Job Prospects... At a glance
There are good job prospects for roofers and tilers over the next few years, due to growing building activity in Auckland and the continuing rebuild occurring in Canterbury. Other regions still have many opportunities.
Roofers repair and install roofs, making sure they are watertight. They use tiles, metal, and shingles to cover the roofs, and install membranes to keep it watertight. Roofing involves working at heights to install roofs on residential houses and commercial buildings.
Tilers measure, cut and install tiles on floors and walls. Tiles are commonly used in bathrooms, entrance ways and swimming pools. Some tilers specialise in the creative side of the industry, creating design patterns on swimming pools, and mosaics.
There are no entry requirements to work as a roofer or tiler, but finishing a qualification increases your job and salary prospects.
To become a qualified roofer, apprentices must complete the National Certificate in Roofing (Installer) (Level 4). This takes around two years to complete.
Tilers can become qualified by obtaining a National Certificate in Floor and Wall Tiling (Level 4). This certificate usually takes less than three years to complete through the BCITO.
There is a pre-trade certificate available for people wanting to start out in roofing. WelTec offers a Level 3 Certificate in Plumbing, Drainlaying, Gasfitting, and Roofing.
The New Zealand Apprenticeships scheme is available for anyone over the age of 16, and is subsidised by the government. More information on the scheme is on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website.
|National Certificate in Roofing (Installer) (Level 4, Apprenticeship)||National Certificate in Floor and Wall Tiling (Level 4, Apprenticeship)|
|$3,000-3,500 over two years||$2,500 over three years|
Costs vary between institutions. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.
The least expensive way to train as a roofer or tiler is to become an apprentice. That way, you can earn while gaining a qualification.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
A pre-trade Level 3 qualification which includes roofing skills is offered at WelTec.
The Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that looks after training for the roofing industry is the Building and Construction ITO (BCITO). It arranges apprenticeships nationwide.
The Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that looks after training for the tiling industry is the Skills Organisation. It arranges apprenticeships nationwide.
There is no licensing for tilers.
Some roofing work has to be carried out by a licensed building practitioner. Roofers with the right qualifications or experience can apply to become licensed building practitioners through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Licensing may be approved once an assessor has reviewed the application, called referees about prior work history, and conducted a phone interview with the applicant.
MBIE Building and Housing: www.business.govt.nz/lbp
The number of students completing Level 4 certificates in the broader category Building has been stable around 1500 for the last few years. This means there is a steady flow of new tradespeople in most building trades.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
The average annual income is estimated to be $44,000. Apprentices and new employees in roofing and tiling are likely to enter the trade on the training wage or the minimum wage.
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index
Roofers and tilers’ employment
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Projected numbers are based on the broader category “Glaziers, Plasterers and Tilers”.
The number of roofers and tilers went down in the period 2006 to 2013. This was probably because of the general economic downturn during the early part of this period.
The demand for roofers and tilers has increased since 2010/2011 because of the rebuilding after the Canterbury earthquakes. Increased residential and commercial building activity in Auckland has also increased demand in the last few years.
We expect continued strong growth in employment over the next few years, as there is still strong building activity in Christchurch and Auckland. Going forward past 2020 the growth will continue, but a slower rate.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
|Overseas||In further study||Receiving a benefit||In employment||Median Salary|
Source: Ministry of Education.
*Two years after completion of L4 Certificate - Building
‘Overseas’ refers to the percentage of ALL graduates completing this qualification. Other indicators refer only to graduates living in New Zealand.
Two years after completing a Level 4 Certificate in Building, 72% of graduates were employed and 17% were in further study. The median annual salary was $34,500.
Roofers, plasterers and tilers are all on Immigration New Zealand's Canterbury skill shortage list. If a job appears on the list, it means the government is actively encouraging skilled people in the role to come and work in Canterbury. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
Since 2010 the number of online job vacancies has increased much quicker for roof tilers than the average for all occupations. This is because of the Christchurch rebuilding and subsequent rise in construction activity in Auckland. The trend for tilers is similar.
Jobs advertised chart
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Painter and floor finisher vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites.
Roofers and tilers can go on to become supervisors or foremen for other tradespeople. Some also establish their own businesses.
BCITO has information on the career opportunities of someone starting out in tiling, and the Skills Organisation has more information on working as a roofer.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require different qualifications and skills than roofers and tilers.
More information on carpenters and joiners is available on the Careers New Zealand website and through the "Just the Job" videos.
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of roofers and tilers has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:
333 – Glaziers, Plasterers and Tilers