Here is the current wage scale:

  • Workers with no experience start at AP.5 (more on those with experience below). You move to the next pay level after you reach the hours listed.
  • Journeymen Roofers – which is what you become once you gain 4,500 hours of experience and typically takes 4-5 years – currently make $32.71 an hour (which is really +$50.00 when you add what the Employer contributes for health care and retirement).
  • Raises are negotiated for all workers by the Union every few years. They are currently set to go up $2.25 on 6/1/23 (then $2.10 and $2.20 in the following two years). The Membership votes on putting the pay into the wage, towards benefits, or some combination.

Fringe Benefits

  • Excellent family health care (after 500 hours – confirm eligibility & other details with Union)
    • The company pays 100% of the plan + a medical reimbursement plan for copays, prescriptions, etc.  – you contribute nothing
  • Retirement (a defined-benefit pension as well as an additional defined-contribution annuity). The company pays 100% – you contribute nothing


  • Depending on your related experience the Union may credit you hours. They will give you ±30 days on the roof to demonstrate what level you are at.
  • Requirement to attend 3 years of apprenticeship school:
    • These classes are 4.5 hours each, 2 nights a week for 12 weeks in late summer at the Union Hall
    • Additionally, there are two (2) forty-hour weeks in February
    • Class time is not paid


  • We work M-F and the very rare Saturday, and usually start between 6:30 & 7:30am depending on the time of year.
    • There can be shift work (15% wage increase; typically ±2:30p – 10p) for schools when they are still in session
    • There are Saturday “make-up” days when we lose weekdays to weather. These do not occur unless we have a very wet summer. Saturdays are voluntary and end up being OT
    • Sundays are voluntary and are double time (we very rarely work these)
  • Dedicated workers average 35-40 hours per week in the spring/summer/fall and ±1,400 hours per year.


  • Valid driver’s license
  • To enter you must pass:
    • A fit-for-duty physical
    • An 8-panel drug test (excludes marijuana)
  • Reliable transportation as you typically report directly to the jobsite:
    • We do the majority of our work in Erie & Niagara County but sometimes go as far as Batavia or Salamanca. You receive travel pay for each mile the jobsite is farther from Buffalo City Hall(at the IRS rate which adjusts ±annually; ±$.55/mile)

Work Environment

  • Weather – we need dry, non-significant winds, and minimally high 20° days to perform our work (unless it is emergency repairs or “rain”/ non-construction work)
  • Seasonality – we try to work as long into the winter and as early in the spring as we can. The season “shut down” typically happens somewhere in January through early March. During this time frame we may have a limited number of people working on emergencies or new construction projects. The majority of our workforce collects unemployment during these days (as well as weeks where enough days occur to qualify)
  • Crew sizes – our production crews average 8-10 individuals but can be as few as 4 and as many as 15. Service crews typically work 2 to a truck led by an experienced veteran journeyman and a helper.

Roofers Union

  • Unlike other Trades the Roofers are not a hiring hall where 5 guys are sitting for every 1 working; not a lot of job hopping and most folks end up working for 1 employer
    • If you’re in the hall usually means there’s a problem


  • Our work is usually weather dependent and will typically be canceled in rain/ snow/ extreme cold
  • The work is hard manual labor, dangerous, and dirty
    • There is a very good wage & benefits
  • This is a Career opportunity
    • < 20% of apprentices become Journeymen
  • What you need to be: hardworking, dependable, follow instructions
  • Not a popularity contest – guys want guys that are going to make them look good
    • Like being on the football team or the chess club – want guys that are going to support the team
    • We hear very quickly when an apprentice is making an impression
  • You have a clean slate: (most) nobody knows anything about you. This job is a new opportunity to be dependable & show up for work every day, follow directions, and work hard.

Sign Up

  • You can sign up online at the Union’s website here: https://www.rooferslocal74.com/apply
  • Initial orientation meetings at the union take place every few weeks in the spring and then sparingly through the summer (we will let you know when the next one is).
  • The orientation covers the specifics of the program and lasts about ±20 minutes.
  • Get there at least 30 minutes early to fill out the necessary paperwork as well as get a jump on your interview slot which is first come first serve.
    • The Department of Labor (DOL) requires all apprenticeship programs to establish a “Call to Hire List”. Your interview includes a handful of questions about your education, any military service, and work experience. Based on the answers you are given a score, and the score ranks the order in which new apprentices are put to work


  • A brief ±10-minute Union interview (t.b.d.)
  • ±1 week to complete their physical & drug test (the cost is covered by the Union)
  • If you do not have an OSHA 10-hr certification the Union will provide it free of charge
  • A ±3 hour orientation at our office
  • Authorized to start working ± end of April/ first part of May