Duties and responsibilities
A metal roofing mechanic works from sketches, blueprints, or verbal instructions to make and instal metal roofing products. Metal roofing mechanics may install metal roofs, wall panels, metal roof flashing, and flat roof flashings made from sheets of galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, pre-painted metals and other materials. They can work on residential or commercial building and their typical duties and responsibilities include;
- Using hand or power tools such as shears, breaks, punch forming presses and rolling and crimping machines to cut, bend and shape metal
- Fitting in piping, tubing and ducting for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and installing metal roofing sheets, guttering and downspouts
- Using drills, screw guns, pop rivet tools, and soldiering irons for forming and sealing details
- Rolling and installing all styles of metal roof panels, wall panels, metal edges, counter flashing and wall flashing
- Inspecting projects for safety, following proper specifications and keeping the space tidy and clean .
To become a metal roofing mechanic, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent. You will then need to complete an apprenticeship program, during which you will ‘shadow’ experienced metal roofing mechanics.
Skills and relevant work experience
In order to have the best possible employment opportunities, metal roofing mechanics should aim to get as much experience in the construction industry as possible. Metal roofing mechanics also need skills such as:
- Physical fitness and stamina, as metal is is heavy and metal roofing mechanics will have to carry this to heights. They will also have to kneel down and stand up for long periods of time
- Communication skills are key as metal roofing mechanics need to be able to communicate with clients and other construction workers (e.g., roofers)
- Detail orientation, as metal roofing mechanics need to ensure that they measure and fit metal fixing the the exact millimetre
- Dexterity, as metal roofing mechanics must be able to place metal on roofs and secure it with precision
- Critical thinking, as metal roofing mechanics must be able to problem-solve when issues arise in a project. Such issues may include a project running on for longer than expected or the materials ordered being the wrong size
Metal roofing mechanics tend to work full time. Due to weather conditions, such as rain, metal roofing mechanics may have to work extra hours to ensure a roof is watertight in time. In winter, a metal roofing mechanics hours may drop. However, in summer metal roofing mechanics can expect to be able to work longer days, due to more daylight hours.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for roofers was $42,100 in2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,920. The top paying industries were roofing contractors, where the median annual salary was $42,320 and construction of buildings, where the average annual salary was $39,160.
It is important to note that although roofers work full time, their hours and thus their earning may vary by season. For example, in winter roofers may earn less due to cold and wet weather and less daylight hours. Whereas in the summer, roofers may work overtime.
The overall employment of roofers is set to increase over the coming years. Metal roofing mechanics can progress easily into supervisor, superintendent, or other construction management positions. Metal roofing mechanics may even choose to become independent contractors.