Young people

NFRC Roofing Careers Service header--YOUNG-PEOPLE

Young people thinking of a career in roofing

What is the roofing sector and what can it offer?

The roofing sector has a multitude of careers that suit lots of different people, whether you want to be part of roofing projects on site, working with material suppliers or building a career in a support function as part of a larger employer. There is a wide variety of career choices available in the roofing sector.

Why work towards a career in roofing?

For many reasons, the roofing sector is in need of new people. This means that employers need to continue to recruit and train new entrants to keep up with the demand.

The wide selection of available roles is not just for those already in the industry: it includes opportunities for work experience, traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate job roles.

At NFRC, we want to facilitate the opportunity of a career in the roofing sector, for anyone who wants it.

We commit to:

  • Providing easy-to-understand information, advice and support to both potential employees and employers, making a career in roofing a possibility for all
  • Supporting our employer members to build and advertise exciting career opportunities and recruit fantastic people through the entire careers cycle
  • Encouraging the roofing industry, and the wider construction sector, to offer high quality working experiences to enable people and the sector to grow and thrive.


Watch this video of the NFRC 'Great British Slate Off' 2021 competition that supports all learners in their journey to being qualified, competent slaters. Enjoy the best moments of the competition! With thanks to Cupa Pizarras for the video.

What careers are there in roofing?

There are many entry routes into the roofing sector. Below are some examples of what is available.

Possible job titles

Type of early careers programme

What is it?


Apprentice Roofing Operative

Apprentice Roofer

Business Support Apprentice (working in finance, HR, administrative support, customer service or sales departments)

Apprentice Project Controls Technician

Apprentice Estimator

Apprentice Site Supervisor

Apprentice Assistant Site Manager

Apprentice Project Manager

Apprenticeship—can include degree apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a real job with training. The apprentice is an employee who also completes a recognised apprenticeship linked to their job role.

By the end of the apprenticeship, you'll be a qualified apprentice, with the right skills and knowledge for your chosen career.

Apprenticeships are paid jobs which incorporate relevant industry training.

Apprentices are employed from day one.

Apprenticeships are available throughout the UK.

Apprentices are enrolled onto industry-recognised learning programmes with training providers, meaning that you will attend training, in addition to your learning in the workplace.

Trainee Roofing Operative

Trainee Roofer

Roofer’s Mate

Trainee Estimator

Trainee Supervisor

Trainee Manager


The main role of a trainee is to gain experience of all aspects of their selected career as well as develop skills in the job role they are learning. This can be achieved through a number of qualifications including:

Vocational Qualifications (VQs), referred to as NVQs or SVQs depending on where you live, are a regulated qualification that is typically achieved with combined on-the- job learning and assessment in the real working environment. You cannot fail a VQ, but will only achieve the qualification once all the assessment criteria is satisfied.

A Specialist Applied Skills Programme (SAP) is delivered through a series of short duration modulated training courses typically over a 25-day period, followed by a Vocational Qualification. The training is loaded into the first twelve months of the programme, with the subsequent six months set for competence assessment.

By the end of the trainee period, you will have gained experience in the skills that are required for your future job.

Trainees can be any age, as long as they have left compulsory education.

A trainee’s employer decides what training they will complete, including off-the-job training such as VQs (Vocational Qualifications) and technical training.

Graduate Estimator

Graduate Manager

Assistant Site Manager

Graduate Scheme


A graduate scheme is an entry-level job that you can do once you’ve completed a relevant degree.

The graduate scheme is a job with a training programme attached, designed by the employer.

By the end of the graduate scheme, you will have gained valuable experience with the required skills for your future career.

The graduate can be introduced to multiple areas of the business and build up their experience and knowledge.


Being a roofing apprentice—what’s it really like?

Hear what apprentice roofer Mo has to say about his apprenticeship journey with SPV and Juniper Training.

Here are a variety of job profiles for you to consider. Each profile details what previous education, training and skills will be most valuable in that role. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you a good idea of the types of jobs available.

Roofing specialisms

Roofing is a diverse industry with lots of different specialisms to consider. If you are looking for a trade-based career, it is useful to research the different types of roofing specialisms so that you can choose what type of jobs to apply for and use your knowledge during the employer interview. Below are the main routes you can look into as a starting point for your job research.

  • Slater and tiler* (including heritage)
  • Waterproofing membranes installer*
  • Reinforced bitumen membrane (RMB) installer
  • Single ply membrane installer
  • Liquid applied waterproofing
  • Sheeter and Cladder* (including rainscreen)
  • Mastic Asphalter
  • Hard metals (aluminium, copper, zinc, steel)
  • Lead

* these specialisms are contained within the roofer apprenticeship standard in England.

Types of works done by roofers:

  • Commercial (such as offices, retail centres and so on)
  • Industrial (such as warehouses and distribution centres)
  • Public sector (such as schools, hospitals, government buildings and so on)
  • Domestic Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI)
  • New build housing
  • Retrofit (such as roof insulation)
You can read real stories here about others who have chosen the roofing sector, across a variety of roofing disciplines and in very different roles, in our roofing careers case studies.

How do I find jobs in the roofing sector?

Now you have decided that you want to pursue a career in the roofing sector—congratulations!

There’s now a new question: how do I get ready to apply for jobs?

Before you start applying, you will need to have a few things in place, ready to start your job searching journey.

Your job search checklist

You will need:

  • An appropriate email address—set up a free account that you only use for job searching. Remember to use something professional so it creates the right image to employers—your full name and perhaps some numbers is usually a safe choice. Using a separate email account for your job search means you avoid a clogged inbox and makes sure you’ll always be able to see when you get new job alerts, updates on your job applications and most importantly, invitations to interviews!
  • Reviewing a roofers CVA job applications tracker—this is a simple tracker that helps you to keep track of what jobs you have applied for, when the closing date for applications is and who the employer is. You can use this tracker to log other information too, like research you’ve done about the company, the name (when available) of the recruitment contact at the employer (sometimes called the hiring manager) and contact details for the employer so you can get in touch with them to ask how your application is progressing.
  • CV—this is the most important part, without a CV you may not be able to submit job applications. We have a CV template that you can download and make your own.

That’s it: now you are all set.

The next step is to get looking—but where?

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have introduced a new jobs portal called Talentview Construction, where all construction employers can advertise work experience, traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate first roles in construction. Here at NFRC, we are committed to supporting our employer members to advertise their early careers jobs on Talentview, so all opportunities are advertised in the same place.

By registering yourself on Talentview Construction, you can:

  • research great employers and what they can offer you
  • build your profile so local employers can spot you more easily
  • sign up to alerts for jobs and training opportunities from employers you would like to work for or train with
  • upload your new CV.

For an introduction to the site, you can watch this short introductory video to Talentview and find key information in their 'Fancy a career in construction?' flyer.

Are there other ways of securing my first job in the roofing sector?

Yes, there are! If you have already completed your profile on Talentview Construction, this means that you are in the best place for finding out about and applying for vacancies that interest you.

You can also set up job alerts for different job boards.

Additionally, there is something called the ‘hidden' job market. This is where an employer has a vacancy coming up, but they haven’t advertised it yet or they have been thinking about recruiting but haven’t made up their minds yet.

This hidden job market gives you the opportunity to get a job that no one else might know about.

How can I get a job through the hidden job market?

Put in speculative applications: You can contact the employer you would like to work for, using a cover letter and CV. A speculative application can be used when asking an employer to consider you for a job that you are looking for, but they haven’t advertised for that position.

Use our template as a starting point for a speculative cover letter. This can be emailed, posted or dropped off in person. You can use the NFRC search facility to find employers who are NFRC members.

Facebook job search for roofing jobsUse social media: Many companies are active on social media platforms. Try searching for their page to learn more about them—this includes connecting with them or following them. Before you do this, it is really important that you make sure your social media profiles represent how you want to come across to potential employers. Once you have followed company accounts on social media, look out for job postings that may be advertised there or interesting information that you can use in your speculative applications.

Look around you: Now that you are aware of the many different career opportunities the roofing sector has to offer, start looking around locally for roofing contractors who are working on site/in business premises or even on your local school or college. If you are ready to, politely ask to speak to the manager on site or in the office and ask them how to apply for a job in their company. Generally, people want to help and will give you valuable advice and information. You just have to be brave enough to ask!

Subscribe to job feeds / company alerts on company websites: Subscribing to job feeds means you find out about jobs first. Company alerts will keep you in the know when big changes happen with companies. While these alerts won’t necessarily be about jobs, you can learn more about a company and find the jobs from there.

Also, consider subscribing to industry news alerts to stay aware of changes in the wider roofing sector. And consider newsletters, too, as another great source of insider information.

Download Roofing Career case studies

Contact Careers Service

contact NFRC Roofing Careers Service

If you'd like further assistance with a career in roofing, please complete our enquiry form and someone from the NFRC Roofing Careers Service will get back to you.

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