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Following construction plans and specifications, learn how to prepare and apply protective coverings to flat and sloped roof surfaces.

Roofers will work on flat roofs (primarily commercial and industrial buildings) and sloped residential roofs.

For flat roofs, you will use a variety of substances and systems, which include conventional roof systems (hot-applied asphalt), elastomeric roof membrane systems (rubber-like properties), thermoplastic roof membrane systems and modified bitumen roof membrane systems (asphalt and plastic).

You'll work with shingles made of asphalt or fibreglass, concrete, clay, rubber, slate, wood shakes or metal for sloped residential roofs. You'll apply membranes, fibreglass, or felt over parts of the surface before applying shingles, nail shingles in overlapping rows, cement or nail flashing over the joints around vent pipes or chimney and cover exposed nail heads with cement to prevent rust and water leakage.

As a roofer, you may also inspect problem roofs to determine the best procedures for repairing them, estimate materials required and quote costs, repair older roofs, waterproof roofs, basements, foundations, plaza decks or parkades, install green/vegetated roof components and incorporate new future roofing technology such as conventional and non-conventional solar roofing.

Roofers are skilled tradespeople who like collaborating with others, being physically active and working at heights.

This line of work is most fulfilling for those who enjoy working with their hands, working outdoors and with a variety of customers.

To thrive in this career, it is important to have the following traits:

  • enjoy physically demanding work
  • possess good customer service skills
  • have good eye-hand coordination, strength, and stamina to carry heavy materials
  • be comfortable working at heights and sure-footed
  • be enthusiastic about working outdoors
  • ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • a commitment to safe working conditions

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and apprenticeship education periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

This is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada

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Careers and opportunities

Apprenticeship training

The term of apprenticeship for a roofer is four years (four 12-month periods), including:

  • a minimum of 1420 hours of on-the-job training and six weeks of classroom instruction in the first three years
  • a minimum of 1600 hours of on-the-job training in the fourth year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You will start by learning about workplace safety. You will then learn low-slope roofing, steep slope roofing, as well as basic math, blueprint reading and orthographic drawings.

Training length: 6 weeks

Year 2 | Period 2

You will learn slow slope roofing, roofing failure, re-roofing, steep slope roofing, intermediate trade bath and blueprints.

Training length: 6 weeks

Year 3 | Period 3

You will learn steep slope roofing, metal flashing, alternate systems, trade science, equipment maintenance, material calculations and roofing standards.

Training length: 6 weeks

Apprenticeship education performance

To succeed in apprenticeship education, you must pass each section of the course and the AIT exam.

The passing grade for each section in a course is 65%. A passing mark on each provincial exam and the interprovincial qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

View Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures


Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

Admission requirements

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements

There are no minimum requirements for the roofer trade.

Recommended requirements

Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.


Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

How to register

Available intakes


2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023.

Domestic students

Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 6 $792 $301 $1,093
2 6 $792 $301 $1,093
3 6 $792 $301 $1,093
Total cost:

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the Bookstore.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

A man crosses his arms over planks of wood and smiles at the camera.

Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Financial aid

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.


Have more questions?

Technical training at SAIT

School of Construction


Apprenticeship training and registration

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services