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ROOFER: Try It Out To See If You Like It

About this video 

William shares his story about becoming an apprentice roofer.
He goes into detail about what it's like to work as a roofer and on a construction site in general. He also talks about why it's important to be a hard and fast worker in construction.

Job Title: Apprentise Roofer

Job Summary: Helpers--Roofers

Job Description

Construction laborers and helpers do many basic tasks that require physical labor on construction sites. Construction laborers and helpers do many basic tasks that require physical labor on construction sites. Helpers assist construction craftworkers, such as electricians and carpenters, with a variety of basic tasks. They may carry tools and materials or help set up equipment. For example, many helpers work with cement masons to move and set forms. Many other helpers assist with taking apart equipment, cleaning up sites, and disposing of waste, as well as helping with any other needs of craftworkers.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Certification Requirement
Vary by Specialty.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $35,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours, Varies Widely
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Travel, Outdoor, Indoor, Home, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Technical skills, Strength/stamina, Hand-eye coordination, Likes working with hands

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='680'>I am an</span> <span m='790'>all-American</span> <span m='1200'>roofer.</span> <span m='2376'>An</span> <span m='2760'>all-American</span> <span m='2950'>roofer</span> <span m='3420'>tears</span> <span m='3630'>off,</span> <span m='3870'>you know,</span> <span m='4190'>we</span> <span m='4910'>take</span> <span m='5150'>off</span> <span m='5330'>the</span> <span m='5450'>old</span> <span m='5750'>roofs,</span> <span m='9010'>re-roof</span> <span m='9275'>them,</span> <span m='9540'>basically.</span> <span m='11870'>Sometimes</span> <span m='12110'>those</span> <span m='12510'>things</span> <span m='12830'>are</span> <span m='13095'>hard to get off.</span> <span m='14420'>And you'll</span> <span m='14690'>be over there</span> <span m='15020'>with</span> <span m='15230'>a</span> <span m='15600'>spade</span> <span m='16020'>just trying to</span> <span m='16440'>dig</span> <span m='16850'>it</span> <span m='17200'>out.</span> <span m='17400'>It's</span> <span m='17760'>like</span> <span m='18020'>a little shovel</span> <span m='18330'>but,</span> <span m='18857'>like,</span> <span m='19631'>it's</span> <span m='20020'>short.</span> <span m='21292'>And you've</span> <span m='21640'>got to</span> <span m='21990'>dig it</span> <span m='22290'>in</span> <span m='22580'>there.</span> </p><p><span m='23790'>And</span> <span m='23900'>then you've</span> <span m='23970'>got</span> <span m='24250'>your</span> <span m='24440'>foreman,</span> <span m='25640'>telling</span> <span m='25900'>you</span> <span m='26337'>to hurry</span> <span m='26774'>up.</span> <span m='27650'>Because if you</span> <span m='27770'>are slow,</span> <span m='27970'>you</span> <span m='28320'>are going</span> <span m='28575'>to</span> <span m='28830'>get</span> <span m='29000'>fired.</span> <span m='29890'>Or</span> <span m='30380'>you</span> <span m='30500'>are going to</span> <span m='30670'>get</span> <span m='30800'>laid</span> <span m='31040'>off.</span> <span m='31190'>They don't</span> <span m='31360'>really call</span> <span m='31655'>it fired.</span> <span m='32210'>You're</span> <span m='32470'>just going to</span> <span m='32610'>get</span> <span m='32820'>sent home</span> <span m='32950'>a</span> <span m='32980'>lot.</span> <span m='33760'>And they'll</span> <span m='34080'>keep</span> <span m='34310'>telling you</span> <span m='34630'>it's slow,</span> <span m='34950'>but you'll</span> <span m='35160'>see</span> <span m='35480'>everybody</span> <span m='35950'>else is</span> <span m='36260'>working.</span> </p><p><span m='37430'>I always</span> <span m='37830'>looked</span> <span m='38150'>for</span> <span m='38391'>construction</span> <span m='38632'>jobs.</span> <span m='39114'>It's kind of</span> <span m='39596'>hard because</span> <span m='40078'>you've got to</span> <span m='40560'>really</span> <span m='40970'>move.</span> <span m='41860'>There's no</span> <span m='42040'>room for</span> <span m='42500'>laziness</span> <span m='42840'>in</span> <span m='43180'>construction.</span> <span m='43695'>They</span> <span m='44070'>will</span> <span m='44370'>tell</span> <span m='44710'>you to hurry</span> <span m='45050'>up and</span> <span m='45350'>do</span> <span m='45670'>it</span> <span m='45760'>right.</span> <span m='46450'>Not</span> <span m='46740'>too much</span> <span m='47480'>room for</span> <span m='47630'>mistakes.</span> <span m='49780'>I</span> <span m='49890'>tried</span> <span m='51725'>going for</span> <span m='52130'>drywall,</span> <span m='52790'>did it</span> <span m='53190'>for</span> <span m='53990'>about</span> <span m='55170'>six</span> <span m='55580'>months.</span> <span m='56250'>Then,</span> <span m='56570'>I</span> <span m='56650'>guess</span> <span m='56910'>they</span> <span m='57050'>weren't</span> <span m='57270'>happy with</span> <span m='57690'>my</span> <span m='58100'>performance.</span> <span m='59400'>I got</span> <span m='59540'>laid</span> <span m='59840'>off,</span> <span m='60350'>called</span> <span m='60610'>the</span> <span m='60730'>guy,</span> <span m='61450'>never</span> <span m='61810'>answered.</span> <span m='62085'>You call</span> <span m='62360'>him,</span> <span m='62715'>don't</span> <span m='63070'>answer</span> <span m='63440'>again,</span> <span m='63600'>you leave</span> <span m='63950'>messages,</span> <span m='64590'>he</span> <span m='64940'>still</span> <span m='65432'>don't</span> <span m='65924'>answer.</span> <span m='68880'>You know what I'm</span> <span m='69100'>saying?</span> </p><p><span m='69660'>So</span> <span m='70080'>I was</span> <span m='70310'>about</span> <span m='71160'>20.</span> <span m='72220'>Maybe</span> <span m='72710'>I</span> <span m='72840'>couldn't</span> <span m='73100'>work</span> <span m='73380'>yet</span> <span m='73990'>the</span> <span m='74090'>way</span> <span m='74550'>I could</span> <span m='75050'>work</span> <span m='75270'>now.</span> <span m='76030'>And</span> <span m='76150'>then</span> <span m='76310'>I</span> <span m='76380'>had</span> <span m='76590'>other</span> <span m='76840'>little</span> <span m='77250'>jobs.</span> <span m='77770'>I</span> <span m='78090'>worked</span> <span m='78400'>retail--</span> <span m='80110'>in</span> <span m='80180'>the</span> <span m='80260'>meantime,</span> <span m='80640'>trying</span> <span m='80810'>to</span> <span m='80880'>get</span> <span m='81050'>back</span> <span m='81310'>on</span> <span m='81440'>the</span> <span m='81520'>construction.</span> <span m='82880'>They kept</span> <span m='83180'>telling me</span> <span m='83413'>taping</span> <span m='83647'>pays</span> <span m='84114'>good.</span> <span m='84581'>So I tried</span> <span m='85048'>to go for</span> <span m='85515'>taping,</span> <span m='85982'>which is a</span> <span m='86449'>drywall</span> <span m='86916'>finisher.</span> <span m='87383'>So I</span> <span m='87850'>went</span> <span m='87910'>for</span> <span m='88210'>that,</span> <span m='88450'>also.</span> <span m='89200'>Worked</span> <span m='89430'>about</span> <span m='89650'>nine</span> <span m='89840'>months.</span> </p><p><span m='90680'>And mind you,</span> <span m='91440'>in</span> <span m='91520'>both</span> <span m='91840'>of</span> <span m='91940'>these</span> <span m='94140'>construction</span> <span m='94640'>companies,</span> <span m='95050'>they</span> <span m='95150'>would</span> <span m='95300'>never</span> <span m='95590'>put</span> <span m='95810'>me in the</span> <span m='96190'>apprenticeship</span> <span m='96530'>program.</span> <span m='96960'>They</span> <span m='97070'>always</span> <span m='97330'>had</span> <span m='97530'>me</span> <span m='97795'>doing</span> <span m='98060'>labor,</span> <span m='98540'>labor,</span> <span m='98870'>labor,</span> <span m='99600'>never</span> <span m='99780'>taught me</span> <span m='100030'>anything,</span> <span m='100500'>really,</span> <span m='100810'>never</span> <span m='101050'>really</span> <span m='101360'>let me</span> <span m='101670'>touch the</span> <span m='101960'>tools.</span> <span m='102580'>And</span> <span m='102710'>if they</span> <span m='102740'>did,</span> <span m='103630'>they still kept</span> <span m='103850'>me</span> <span m='104150'>at</span> <span m='104485'>the</span> <span m='106098'>labor</span> <span m='106524'>pay.</span> <span m='106950'>So</span> <span m='107330'>I never</span> <span m='107790'>got to</span> <span m='107970'>move</span> <span m='108313'>up.</span> </p><p><span m='109000'>My</span> <span m='109315'>friend's</span> <span m='109900'>uncle,</span> <span m='110712'>he's actually</span> <span m='111194'>a foreman</span> <span m='111676'>here.</span> <span m='113700'>So they</span> <span m='113940'>gave</span> <span m='114061'>me</span> <span m='114182'>an</span> <span m='114303'>opportunity</span> <span m='114424'>to come</span> <span m='114908'>work here.</span> <span m='115876'>This</span> <span m='116118'>is</span> <span m='116360'>actually</span> <span m='116690'>very</span> <span m='117010'>rough</span> <span m='117290'>work.</span> <span m='117580'>So</span> <span m='118130'>I</span> <span m='118250'>didn't</span> <span m='118320'>want</span> <span m='118540'>to</span> <span m='118590'>do</span> <span m='119070'>it for too</span> <span m='119490'>long. I did it for</span> <span m='120010'>about</span> <span m='120240'>nine months.</span> <span m='121110'>I</span> <span m='121365'>quit</span> <span m='121620'>to</span> <span m='122250'>go</span> <span m='122510'>do the</span> <span m='122943'>taping</span> <span m='123376'>thing because</span> <span m='124130'>they</span> <span m='124260'>pay</span> <span m='124620'>more.</span> </p><p><span m='124835'>So</span> <span m='125050'>I</span> <span m='125120'>found</span> <span m='125470'>out</span> <span m='125770'>I was about to</span> <span m='126100'>be a</span> <span m='126280'>father,</span> <span m='126730'>so</span> <span m='127025'>one of</span> <span m='127320'>my</span> <span m='128060'>buddies</span> <span m='128360'>calls me again--</span> <span m='128699'>hey,</span> <span m='129120'>you know</span> <span m='130520'>they're</span> <span m='130690'>hiring</span> <span m='131015'>for</span> <span m='131340'>apprentices</span> <span m='131610'>at</span> <span m='131740'>the</span> <span m='132030'>roofing</span> <span m='132320'>thing</span> <span m='132700'>again.</span> <span m='133280'>I'm like,</span> <span m='134035'>man.</span> <span m='134700'>And</span> <span m='134965'>at</span> <span m='135520'>the time,</span> <span m='135830'>I was</span> <span m='136100'>working</span> <span m='136440'>retail,</span> <span m='136750'>and it wasn't</span> <span m='137355'>cutting</span> <span m='138020'>it.</span> </p><p><span m='138400'>So the</span> <span m='138700'>clock</span> <span m='138850'>was</span> <span m='139200'>ticking,</span> <span m='139350'>so I was</span> <span m='139490'>like,</span> <span m='139960'>man,</span> <span m='140430'>let me go apply.</span> <span m='141520'>And</span> <span m='141960'>here</span> <span m='142140'>I</span> <span m='142270'>am</span> <span m='142410'>now.</span> <span m='142915'>I've</span> <span m='143200'>been</span> <span m='143770'>working</span> <span m='144100'>hard</span> <span m='144440'>since</span> <span m='144780'>then,</span> <span m='145330'>nonstop.</span> <span m='145710'>They are</span> <span m='146055'>moving</span> <span m='146400'>me</span> <span m='146910'>up.</span> <span m='147080'>I'm in</span> <span m='147170'>apprenticeship</span> <span m='147730'>program.</span> <span m='148700'>But</span> <span m='148880'>it</span> <span m='148970'>is</span> <span m='149210'>rough</span> <span m='149540'>work.</span> </p><p><span m='150320'>They</span> <span m='150480'>say</span> <span m='151150'>if</span> <span m='151974'>you</span> <span m='152386'>like</span> <span m='152800'>what you do,</span> <span m='154170'>you never work at all.</span> <span m='155054'>So here,</span> <span m='155496'>I'm</span> <span m='155938'>working.</span> <span m='157270'>Man, if</span> <span m='157710'>this</span> <span m='157900'>is</span> <span m='158040'>really</span> <span m='158250'>what you want to</span> <span m='158450'>do,</span> <span m='159770'>try</span> <span m='160210'>it out,</span> <span m='160510'>see</span> <span m='160785'>how</span> <span m='161060'>you</span> <span m='161180'>like</span> <span m='161480'>it.</span> <span m='162740'>Because</span> <span m='163110'>from the</span> <span m='163390'>outside</span> <span m='163520'>looking</span> <span m='163720'>in,</span> <span m='163820'>it</span> <span m='164360'>looks</span> <span m='164580'>like</span> <span m='164730'>we're</span> <span m='165020'>walking around</span> <span m='165070'>with</span> <span m='165560'>a shovel</span> <span m='165990'>or something.</span> <span m='166520'>It's</span> <span m='167170'>not</span> <span m='167390'>like</span> <span m='167800'>that.</span> <span m='168240'>You've</span> <span m='168550'>really</span> <span m='168760'>got to</span> <span m='168970'>work.</span> <span m='169390'>There's</span> <span m='171010'>deadlines</span> <span m='171240'>to</span> <span m='171570'>meet.</span> <span m='172285'>You've got</span> <span m='172620'>to</span> <span m='172660'>get</span> <span m='172820'>it</span> <span m='172950'>done.</span> <span m='173862'>If it's</span> <span m='174320'>not done, they are</span> <span m='174430'>going</span> <span m='174540'>to</span> <span m='174620'>ask you</span> <span m='175000'>why.</span> </p><p><span m='176250'>So</span> <span m='177380'>the</span> <span m='177530'>owner</span> <span m='177740'>wants to</span> <span m='178240'>see</span> <span m='178731'>a</span> <span m='179222'>profit.</span> <span m='180204'>So</span> <span m='181186'>he puts</span> <span m='181677'>pressure</span> <span m='181799'>on</span> <span m='181922'>the</span> <span m='182045'>superintendent.</span> <span m='182168'>The</span> <span m='182660'>superintendent</span> <span m='183010'>puts pressure</span> <span m='183436'>on the</span> <span m='183862'>foreman.</span> <span m='185060'>The foreman</span> <span m='185370'>puts the pressure</span> <span m='186210'>on</span> <span m='187050'>yours truly.</span> <span m='188780'>So</span> <span m='189170'>if</span> <span m='189760'>we</span> <span m='189880'>don't</span> <span m='190070'>meet</span> <span m='190260'>that deadline,</span> <span m='190830'>the</span> <span m='190920'>company</span> <span m='191220'>makes</span> <span m='191520'>no money.</span> <span m='191790'>We</span> <span m='192060'>take</span> <span m='192360'>too</span> <span m='192430'>long,</span> <span m='192730'>the</span> <span m='193030'>job</span> <span m='193330'>goes</span> <span m='193630'>under.</span> <span m='195130'>So, you know,</span> <span m='195430'>you've</span> <span m='195730'>got to</span> <span m='196030'>be</span> <span m='196330'>fast.</span> </p>","file":{"id":272767,"video_id":"2708339278001","name":"72121371","duration":197312,"thumbnail_url":null}});