Roofing Careers in Canada

The roofing industry in Canada is innovative, dynamic, respected, and successful. We hold ourselves to the highest professional technical standards.

About The Canadian Roofing Trade

The Canadian roofing trade is a dynamic part of the institutional, commercial, and industrial (ICI) construction industry. Not only do roofs protect buildings; they are also an integral part of a building’s design.

Innovation in new roofline designs, roofing technologies, and installation methods is ongoing. The Canadian roofing trade is also constantly evolving to meet the challenges of long-term changes in climate.

Work Outdoors

Roofers – particularly those working in the ICI industry – need strength, agility, and no fear of heights! Working in extreme weather conditions is often necessary.

Be Part of a Team

Roofers work on crews, typically teams of 5-8 with a foreman, journeymen, material handlers, and apprentices.

Meaningful Work

Working as a roofer in the ICI industry means being part of the construction or renovation of buildings that will stand the test of time. ICI buildings support Canada’s economic activity and important work – whether it’s small businesses, corporations, education facilities, hospitals, entertainment facilities, data centres, seats of government, or other important facilities.

Job Description

According to HRDC’s Job Futures, commercial roofers install, repair or replace flat roofs and shingles, shakes or other roofing tiles on sloped roofs. They are employed by roofing and general contractors, or they may be self-employed.

The job’s primary duties include:

  • Install, repair or replace built-up roofing systems using materials such as asphalt saturated felts and hot asphalt and gravel
  • Install, repair or replace single-ply roofing system using waterproof sheet materials such as modified plastics, elastomeric or other asphaltic compositions
  • Install, repair or replace shingles, shakes and other roofing tiles on sloped roofs of buildings
  • Install sheet metal flashings
  • Apply waterproof coatings to concrete or other masonry surfaces below or above ground level
  • Install and repair metal roofs using hand and power tools
  • Set up scaffolding to provide safe access to roofs
  • May estimate materials required and quote costs

Most Canadian roofing trade employers will require:

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • For roofers, completion of a two- to three-year apprenticeship program OR Over three years of work experience in the trade are usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Roofing trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
  • Trade certification for residential steep roofers is available, but voluntary, in British Columbia.
  • Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified roofers.

Work Across Canada

To work interprovincially in the Canadian roofing trade, Red Seal trade certification is required.

Technical Knowledge

There are numerous types of roofing systems, and these are being constantly innovated. Particularly in the Canadian environment, new technologies and methods are developed to meet the needs of new designs and seasonal weather. Knowledge of various types of roofing systems is essential to a successful career in roofing.

Get Started in Roofing

To find out how to get started in the Canadian roofing trade, visit the Apprentice Trades website and navigation to the information for your province or territory.

You can also visit the Government of Canada’s comprehensive website that offers a one-stop national repository for information about the skilled trades at: The site aims to help young Canadians learn about the more than 300 skilled trades in Canada and the Red Seal trade designation. The site also highlights in-demand trades in each region and available financial support offered by the government.

CRCA’s Canadian Roofing Reference Manual is a core national training and upgrading manual. It provides the theoretical and technical information required to perform the tasks set out in the national training standards for both apprentices and journey persons. If you are very interested in joining the roofing trade, studying this manual can give you a head start in a new career.