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The sky is the limit with a career in roofing. What other job gives you the opportunity to appreciate the stunning NZ landscape.

If you have a head for heights, are responsible, motivated and enjoy working as part of a highly skilled team outside then a roofing apprenticeship presents a strong, solid life opportunity.

The roofing industry is constantly evolving and creating new challenges for roofers as technologies advance and green building issues grow. This makes for an interesting career, in a trade where you might work on anything an architecturally designed commercial project to a residential dwelling on any given day.

What jobs will I do?

Roofers may do some or all of the following:

  • Erect edge protection and safety equipment
  • Remove old or damaged iron, tiles or other materials from roofs
  • Do minor repairs to the structure of roofs
  • Cut roofing materials to size and fix roofing and cladding to buildings
  • Install spouting, downpipes and flashing.

Roofers who run their own businesses may undertake additional jobs such as:

  • Measure roofs
  • Select and estimate the amount of materials to be used
  • Prepare quotes and invoices for clients.

Many apprentices also complete the National Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying to open up their career opportunities.

What skills will I need to be successful?

You will learn these skills through on-job and off-job training.

  • First aid and safe working and injury prevention
  • How to safely use hand and power tools
  • Airflow and rainwater handling
  • Roof construction and repair
  • Different roofing materials such as tiles, corrugated iron and membrane roof systems
  • How to read and interpret building plans
  • What safety equipment is required and how to use it correctly
  • Understanding of the New Zealand Building Code and relevant roofing codes of practice.

If you also want to set up your own business it is strongly recommended that you have small business skills including staff management skills.

What's the job outlook like?

The repair and rebuild of Christchurch and the Auckland housing construction boom, means the demand for roofers in these regions will continue to be strong over the short to medium term. In other regions, employment growth is likely to remain stable.

How do I become one?

You need to gain the National Certificate in Roofing (Installer) (Level 4). It provides a nationally recognised qualification for roofing installers, ensuring industry standards consistently follow a high level of safe professional practice.

Once you've  successfully completed all of your training requirements and gained your qualification you can apply for your Licenced Building Practitioner (LBP) licence; this will depend on the roofing sector you work in, and or your employer.

For more information visit the Licenced Building Practitioner website.

Secondary education and essential skills

Some of the skills required to be successful and to keep up with off-job study includes a sound knowledge of English and mathematics. Preferably you will have obtained Level 2 NCEA.

Pathways Ararua is a free tool to help you improve your reading, writing, listening and numeracy skills using Trade, Service and Community pathways.

What qualifications will I do?

You will need to gain the National Certificate in Roofing (Installer) (Level 4). Candidates then complete one or more of the specialist strands, depending on the type of roofing that they install.

National Certificate in Roofing (Installer) (Level 4)

If you have more five or more years roofing experience in your chosen strand you may be able to enrol in the accelerated training programme. Contact us for more information before you enrol in the standard programme.

How long will it take?

A roofing training programme should take approximately 24 months to complete depending on the type of roofing you do, and provided you regularly work through your distance learning, attend your health and safety courses, and capstone practical assessment. 

It’s really important that you don’t fall behind in your study. The government funding for your apprenticeship is only available for three and a half years so if you take longer you might put your aprenticeship at risk. It is important that you talk to your account manager if you start to experience any difficulties.

What does it cost?

The cost of an apprenticeship will depend on the pathway you choose to become an apprentice and whether your employer contributes towards the cost. Costs excluding any employer contribution are approximately $3,000 - $3,500 over the term of your apprenticeship.

If you are interested in a career in roofing, then check out the video below to gain some first hand insight!