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.
What careers are there in roofing?
There are many entry routes into the roofing sector. Below are some examples of what is available.
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 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)
* 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!
- A 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.
Use 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.