Roofing is a job that is definitely beneficial when it comes to bringing in a hefty sum of money. But the work involved with this trade may be too extreme for some people. The generalization about roofing is that you go on a roof and swing a hammer. However, the skill and knowledge needed to perform greatly at roofing surpass these mere generalizations by a long-shot.
The key elements to becoming a successful roofer are as follows (in no specific order): Endurance, courage, intellect, knowledge, and physical skill. Elements such as intellect and knowledge go hand-in-hand, while other elements are at other ends of the spectrum. Let me explain a little further at how and why these elements are necessary for anyone who wants to start roofing, or who wants to become a better roofer.
Endurance & Physical Skill
Endurance is a top element when it comes to roofing. Some jobs may takes days at a time, and it gets extremely hot on a roof. Swinging a hammer, moving shingles, putting on caps… these are all chores that accumulate into the larger picture – the roof itself. What many people do not know is that when you look at a roof, you’re not seeing the whole single. Rather, you’re seeing about 25% of the shingle on the roof. Each package of shingles can weigh about 50+ pounds (personal estimate), and a large job can take 10, 20, or even more bundles of shingles. Carrying so many bundles isn’t always safe, especially on roofs that are generally higher. Luckily there are companies that have small cranes to help out local roofers in getting their bundles to the job, and on the roof.
If you cannot handle carrying bundles around, sitting in the sun for hours at a time, swinging a hammer continuously for hours on end, and fixing problems almost every other minute – you’re not cut out to be a roofer. Roofing takes consistent effort, and an incredible amount of endurance.
Courage goes hand-in-hand with endurance, kind of.
Heights is a common fear that many people share. Also, the fact that there’s numerous ladder accidents yearly, it’s safe to say that being on a ladder may not exactly help either. Overcoming this consistent fear of height shows how adamant you are about what you want to do, and it shows your true courage. Climbing onto and off of a roof isn’t easy, and accidents can happen at any time, no matter where you are on the job.
Intellect & Knowledge
Despite what many may think, roofing takes a lot of knowledge – especially in mathematics. Whether you’re cutting a piece of wood, shingles, measuring the area of a roof, or whatever else you need to do, you’ll need mathematical skills. Roofing simply isn’t just throwing shingles on a roof and nailing them at random. Instead, when you’re roofing, you must know where the shingles go, how to place them, and even how and where to nail them to the roof.
Aside from knowing the placement of shingles and wood on the roof, you must know how to perform many different tasks such as using a caulk gun, using a nail gun, how to use a compressor, and more. There are tons upon tons of tools, and knowing how to use each of them makes you a better roofer.
The Bottom of the Ladder
Finally, at the end of the day of roofing, you feel as if you had accomplished something. Even if you hadn’t finished the job you had started, roofing is hard work overall. There’s a lot of skills necessary when it comes to roofing, and a lot of people merely overlook that fact. The pay for the jobs are usually right, but is roofing right for you? Are you more suited doing computer or office work, or are you more of a hands-on technical person?
If you’re looking for a trade that takes some learning, is hard, yes accomplishing work, and that pays a good amount, I suggest looking into roofing. If you’re afraid of heights or ladders, roofing isn’t for you either.