Roofer apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Roofer

Table of Contents

Roofer apprenticeship

DOT code: 866.381-010, O*NET code: 47-2181.00

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


Covers roofs with roofing materials other than sheet metal, such as composition shingles or sheets, wood shingles, or asphalt and gravel, to waterproof roofs: Cuts roofing paper to size, using knife, and nails or staples it to roof in overlapping strips to form base for roofing materials. Aligns roofing material with edge of roof, and overlaps successive layers, gauging distance of overlap with chalkline, gauge on shingling hatchet, or by lines on shingles. Fastens composition shingles or sheets to roof with asphalt, cement, or nails. Punches holes in slate, tile, terra cotta, or wooden shingles, using punch and hammer. Cuts strips of flashing and fits them into angles formed by walls, vents, and intersecting roof surfaces. When applying asphalt or tar and gravel to roof, mops or pours hot asphalt or tar onto roof base. Applies alternate layers of hot asphalt or tar and roofing paper until roof covering is as specified. Applies gravel or pebbles over top layer, using rake or stiff-bristled broom. May construct and attach prefabricated roof sections to rafters. May attach shingles to exterior walls and apply roofing paper and tar to shower pans, decks, and promenades to waterproof surfaces.

Work process schedule:
On-the job training
A. General 500 hours
1. Carrying and placing materials for use of journeyperson
2. Erection of scaffolding
3. Hoisting, loading and unloading all materials and tools
4. Safety - proper clothing and personal protective equipment
5. Safe work practices

B. Waterproofing and damp-proofing, composition, tar, asphalt, and general work 2000 hours
1. Preparing materials and equipment and regulating the
heat of pitch
2. Preparing roof surfaces for covering
3. Applying pitch to roof
4. Preparing, cutting, placing, fitting, and trimming strips of felt,
tar paper, roofing paper or insulating board to roof
5. Applying additional layers of roofing materials as required
6. Cementing tar paper with hot tar or flashing cement
7. Evenly distributing crushed gravel over top coat of tar
8. Safe work practices

C. Promenade tile work 700 hours
1. Marking out areas to be tiled
2. Preparing surface for tiling
3. Laying and fitting tile with proper spacing
4. Preparing and applying clay mixture to protect tile during
application of hot asphalt
5. Pouring asphalt into tile spaces and spreading grout in same
6. Cleaning tiles with acid after grout has hardened
7. Safe work practices

D. Slate tile, asbestos, shingles, and substitute materials work 700 hours
1. Covering roof sheeting with felt
2. Fastening slate in rows (punching nail holes, nailing slate,
providing for proper overlap)
3. Cutting slate to fit ridges, valleys and edges by perforating,
breaking, or trimming slate
4. Sealing ridge joints
5. Applying flashing
6. Replacing broken slate or tile
7. Cleaning completed roof
8. Asphalt, strip, and composition shingles
9. Safe work practices.

E. Other materials 500 hours
1. Felt, wood, coal, oil, lumber, roofing paper,
insulating board pitch, flashing cement, gravel, slag
2. Precast tile blocks, cement mortar, grout, water, dilute acid solution, asphalt
3. Roofing cement, terra cotta, roofing felt, sheet metal flashing, and all other materials awarded to the roofers' jurisdiction
4. Safe work practices

F. New materials 1000 hours
1. Butyl rubber (sheet and liquid), neoprene (sheet and liquid) hypalon, epoxy coatings, acrylic coatings, resin emulsions, plastic coatings, and urethane foam

G. Safety 600 hours
1. Studying industry statistics on accident frequency and
severity rates
2. Understanding basic causes of accidents
3. Reviewing safe practice for each type of work
4. Learning basic first aid
Total hours 6000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. The following is a general listing of instruction topics for this trade. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.

Occupational introduction
History of roofing
History of apprenticeship and the
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training Employee-employer relationship
Career opportunities
Seasonal aspects of roofing
Customer relations
Applied math

Safety-related Information
Use of a ladder
Importance of safety
Safety inspections
General safety
Types of fires
Fire extinguishers
Selection of work clothing
Steps to follow in case of accidents
Lifting objects
Flammable gases and liquids
Electrical hazards
OSHA-what the worker needs to know

Roofs and roofing material
Identify types of roofs
Identify types of nails
Identify types of felts
Identify types of insulation
Select types and uses
Advantages and disadvantages
Bitumens (explain EVT)
Application temperatures and flash points

Tools and equipment-related information
Demonstrate ability
Use to start engines
Demonstrate making
Safety a mop
Small engine care
Metric conversions

Built-up roofing related information
Set up job site
Identify hazards
Types of materials
Setting up a job
Types of decks
Hoisting and placing of materials
Weather protection of materials

Insulations-related information
Terminology Breaking joints
Match types to use
Determine square
Advantages and disadvantages foot of insulation
R and C valves
Installing insulation
Vapor barriers and cut-offs
Insulation fasteners
Cant strip and tapered edge

Applications of built-up roofs related information
Chalk-off a roof
Determining starting point demonstrate mopping
Determining plies and ply lines
Applying felts to a roof
Valleys and crickets (saddles) cricket
Mopped or nailed base sheets Install an envelope
Distinguish hand applications sheet
Distinguish machine applications
Distinguish top mopping

Cutting and folding corners

Re-roofing related information
Finding leaks
Roof preparation
Removing gravel
Tear-off equipment
Removal of tear-off
Types debris
Sealing-off edges
Flashing in re-roofing
Weather protection
Roof deck repair
Precautions with electricity
Re-roofing equipment

Dampproofing and waterproofing related information
Terminology Priming walls
Preparation Wall preparation
Use of protection board
Definition of Difference
Cold and hot applications
Sprayed or brushed
Spandrel beams
Above grade waterproofing

Composition roofing - Slate, tile, related information and shingles

How to set up a job
Applying felt How to chalk a roof
Applying and cementing ridges deck
and hips Identify types of roofs
Applying edge strip Color coordination
Laying out asbestos roof Design and strain
Laying out tile roof
Laying out shingle roof
Cutting and fitting tile
Applying asphalt shingles
Applying rigid asbestos
Applying slate, tile, and concrete slabs Hoisting material
Applying flashing
Working around dormers
Types of flashing material
Applying flashing
Determining pitch of roof
Customer Relations
Safe work practices

Additional Resources

Help Us Improve with your feedback