Roof sheeting and cladding operative

Roofing Operative

Roofing operatives work on the protective layers of a building which separate the inside from the elements using a range of materials, methods and structures.


The Role

Roof, sheeting and cladding operative

  • Making buildings waterproof by covering the roof (sheeting) and walls (cladding). 
  • using drawings and specifications to decide the type and amount of materials needed
  • knowing building regulations
  • hoisting and placing coverings
  • sealing the joints
  • installing insulation
  • fitting features such as roof lights

Roof slater and tiler

  • Installing and repairing all the waterproof coverings
  • Applying slates or tiles to a designed framework, such as the roof of a house
  • Understanding drawings and specifications to know what materials to use
  • Fixing underlay, insulation and roof coverings in place
  • Repairing old or faulty roofing
  • Making sure any new covering is weatherproof

Roof slater and tiler (heritage specialist)

  • Working on roofs ranging from Victorian terraced houses to ancient churches
  • Using the handmade materials of earlier eras, including clay tiles and different types of natural stone or slate
  • Working with historic buildings and learn conservation aspects of roofing from the beginning

Hard metal and cladding roofer

  • Creating decorative designs and functional metal items such as roofs and gutters
  • Working across the construction industry on heritage, commercial, industrial and housing projects
  • Putting a knowledge of design theory to work through their practical skills in shaping and forming the metal

Single-ply roofer

  • Applying a waterproof layer of flexible synthetic material to a roof to keep the inside of the building dry – and make the outside more stylish
  • Creating unusual shapes on roofs
  • Using an insulating material secured with ballast, mechanical fasteners or adhesive
  • Seal joints between sheets to make them watertight
  • Fit roof lights
  • Inspect roof problems
  • Find the best way to repair them
  • Install vapour barriers or layers of insulation
  • Work out the amount of materials and labour needed

Built-up felt roofer

  • Bonding layers of felt to a roof to form a watertight covering that will keep the interior of the building dry
  • Sealing joints between sheets to make them watertight
  • Applying alternate layers of materials on roofs
  • Pouring hot asphalt or tar to roof basesmay
  • Glazing top layers to make a smooth finish
  • Embedding gravel in the bitumen for rough surfaces
  • Installing vapour barriers and/or layers of insulation on the roof decks of flat roofs

Leading hand/chargehand

  • In charge of a team of between two and five roof slaters and tilers
  • Making sure the work their team does is good quality
  • People become chargehands after gaining experience and knowledge of the skills used in roof slating and tiling

Roofing surveyor

  • Making sure all roofs are built properly on a construction project
  • Involved from start to finish and usually based in the office or factory
  • Estimating costs and budgets
  • Planning schedules (and seeing they’re followed)
  • Drafting plans and details for craftspeople
  • Helping clients, architects, builders and surveyors in the construction of a roof structure

Roofing consultant

  • Experts in everything to do with roofs and give advice to other construction workers
  • This is a senior career and a roofing consultant only takes on the role when he or she has gained significant experience in the roofing industry
  • A consultant must be impartial when it comes to roof design, roofing installation, contract procedure, installation methods, legal testimony and general roof management

Salary

  • Newly trained roofing operatives can earn in the region of £12,000+
  • Trained with experience roofing operatives can earn in the region of £15,000 - £25,000
  • Senior/master crafts roofing operatives can earn in the region of £25,000 - £32,000

Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, and the amount of overtime worked.  Self-employed roofing operatives set their own pay rates.


Qualifications and Training

There are no formal requirements to hold qualifications for this career but it helps to have GCSEs, Welsh Baccalaureate, WJEC GCSE, BTECs or Standard Grades/Scottish Nationals. 

With on-the-job and off-the-job training, you would work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) or National Vocational Qualification (NVQ in Cladding Occupations (Construction): Roof, Sheeting and Cladding at Levels 2 and 3 (SCQF levels 4 and 5). 

The Roofing Industry Alliance has a RIA Roof Training Prospectus with further guidance on qualification routes and training requirements.

Employers such as construction companies and construction agencies often look for people with some on-site experience. If you haven’t worked in construction before, you can start off as a roofing labourer. Your employer might then train you in roofing techniques. 

Many roofing operatives start out as apprentices with a roofing or building firm. To search for apprenticeship vacancies in your area, visit the Government's vacancy matching site, or in Wales, Careers Wales

Alternatively, you can do a college course to learn roofing skills, though employers will still want to see you’ve had experience on a site.


Vacancies

Check out the latest Roofing Operative vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. 

Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!

Find out more

For information on the Roofing Operative role in Scotland please visit the Skills Development Scotland website My World of Work.


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