Why Join the roofers Union?

As a member of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, you gain the strength of the voice of many—your brothers and sisters in the union. You have the protection of a contract and dignity on the job. In addition, you’ll find lots of benefits, including:

  • Wages & Healthcare
  • Retirement Security
  • Training
  • Brotherhood
  • Making a Difference

The men and women who make up the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers have a common goal: to work together to provide the highest quality craftsmanship in the industry, and unite to form a voice that calls for a better standard of living for all members.
Your unique stories and accomplishments can be shared with others in the community through our quarterly publication, The Journeyman Roofer & Waterproofer, as well as through social media outlets such as Facebook. You can also join the growing population of union hunting and fishing enthusiasts by participating in the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Wages and Healthcare

As a union member, you’ll earn higher wages than non-union workers. You earn while you learn the trade. Union Roofers and Waterproofers earn wages and fringe benefits that are negotiated on their behalf by the union through collective bargaining with roofing contractors.

Wages vary according to the geographic location of the local union. They may be as high as $42 per hour, but generally average around $38 per hour on the check. Fringe benefits can include health and welfare contributions that protect the Union Roofer and his or her family with medical coverage, pensions to help the Union Roofer plan for retirement, vacation funds, annuities, and other benefits.

In addition, members are often eligible for healthcare coverage, either under the national plan or through the local union’s own plan.


Members of the Roofers and Waterproofers Union enjoy the benefits of health and safety programs, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and cooperative labor-management research and education efforts.

Making a Difference

The union sponsors the Roofers Political Education and Legislative Fund and works in conjunction with many of our local unions across the country. Together, and with our members, we strive to bring changes to legislation that has positive impacts on working families

Retirement Security

The majority of our members take part in the National Roofing Industry Pension Fund or a local pension fund, which means you’ll have guaranteed payments for the rest of your life once you retire (after meeting eligibility requirements).

What Type of Work will you do?

Union Roofers and Waterproofers work on a variety of types of buildings, protecting those facilities against water intrusion and ultimate damage to the structure and its contents. Roofing in the commercial and industrial sector is generally of the built-up type or the single-ply category. In built-up roofing, layers or plies of felt are set in hot bitumen over insulation boards to form a waterproof membrane. An aggregate may be imbedded in a final bitumen coat to protect the membrane from ultraviolet radiation of the sun and other environmental hazards.

Single-ply roofing encompasses all of the newer plastic, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), rubber (EPDM) and other elasto-plastic type membranes that have their seams welded by solvent or hot air or glued with contact adhesive to form a monolithic waterproofing membrane. These systems may have a stone or rock or paver block ballast installed over them or they may be partially or totally adhered to the substrate. These systems are also installed over roof insulation boards.

A separate category of roofing is the modified bitumen system that may be applied with hot bitumen or torched-on with high intensity propane burners.

Another area of roofing is the residential type. Although these applications can also be done in the commercial and industrial sector as well. They include composition shingles, slate, tile and metal roofs.

Waterproofing is a specialty aspect of the roofing trade but is no less important than a roof in protecting a building against moisture intrusion. Waterproofing can be below grade, which is usually foundation work. It can also be done on plaza decks, parking garage floors and other sections of a building where water or moisture protection is crucial. Materials used in waterproofing are generally of the same type used in roofing, although there are many specialty application materials that may be specified for this type of work.

About the Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship programs sponsored jointly by labor and management on the local union level supply employers with the highly skilled workers who apply the quality roofing and waterproofing systems that keep America's buildings dry. Apprentices learn their craft by training on the job under proper supervision and by studying technical subjects related to the roofing trade at the training center/apprenticeship school.