roofing labourer
Construction and building

Career outlook for roofer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would build and mend roofs to keep people warm, safe and dry in their homes and businesses.

You would work with both flat and sloped roofs. Your methods would depend on the type of roof, but typically you would:

  • Remove or mend broken tiles or slates
  • Check that roof timbers are sound
  • Measure and cut materials to the right size and shape
  • Lay strips of felt onto timbers, then fit rows of tiles or slates
  • Fit lead around chimney stacks and adjoining walls
  • Seal roof joints with mortar to make them watertight
  • Work with other craftspeople, such as joiners and plumbers

You might also be trained in more specialist methods. You could learn to carry out leadwork, which involves covering a roof using lead rolls (often seen on churches). You could also learn to make thatched roofs out of natural materials.

This work can be dangerous, so you would need to follow health and safety rules very carefully at all times.

Working conditions


Your typical working week would be around 40 hours, but may be longer during the summer months. Overtime may be available.


You would work at heights, using ladders, scaffolding and safety equipment like a hard hat and knee-pads. The job is physically demanding and dirty, and you would work in all weather conditions.


You would travel from site to site. A driving licence and access to a van would be useful. Some jobs may require overnight stays away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You could complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Construction or Construction Specialist (SCQF Level 5).

There are no formal qualifications required to enter either apprenticeship, but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • A technologies subject

You will also need

You may have to pass an aptitude test before entry.

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent,  pass a health and safety test and have a Scottish Vocational Qualification certificate to train or work on construction sites.

A driving licence is required for some jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).