Becoming a roofer is a great step toward a fulfilling career, especially in a place like Canada, where craftsmen are considered hardworking professionals. However, the skills and education that you will need to become a roofer won’t come easy.
That’s why we’ve compiled a helpful guide to get you started in the right direction!
Essential Skills and Qualifications for a Successful Roofer
Roofing requires more than physical strength and the ability to use power tools.
More than that, becoming a roofer in Canada requires being able to build a structure that can handle bad weather conditions – especially rain or snow – and having a vast knowledge of the right roofing materials, tools, and techniques required to get the job done right.
Most successful roofers have been apprenticing and working in the industry for years and know how to handle any problems that might arise.
That means a roofer has firm attention to detail and is able to communicate with their team and clients. If you don’t have these skills, it will be harder to accomplish your working goals, and you won’t find much success as a Canadian roofer.
But how do you get these skills?
How to Become a Roofer in Canada & Build Your Career
Becoming a professional roofer in Canada may usually involve both practical experience and formal education.
You can get both of these through apprenticeship programs, technical schools, college programs, and on-the-job training.
Many Canadian roofers start with apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeships are a popular and valuable option for most aspiring roofers, as they combine hands-on experience as well as structured, in-classroom learning.
Gaining practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge of the roofing industry is a great way to start your career.
Participating in a roofing apprenticeship program can also provide you with many tips and tricks and insight into the industry as a whole.
Technical Schools and College Programs:
If you can’t land an apprenticeship with a roofing company, attending a technical school or college program that specializes in roofing and safety management is another great option.
While probably more costly and less hands-on, those looking for a more theoretical, managerial approach may prefer a college program.
Just keep in mind that there aren’t necessarily “roofing programs” in college, but there are related fields that can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a Canadian roofer.
For example, here are a few programs you can take:
- Construction Engineering
- Architectural Technology
- Building Science
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Management
- Architectural Engineering
- Project Management and Estimating
- Codes, Regulation, and Safety
These programs are offered at different educational levels, including diplomas, advanced diplomas, and bachelor’s degrees. Institutions such as community colleges, technical institutes, and universities across Canada provide these programs.
Make sure to do your research and ask questions when choosing a schooling program that works for you!
On-the-job training is a great option for those who don’t want – or can’t afford – formal education or training.
However, many businesses no longer offer the upward mobility that beginners are looking for as they progress in their skills. The availability of on-the-job training varies from company to company, so make sure you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you for the job.
For example, you’ll want to know:
- If they hire within the company
- If they offer upward mobility after 2-5 years
- What kind of on-the-job skills will you learn
- How you can apply your skills in the company
The more in-demand roofers are, the more a company is willing to provide training. However, if there is a lull in the market demand, companies are going to hire experienced professionals over beginners any day.
Make sure you are getting into a company at a time when they are open to on-the-job training!
Navigating the Roofing Industry Certifications
In Canada, each province and territory is in charge of education and training, including skilled trades like plumbing or carpentry. They decide the rules and requirements for recognizing foreign credentials in these trades.
If you want to work in a specific trade, the organization that oversees that trade in your province or territory will review your training, work experience, and skills. They will then decide if you can take a test and become certified!
This is called a Provincial Trade Certification.
To get a certificate that shows you’re qualified, you’ll probably need to go to the province or territory to take the certification exam in person. Sometimes, you might also need to get training and work experience from a Canadian employer before you can take the exam.
If the trade you’re interested in is not regulated by the province or territory, it might be regulated by the federal government. You can find information about getting your credentials assessed for regulated trades in Canada from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
If you want more information, contacting the regulatory body in your province, territory, or federal level is best. They can provide you with more details.
Red Seal Certification
The Red Seal certification is a prestigious accreditation for skilled trades in Canada, equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in the trades. It is recognized as the highest standard of training in the country.
Obtaining a Red Seal certification allows individuals to take advantage of various opportunities throughout Canada. It signifies that you possess the necessary competence and skills to work in your trade across the country without the need for additional examinations. This flexibility is particularly valuable in today’s mobile workplace.
To acquire a Red Seal certification and become a Canadian roofer, you need to follow these steps:
- Complete the technical training and gain practical work experience in a Red Seal trade, specifically roofing in this case.
- Graduation from an apprenticeship training program approved by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) in British Columbia is required. It is essential to ensure that the training program is recognized by the ITA to be eligible for the Red Seal certification.
- Successfully pass the inter-provincial standards Red Seal exam specifically designed for the roofing trade. This exam assesses your knowledge, skills, and competence in the field of roofing.
You can obtain your Red Seal certification for roofing by meeting these requirements. This certification demonstrates your expertise and opens up opportunities for employment and career growth throughout Canada as a recognized professional in the trade.
Safety and Compliance in the Canadian Roofing Industry
To learn about safety and following the rules as a Canadian roofer, here are some things you can do:
First, you’ll want to take OHS courses, which teach you important skills and techniques. These could be protecting yourself from falls, using safety equipment like helmets and goggles, and recognizing dangerous situations.
They also help you understand the laws and rules you must follow when on the job. Make sure you pay attention and stay safe!
Also, it’s important to know the building codes and regulations that apply to roofing in your area. You can learn these in school during formal classes or from your employer on the job.
These codes tell you the safety standards and rules you must follow when doing roofing work. Keeping up with any changes is important to ensure you follow the most up-to-date guidelines.
Finding Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Roofing Sector
If you want to find a job as a roofer in Canada, you’ll want to start by doing your research. Finding the right company that will train and work with you to help you succeed is a great way to start your career.
Alongside research, networking with professionals in your area at conferences, workshops, and events is a great way to get your foot in the door. Whether you want to further your education or start your career, knowing others working in your field is always best.
Make sure to fine-tune your resume to match the requirements that most jobs are looking for – if you have the right skills! And, if you are already experienced, it is good to research market salaries and negotiate the proper pay for your services.
Building Your Roofing Business in Canada
Let’s say you want to be your own boss and start a roofing business of your own!
In that case, you will have to go through all the right channels for starting a business, such as registering your business, investing in liability insurance, hiring an accountant, and opening up a business bank account.
However, you will also have to register as a contractor and add workers’ compensation to your liability insurance. You may also need to get a license from your city and apply for permits to begin your roofing jobs.
Ensure you follow all codes, inspections, requirements, and rules necessary to start your roofing business! Don’t miss any steps, and stay safe out there.
Staying Updated: Industry Trends and Continuing Education for Roofers
To stay updated on trends, join a roofers association in your province. In Canada, organizations like the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) and other provincial roofing associations can provide you with resources, networking opportunities, as well as educational events and workshops!
Alongside an association, it is good to brush up on trade shows and conferences and to read any industry publications with the current news and market trends you should know.
If you own your own business, you must stay on top of current events in your industry and the latest techniques and materials!
If you can’t go anywhere in person to network, try joining online communities! Many online forums and social media groups share their knowledge and allow you to reach out and ask questions. It also helps you meet people in your area!
Most of all, continue to learn as you go. Join webinars or events that teach you something new!
Who Should Be a Roofer?
If you fear heights and can’t lift heavy objects or climb, then you probably aren’t ready to be a roofer.
However, if you have a knack for details, can stand tall heights, and are physically fit and ready to learn, being a roofer is probably for you!
Roofers are the sort of people who can solve problems and handle challenges with any project. They are safety-conscious and meticulous with their planning and execution of projects.
Most of all, the best roofers in Canada are determined, capable, and great at finishing what they start. If you are the sort who can get a job done right, then becoming a roofer may just be for you!