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How Much Do Roofing Contractors Make

Updated on August 13, 2013

Some people want a job where people look up to them. They want to be someone who stands head and shoulders over everyone else. Well, there’s always roofing contractors. There's not only the height advantage to consider, there's also the opportunity to work out in the fresh air, get lots of exercise, and practice your sense of balance. But what about the financial rewards?

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Straight Up Statistics

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-earning roofers made between $46000 and $61000 in 2010. Naturally, this varies depending on states. Some roofers can make in excess of $200,000, while at the other end of the spectrum they end up earning under $35,000.

In addition, the BLS reports that a roofer’s median hourly wage was $16.45 an hour in 2010. The highest paid roofers worked for the Federal executive government (nice work if you can get it!).

Roofers in Hawaii earn the most money. So, if you could somehow swing a Federal executive government roofing job in Hawaii, then you’d truly have it made! If Hawaii is unavailable, then there are some choice consolation prizes in Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Illinois, which take second through fifth place respectively. Does it surprise you that most of those states have nasty winters, which in turn wreaks havoc on roofs? Nope? Didn’t think so.

Something to take away from the top five paying states is that roofing is a seasonal job in states that have significant winters. Once you remove Hawaii, the next four states are all states that have the potential for some nasty winters. So how is Hawaii explained? Probably because things in Hawaii tend to be so damned expensive to begin with. Most islands have higher costs of living as a rule.

Size And Experience Matters

It’s quite possible that there was never a more deserving “That’s what SHE said” heading than that. Still, it’s true. The more experienced roofers pull in the bigger bucks, which really should come as no surprise. Also, the size of the roofing company has to be taken into consideration. If it’s just a small operation, then the income is correspondingly less. Yet there’s something that can adversely affect the earning power of a larger company, and that’s…

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Overhead

What industry is more apropos for discussing overhead than roofers, who build and repair a structure that lies over head? OK, maybe that was a bad pun. Ok, so there’s no “maybe” there. Sorry. But to be serious, overhead costs can seriously impact a roofer’s earning power.

There are certain types of overhead that are practically inviolate; for instance, you need a physical location for your company, and vehicles for field employees. Therefore, paring down the overhead usually becomes an exercise in cutting staff. Besides the actual field workers, larger companies tend to have larger support staffs in order to keep everything running smoothly.

The thing to be careful of, though, is that if too many employees are cut, that limits earning power due to having to pass on jobs because the company is too small to handle the increased workload. A sense of balance is needed.

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