Roofing is an in-demand trade in Australia that offers good wages and opportunities for skilled workers from overseas. But is it currently a desired trade for foreigners looking to get set up with a new life in Australia?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the burning questions that you may have, including whether or not roofers need to be licensed to work in Australia, how much the average rooftiler can earn, and how to get started with your application.
Want to learn more about this exciting trade down under? Read on and we’ll tell you all you need to know about making the transition…
Is roofing a desired trade for foreigners in Australia?
So, is roofing a desired trade for foreigners looking to live in Australia? Well, since it was added to the Australian ‘skilled occupation list’, we have seen a rise in interest in this field – and with good reason too. Not only does it open the way for experienced roof tilers from overseas, but the career itself has plenty of other benefits to offer as well:
- High demand: the Australian roofing industry generates over $ 3 billion annually (it was $ 4.2 billion in 2022) and constantly seeks new tradespeople to meet demand as infrastructure continues to expand.
- Skill shortages: there are not enough local Australian workers being trained to fill roofing jobs. As such, recruiting from overseas helps bridge the skill gap.
- Ageing workforce: many experienced roofers are retiring, leaving openings for young immigrants to fill – and this is not just unique to the roofing industry, but the construction industry as a whole.
- Essential service: roofing provides an essential service, maintaining and installing roofs on homes, buildings, factories etc. This is something that is needed in every community and is not likely to change any time soon.
- Immigration friendly: the Australian government actively recruits foreign roofers through skilled worker visa programs designed to address labour shortages while granting families the opportunity to start a new life in a new country filled with opportunities.
- Competitive pay: roofing provides above-average wages and incomes compared to many trades. Pay rates rise quickly with experience – particularly for those who may wish to start their own business in the future.
- Varied specialities: diverse roofing fields like tile, metal, asphalt, and solar panel installation provide specialisation options within the broader trade, thus allowing individuals to advance their careers in a multitude of ways.
As you can see, not only is the Australian government desperately seeking new, qualified roofers to make the move, but the industry itself is also very competitive.
Do roofers need to be licensed in Australia?
Now the question is, do roofers need to be licensed in Australia in order to legally work?
- State requirements: some states require roofers to obtain an occupational license to work legally, like in NSW, WA and QLD. Depending on where you would like to live, read up on the relevant rules and regulations before making any final decisions.
- Certifications useful: voluntary certifications through various organisations show credentials and skills. This can be helpful for career advancement – particularly if you are relatively new to the industry with limited experience.
- Business licences: roofers who run their own roofing company or contracting business require appropriate business licences and insurance.
How much does the average roof tiler earn in Australia?
More importantly, how much can the average roof tiler earn in Australia?
- The average annual salary for a roofer in Australia is between $80,000 and $90,000 AUD.
- A rough hourly rate of $25 to $40.
- The pay rates vary based on experience, skills and certifications.
- According to Australian Unions, members can earn up to 26% more than non-union members.
- Self-employed roof tilers can set their own rates but will invariably have higher expenses.
- There’s always an opportunity for overtime for those seeking extra earning potential.
- Busier periods like summers bring more work opportunities and thus higher earnings.
- Major cities like Sydney tend to offer the highest pay rates.
How to move to Australia as a Roof Tiler?
Now let’s talk about how you can move to Australia as a roof tiler and seek residency:
- Research visa options: look at skilled worker and state-sponsored visas to live/work in Australia long term.
- Have qualifications assessed: get overseas roofing qualifications/experience evaluated by TRA (Trade Recognition Australia) to ensure that you are sufficiently qualified for a visa.
- Improve English skills: meet minimum English level like IELTS 5 for immigration.
- Find a sponsoring employer: connect with an Australian roofing company willing to sponsor your visa.
- Apply for a visa: submit a visa application with all required documents through DHA. This process may take several months so get started as soon as possible.
- Obtain the necessary licences: if required in your desired state, apply for any necessary occupational or business licences after arriving.
- Continuing education: take courses to upgrade roofing skills/business knowledge for the Australian market. For example, you can book a working safely from heights course.
And that about sums it up! With some preparation and persistence, roofers can carve out an exciting new life for themselves and their families in Australia. The country’s continued infrastructure growth guarantees ongoing demand for this essential, highly-paid trade.
Whether you are an experienced roofer looking for a change of scenery, or you are considering following a new career path, the roofing industry in Australia is well worth your consideration.
We hope that you have found this article insightful and wish you the very best of luck with your Australian roofing adventures!