Ways for Commercial Contractors to Grow Their Career Through Continuing Professional Development

Author: Dan Stout
May 1, 2023

For workers new to commercial roofing, the avenues of advancement aren't always clear. The good news is that there's no shortage of continuing professional development choices for roofing contractors. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities in roofing are expected to grow over twice the national rate for the next 10 years. This means that today's roofers will be in demand over the coming years. In order to make the best of that opportunity, you can advance your career by learning new skills or moving into an expanded role.

A commercial roofer learning new skills—continuing professional development
Commercial roofers have many options to grow and develop their skills.

Specialty Roofing

Learning specialized skills is a classic route to career advancement. Government buildings, historic landmarks and houses of worship often call for specialists. Working on historical features such as spires or basilicas requires extensive knowledge of both trade craft and local regulations. The same is true for modern features like solar panels or rooftop gardens. Master the details of these niches by reading, talking to veteran roofers and getting hands-on experience. Before long, you'll be able to draw a higher paycheck for your expertise.

Project Management

One of the clearest paths for continuing professional development is moving from worker to project manager. Project management involves staying up to date with the latest in roofing technology, following any relevant changes to the International Building Code and learning how to communicate effectively with the client. Running a project brings its own set of headaches, but if you enjoy solving puzzles and seeing a project come together, it's a fantastic next step in your career.


No roofing company will last long without a dependable pipeline of new jobs. Not everyone in sales has field experience, but crews are especially grateful to salespeople who do. Every commercial roof is different, and an experienced eye goes a long way when assessing a project. For example, a long-term care facility might seem straightforward, until you consider that their commercial kitchen vents grease-filled air to the roof, which can be a massive problem for materials such as EPDM.

Salespeople who have spent time in the field have a deeper understanding of roofing details, and they tend to have fewer unanticipated issues with their projects.

Inspections, Maintenance and Customer Satisfaction

If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, roofing inspection and maintenance consultations offer a middle ground between jobsite work and paperwork.

Inspections and maintenance calls unfold best when they're truly collaborative: contractors and property owners or facility managers working together to keep a property protected from the elements. The result is a mix of hands-on work and customer service.

Professional Networking

These are only a few options for continuing professional development in your roofing career. To find the path that's right for you, consider reaching out and talking to industry veterans. In other words, network!

To some, networking sounds like an activity for bankers in suits. But it simply means treating people you work with well and making new friends. If you've ever cracked a joke with a vendor while picking up supplies, then you've been networking.

No matter what level of activity you desire, commercial roofing is a field large enough to find a job that's perfect for you. Let professional contacts know that you're eager to learn, and doors will start to open. Organizations like National Women in Roofing or the National Roofing Contractors Association are great resources, but one of the best ways to make connections and learn about career opportunities is to ask your local distributor or sales rep. They have their finger on the pulse of the local industry, and can help connect you with other experts.