Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

Occupation Outlook | Main MBIE Site

Roofers and Tilers

Job Prospects

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. Other regions still have many opportunities.

How to become a roofer or tiler

What they do

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.

Their tasks may include:

  • studying drawings, specifications and work sites to determine materials required
  • erecting ladders and scaffolds
  • placing and securing waterproof sheets over eaves
  • nailing and stapling roofing underlay to roofs
  • aligning starter rows of roofing material with edges of roofs, securing with wire, staples and nails, and overlapping successive layers of tiles
  • sizing and cutting roofing material to fit around vents, chimney edges, corners and ridges
  • fixing edge and ridge tiles in cement mortar
  • slipping roofing material under pre-fabricated flashing and nailing it down
  • caulking and flashing exposed nail heads to prevent leaks.


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.


Cost of study

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

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. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free for their first two yeears of apprenticeship, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.

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.

Tenancy Services: 

Where to study

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 Skills Organisation. It arranges apprenticeships nationwide.

The Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that looks after training for the tiling industry is the Building and Construction ITO (BCITO). It arranges apprenticeships nationwide.

The Skills Organisation:


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:

Completed qualifications

The number of students completing Level 4 certificates in the broader category Building has been stable around 1400 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

Source: Tertiary Education Commission *Three years after completion of L4 Certificate – Building.

Three years after completing a Level 4 Certificate in Building, 58% of graduates were employed and 10% were overseas. The median annual salary at that point was around $45,000.

Income and employment prospects


The average annual income is estimated to be $49,300. 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

Employment and skill shortages

Roofers and tilers’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
2,739 2,436 3,120 3,490
  -1.7% 4.2% 1.9%

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 2013. Increased residential and commercial building activity in Auckland has increased demand in the last few years.

We project continued strong growth in employment over the next few years, as there is still strong building activity in Christchurch and Auckland. Beyond 2023, the growth will continue, but a slower rate.

Employment chart


Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Outcomes after qualification completion*

OverseasIn further studyReceiving a benefitIn employmentMedian Salary
10% 23% 2% 77% $53,000


Source: Tertiary Education Commission *Three years after completion of L4 Certificate – Building.

Three years after completing a Level 4 Certificate in Building, 77% of graduates were employed and 10% were overseas. The median annual salary at that point was around $53,000.

Roofers, plasterers and tilers are all on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists, but not in all regions. If a job appears on the list, it means the government is actively encouraging skilled people in the role to come and work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

Since 2013 the number of online job vacancies has increased much more quickly for roof tilers than the average for all occupations. This is because of the construction activity in Auckland and other regions. 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.

Trade Me Jobs: 

Career path

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.

BCITO, tiling: 
The Skills Organisation, roofing:

Related Occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require different qualifications and skills than roofers and tilers.

  • Builder's Labourer
  • Carpenter
  • Drainlayer
  • Floor and Wall Tiler
  • Floor Finisher
  • Gasfitter
  • Glazier
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber

Other information


More information on carpenters and joiners is available on the Careers New Zealand website and through the "Just the Job" videos.

Careers New Zealand:
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Floor and Wall Tiling
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Roofing
Just the Job video clip: A Career in Roofing


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