Roofer & Waterproofer Apprenticeship

Roofer and Waterproofer Apprenticeship

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*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does a Roofer & Waterproofer Do?

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.


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What Are the Working Conditions?

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.

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How is the Training Structured?

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What are the Application Requirements?

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What Skills Should I Possess?

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Who Should I Contact In My Area?

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
Dominic Robinson
Burt Harding
Mary Harrington 
SE Wisconsin Roofing & Waterproofing JAC 16601 W Dakota St
New Berlin, WI 53151
Phone: (262) 785-9742
Fax: (262) 785-9721
Richard Badger

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Additional Resources

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Roofing trade in the United States, visit:

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Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook

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