • Effective problem-solving skills

  • Able to accurately estimate the number of materials needed 

 

 

5. Roofer Qualifications in Australia

 

Roofing is a trade job in Australia. To work as a professional roofer, you need to 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 different Australian states have different trade licensing and accreditation requirements, you must check the licensing authority of the state where you want to work as a roofer. 

 

 

The state-level trade licensing bodies in Australia are as follows:

 

  • NSW – Fair Trading

  • QLD – Queensland Building and Construction Commission 

  • SA – Consumer and Business Services 

  • VIC – Victoria Building Commission

  • WA – Building Commission of the Department of Commerce

  • ACT – ACT Planning and Land Authority

  • NT – Building Practitioners Board

  • TAS – Department of Justice

 

 

6. 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

 

Do you wonder what education 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 and opens the door to numerous exciting career paths within the roofing sector.

 

Most Australian trade school or RTO offer this course as apprenticeships or traineeships that combines practical and theory 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, the next step is to obtain a contractor licence. It allows 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 to perform various roof contracting jobs such as roof plumbing, roof tilting, or roof slating. Based on your specialization, you can consider getting the relevant license in Australia.

 

 

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 specialized training to work at height on construction sites. With the necessary qualification and licenses under your belt, you are ready to apply for roofer jobs in Australia.   

 

 

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 will also have to 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 insurance, public liability insurance, and work cover before providing different types of roofing services. The insurance provides financial coverage for any injuries or accidents happening in the workplace.

 

 

7. Roofer Courses In Australia

 

All types of roofing work in Australia have to be carried out by qualified roofers. 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 recognized 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 specialized 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

 

The 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 that includes 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

  • TAFE SA

 

 

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 recognized 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’s, flashings, downpipes, gutters, ridge capping, valley gutters, underground pipes, and wall cladding. 

 

  • TAFE NSW

  • TAFE QLD

  • QTIS

  • TAS TAFE

  • TAFE SA

  • 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 the door 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 organization structure, and operation of tools and materials. Apprenticeships are available in commercial, domestic, and maintenance areas.

 

  • TAFESA 

  • Grand Junction Trade Training Center

 

 

Certificate III in Roof Tiling

 

It is an industry-accepted apprenticeship/traineeship qualification specifically designed for those who want to become a professional roof tiler. It is a four-year full-time course that prepares a trainee 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.

 

 

  • TAFE NSW

  • TAFE QLD

  • Smart and Skilled NSW

 

 

8. How Long Does It Take To Become A Roofer?

 

You need to 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 complete. A trainee must complete at least 4,000 hours of extensive training to qualify for this role.

 

 

9. 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.

 

As the job involves the risk of falling, roofers generally equip themselves with a range of safety tools and equipment. 

 

 

10. 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.

 

 

11. What Jobs Involve Roofers?

 

Roofers can find employment opportunities either in privately-owned or government-run companies. They are employed in the following positions:

 

  • Roof plumbing tradesperson

  • Roof tiler

  • Roof slater 

  • Roof Plumber

  • Roof plumbing contractor 

  • Plumber and drainer

  • Plumber

  • Plumber and gasfitter

  • Gasfitter

 

 

12. Areas of Specializations

 

A roofer may specialize in new roof installation, roof repair, roof 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 water-proof 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 plumping 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.

 

 

13. Job Prospects For Roofers In Australia

 

Roofing/Roof plumbing is an in-demand skill that employers find difficult to fill vacancies. 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. It is projected to 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.

 

 

14. Roofing Licensing And Qualifications To Work In Australia

 

The below nationally recognized 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 different 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

 

 

Useful links and resources:

 

 

 

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 securely 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. The use age of Roof safety systems is recommended 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. How Much Does A Roofer Make In Australia?

 

The roof plumber's salary in Australia is dependent on their experience and area of work. The average roofer salary in Australia is $80,060 per year, equivalent to $40.92 per hour in Australia. Where the entry-level roof roofers earn around $40,000, more experienced workers earn $90,000 on an 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

 

 

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.

 

Useful Links to Explore:


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