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Roofer and Waterproofer Apprenticeship
Did you know?*
- Most roofers learn their skills informally on the job; some roofers train through 3-year apprenticeships.
- Most job openings will arise from the need to replace those who leave the occupation because the work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, causing many people to switch to jobs in other construction trades.
- Demand for roofers is less susceptible to downturns in the economy than demand for other construction trades because most roofing work consists of repair and reroofing.
*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Roofing and Waterproofing involves installing water-tight roof systems on new or existing roofs. When roofing work is required on existing roofs, the old roof may be required to be removed. Roofing work involves removal of existing roofs down to structural deck, including but not limited to; roof surface and accompanying insulations, vertical roof flashings, metal flashings, counter flashings, coping and/or cap flashing, horizontal roof flashing, pipe and cone flashings, pitch pockets, and curb flashings.
Such roof removal shall be performed by the aid of but not limited to; power roof cutters, power gravel scratches, power hydraulic claws, power rockers, power sweepers, rotary planers, power workhorse dump carts, gravel vacuum machines, gas powered saws, wheel barrows, heavy bars, tear-off bars, axes, shovels, and brooms.
Replacement of roof decking including but not limited to steel, wood, concrete plank, gypsum, or techdem.
Many roof systems require the application of an above roof deck vapor barrier which includes but is not limited to BUR, polyvinyl film, rubberized asphalt, all coatings, and all peel-n-stick products.
Roofers and Waterproofers apply all above roof deck insulations which constitute part of the roofing system to include but not limited to perlite, fiberboard, expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, fiberglass board, polyurethane foam board, cellular glass board, gypsum board, dense-deck board, or any multi-combination insulation board.
Fastening of roofing insulations shall be secured by the following methods but not limited to: loose laid, screwed, nailed, hot mopped, or spray adhesives.
Roofers and Waterproofers apply any number of roof systems including but not limited to Built-UP Roofing (BUR), modified roofs, single-ply roofs, spray roof systems, waterproofing, dampproofing, green roofs, shingles, wood shake, slate, and tiles.
BUR-Roofers and Waterproofers operate and service all kettles, bulk tankers, stationary heating tankers and other types of equipment and tools used to accomplish Built-UP Roofing systems (BUR). BUR systems are applied by repetitive application of hot asphalt and roofing felt to required project specifications. All roof penetrations (curbs, pipes, cones, pitch pockets, drains, scuppers, etc.) shall be flashed and detailed with the proper roof flashing materials, to meet project specifications. BUR system can be completed by applying any number of protective coatings which may include, but are not limited to: crushed rock, pea gravel, sealants, or coatings. Additional walk-ways may be added to the roof in high traffic areas like roof access hatches and HVAC units.
Modified-Roofers and Waterproofers apply many different types of modified roofing products which may be installed but not limited to: hot mopping, torching, primed, adhesives, and peel-n-stick method. All roof penetrations (curbs, pipes, cones, pitch pockets, drains, scuppers, etc.) shall be flashed and detailed with the proper roof flashing materials, to meet project specifications.
Single-Ply-Roofers and Waterproofers apply many different types of single-ply systems which may include, but are not limited to: PVC, EPDM, PIB, CSP, CSPW EIP, and TPO. These systems can be installed in a number of ways including but not limited to mechanically fastened, totally adhered, and ballasted. Waterproofing seams of the single-ply roof system can be accomplished in a number of methods, including but not limited to: heat welding, seam taping, or adhesives. All roof penetrations (curbs, pipes, cones, pitch pockets, drains, scuppers, etc.) shall be flashed and detailed with the proper roof flashing materials, to meet project specifications.
Spray roofs can be any number of liquid roofing products including, but not limited to: sealants, emulsions, aluminumizers, restaurants, mastics, polyurethane, urethane, polyisocyanurate, or other liquid coating. Spray roofs may be applied be any number of methods including but not limited to rolling, brushing, or spraying.
Water and Damp-proofing- may be performed on many areas including, but not limited to: fountains, bridges, parking structures, buildings, planter boxes, and liners for water retention.
Water and Damp-proofing systems do require preparation of the surface substrate by cleaning and drying. Most projects are below grade work and require the worker to work in trenches. Knowledge and training on trench safety and hazard awareness is required before the start of any water or damp-proofing project.
Water and Damp-proofing systems may include, but are not limited to: BUR systems, modified systems, most single-ply systems, mastics, peel-n-stick products and coatings.
Water and Damp-proofing systems must be protected before the back-filling process starts. Protection will be in the form of, but not limited to: rigid insulation or protection board.
Roofers and Waterproofers install intensive (garden, plants and shrubs) or extensive (grasses, small plants and sedums) systems. Green roofs will use any of above mentioned systems to provide a water-tight roof system before the landscaping is added on top of the roof system. Additional care must be taken to ensure a water-proof roof due to the covering of dirt and landscaping over the roof system. Roofers and Waterproofers will be providing additional drainage system layers and filtering sheets to ensure proper water migration off the roof system. Completion of the green roof system will involve installing a landscaping layer which may include, but is not limited to: dirt, decorative stones, walk-ways, grasses, plants, scrubs, and/or trees.
Roofers and Waterproofers will also apply a number of roofing products on steep roofs. Steep roofs are defined as roofs with slopes greater than a 4 inch rise to very 12 inches of vertical run.
Though most of the above mentioned systems can be used on steep roofs, typical systems are of the water shedding variety. These include, but are not limited to: shingles, wood shake, slate, and tiles. All of these systems come in variety different materials and shapes. Due to the water shedding nature of these products underlayment is a critical portion of this system. Underlayment for these systems can consist of, but is not limited to: shingling felt of various weights, and ice & water peel-n-stick underlayment. Due to the slope of the steep roof, fall protection is a major concern. All Roofers and Waterproofers work on steep roofs will be provided with fall protection in the form of a fall arrest system or fall prevention system. All Roofers and Waterproofers will be trained in the hazard awareness of falls and the use of fall protection systems. Installation of shingles, shake, slate, and tiles are generally fastened to the roof deck with nails, but other fastening devices may be used.
- General tasks, including: loading and unloading materials/equipment for roof/ground level; basic safety procedures of "hot" and roof safety; knowledge of tear-off procedures concerning hand tools such as spud bars, forks, pyne bars and other small hand tools; removal of gravel, felts, insulation and clean-up of area for re-roofing; operation of power equipment used for roof removal and transportation of asphalt to work areas; nailing, plastic and fabric application on flashing and materials used for protection of flashing from ultraviolet rays.
- Comprehensive knowledge of all roofing materials, including: knowledge/heating of asphalts relating to skid kettle work, wheel kettles and transports; primer application for deck preparations; B.U.R. which includes the following: preparation of surface, applications of vapor barriers, when required, insulation application, taper systems, crickets, cants, applying/cutting all types of roofing asphalt and/or pitch membrane, asphalt applications, hand mopping and mechanical; proper applications and knowledge of all roof penetrations such as: curbs, stacks, drain systems (including modified mop applied); distribution of roof gravels.
- Knowledge of Elastomers and Plastimer, including: all categories concerning job preparation as well as application of insulation systems; knowledge of all E.P.D.M. or P.V.C. systems; aplying the elastomers or plastimer membrane; application of all detail work, flashing and penetrations; anchoring and terminations, modified system application (torch applied); detail work of modified system.
- Shingling and Waterproofing application, including: all systems involving shingling, tile, slate and other roofing membrane. Any/all waterproofing systems involved on commercial or residential buildings. All work processes, both primary and typical, as listed in Prevailing Wage Code 133, Roofer or Waterproofer. Waterproofing of bridges, roadways, sidewalks, tunnels, retention ponds and parking structures.
Roofing and Waterproofing work is strenuous and involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling and working at great heights. Roofers and Waterproofers work outdoors in all types of weather, particularly when making repairs. Roofers and Waterproofers risk slips and falls from scaffolds, ladders, or roofs or burns from hot bitumen. Roofers and Waterproofers must be able to tolerate loud noise intensity and exposure to weather, extreme heat and exposure to heights; and be able to tolerate repetitive motion reaching and handling; and posses the ability to balance, stoop, bend, kneel and crouch. Roofers and Waterproofers will also work with many different adhesives, solvents, and bituminous products, which may contain hazardous chemicals or compounds harmful to the roofer’s health. Additional protection in the form of personal protective equipment, for example; protective gloves and /or respirators may be required when these materials are used.
- 4 year training program
- 6,000 hours on-the-job training
- 400 hours paid related instruction
- Maximum of 40 hours of unpaid related instruction
- Apprentice must complete Red Cross First Aid and CPR Courses
- Apprentice must in his/her final year complete Transition-To-Trainer Course
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
- High school diploma or equivalent is preferred within first six months, or three years work experience in trade
- Physically able to perform trade
- Valid driver's license or reliable transportation
- Commercial driver's license may be required
- Building and Construction- Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the application of roofing and waterproofing systems on houses, buildings, or other structures.
- Mechanical- Knowledge of tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. Conducts minor repairs to equipment and machinery.
- Mathematics- Knowledge of arithmetic and its application.
- Reading- Knowledge of basic reading skills.
- Installation- Installs complete roofing and waterproofing systems with required tools to meet specifications.
- Equipment Selection- Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Coordination- Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Communication Skills- Knowledge of reading, writing, and the ability to communicate both orally and in writing.
- Gross Body Equilibrium- The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Strength- The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift (up to at least 90 pounds and have the knowledge to know when to ask for help with lifting heavier objects), push, pull, or carry objects. The ability to use the abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Multi-limb Coordination/Flexibility- The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Stamina- The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Manual Dexterity- The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Problem Solving- The ability to be a self starter and to work together as a team.
- Balance- Ability to work at great heights while on a ladder, scaffold or other devise.
|Committee Name||Contact This Committee:||OR Contact Your BAS Representative:|
|ABC of Wisconsin||
5330 Wall St.
Madison, WI 53718
Phone: (608) 244-6056
Fax: (608) 244-2401
|Northern WI Area Roofing & Waterproofing JAC||
PO Box 967
Eau Claire, WI 54702
Phone: (715) 835-3753
|SE Wisconsin Roofing & Waterproofing JAC||
16601 W Dakota St
New Berlin, WI 53151
Phone: (262) 785-9742
Fax: (262) 785-9721
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Roofing trade in the United States, visit:
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook