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Roofers Job Outlook

Employment of roofers is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Roofs deteriorate more quickly than most other parts of buildings and, as a result, they need to be repaired or replaced more often. In fact, results of a National Roofing Contractors Association survey indicate that about three-fourths of all roofing work is for repair and replacement.

Areas of the country that commonly have severe storms have a greater need for workers to repair and replace storm-damaged roofs. In addition to repair and replacement work, the need to install roofs on new buildings should result in some job growth.

However, more roofing work is now being done by other construction workers, and that may slow job growth for traditional roofing contractors.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for roofers will occur primarily because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. The proportion of roofers who leave the occupation each year is higher than in most construction trades—roofing work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, and a considerable number of workers treat roofing as a temporary job until they find other work. Some roofers leave the occupation to go into other construction trades. Jobs are generally easier to find during spring and summer.

Like many other construction occupations, employment of roofers is somewhat sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. Workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. However, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity. Demand for roofers is less vulnerable to downturns than demand for other construction trades because much roofing work consists of repair and reroofing, in addition to new construction.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition