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How to become a roofer in Australia: careers in construction

How to become a roofer in Australia: careers in construction
Roofers cover houses, buildings and other structures with roofing materials and form sturdy, durable surfaces to weatherproof them. They may specialise in either metal roofing or tiling, or they may train to work with both. Metal roof plumbers build roofs using sheet metal, waterproof membranes and other materials. They also install gutters, downpipes and other roof plumbing systems. Roof tilers finish roof surfaces in overlapping layers using clay tiles, shingles or slate. Roofers generally complete vocational training in roofing or cladding and an apprenticeship.

Being a roofer: daily duties

Roofers perform many tasks depending on the construction project. They can erect scaffolding and ladders, specify materials that need to be used and cut them to fit. As well as laying tiles or sheet metal, they install waterproof underlays, nail battens across roof rafters and repair and maintain roofing. They also apply protective paint and waterproof coatings to roofs to improve the lifespan and performance.


  • Assess risks to safety
  • Measure and cut roofing materials
  • Erect and dismantle scaffolding
  • Clear debris and perform maintenance

Being a roofer: skills for success

To be a roofer, you will need to be comfortable working outdoors, at heights and in all weather conditions. A good degree of physical fitness is also required. You should enjoy practical and manual work, have good balance and good hand-eye coordination. The ability to understand and interpret technical diagrams is essential, as is the ability to accurately estimate quantities of materials needed for each job.
  • Strength, balance and fitness
  • Good technical understanding
  • Able to work at heights and outdoors
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Spatial awareness

Specialised roles within construction

There are different stages of roof installation or repair that roofers can specialise in. They may also specialise in working with different materials.
  • Metal roof plumber
    Working with metal sheeting and a variety of waterproofing materials, metal roof plumbers are also responsible for installing insulation as well as gutters, downpipes and rainwater tanks.
  • Roof tilers
    These roofers work with tiles, shingles or slate, using an overlapping technique to ensure the roof surface is waterproof and weatherproof. They mostly work on residential projects.
  • Flat roofer
    Flat roofers specialise in building flat roofs that have little to no pitch or angle to them.

Educational pathways for roofers

To become a roofer you can undertake a combination of vocational training and an apprenticeship.
  • Start your career
    Find an introductory course to get you started in the construction industry.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Develop your professional knowledge of roofing and construction and build your skills.
  • Build your resume
    Take your construction career further with these courses.
  • Industry requirements
    To work as a roofer in Australia you will be required to undergo safety induction training and gain a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your construction career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Strong growth is predicted for both roof tilers and plumbers over the next five years as the construction industry continues to grow.

Resources for Roofers

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