Think working in roofing is hard work, try college.

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Henry Staggs, RRO 
Roof Consultants and Roofing Industry Advocate 
www.preferredroofconsultants.com 
(480) 265-1613 
December 8, 2020

The first objection generally to the idea of working in roofing is that it is hard work. Of course, it is hard work. Roofing work is not only hard work; it is also dangerous work. However, so is college and maybe even worse for some. Honestly, "It is hard work" has never been an excellent objection to anything as far as I am concerned. Anything worth doing is not going to be easy to do. Anything worth having and keeping will not be easy to get and keep. Our lives are one challenge after another.
 
College or roofing, either way, it is hard work. A college campus might not be a roof, but there are still many threats there. At least on the roof, we know where the dangers. Moreover, we can do something about those dangers.

 



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Both are hard work, nevertheless, in different ways. Working with your mind is exhausting. Writing these blogs wears me down after a while. However, it is better than physical labor. I am afraid I entirely must disagree with the idea that sitting at a desk is more comfortable than working on a roof after a day of research and writing. You can feel as tired as if you had worked an entire day on a roof. Either way, if you want to succeed, you will have to work at it.
 
Let us look at what you will learn in a construction program?

  • You will learn how to move around to save your body from injury
  • You will learn how to identify and protect yourself from hazards
  • You will be solving problems and working out puzzles from day one.
  • You will learn math and, more importantly, how-to math directly applies to your job.
  • You will learn how to work on a crew and be a great team member
  • You will learn how to become a leader.
  • You will start building strong relationships that will last your lifetime
  • And much more.

 
What will you learn in a typical college:

  • You will learn proper English
  • You will be exposed to ways that we communicate with each other
  • You will learn some history
  • You will learn some psychology
  • And of course, more math

 
Not to downplay the college experience, but all the stuff on the second list you will also learn in Construction and roofing. In practice, though, not just on paper and in a group exercise. But in real life, with real people, in real-life situations. You will learn to speak and communicate better because being able to communicate is part of the job. You will learn about psychology (the study of human behavior) because you are working with real people in various situations. That forces you to be able to read a person's mood. Maybe not the same as in a college, but nevertheless you will apply these skills the same. Maybe even better, since in Construction, you learn these things by practicing them in real life?
 
The cost of college is too much.
The money it cost to go to college or a university has always blown my mind. The amount of money most spend on college could have been used to go to a trade school, buy a new truck, and put money in the savings for a house. Instead, it goes to the school and into other people's pockets. While most of the students who enter college dropout, fail, or cannot find a job that pays well after they get it—all that with a DEBT that can follow you around for decades.
 
No college debt
Imagine you finish up your education and training and have a new job—all that without owning a dime to the school. You will not have to worry about making a student loan payment or having a collections company come after you years later, which happens far too often. One of the real benefits of working in the construction field is the low cost to enter. All you have really is the cost of the trade school and some tools, perhaps.

 



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Wait! I do not want to work hard all my life.
You are working hard when you are young and raring to go. It does not mean that you must keep working that hard your entire life. Believe it or not, there are jobs in the roofing industry that don't require you to climb a ladder or be on the roof. You could do business development, or office administration, or maybe a sales representative. In this business, you could even become the contractor and run your own business. The wonderful thing about the roofing industry is that you are judged on your work and your word. People with little education and people with higher education have an equal shot at climbing to the top in the roofing industry.
 
I ain't smart enough for college.
Way too much emphasis is placed on a college or university degree. This is not to mock or insult those institutions; we need them. And they do have their place, but they are not for everyone, and our culture should reconsider what we call smart. Yes, a doctor who can cure you is a smart person. However, the roofer who can do detailed work that never fails is also a smart person. Intelligence comes in different ways. Personally, I think learning to build something with your own hands takes a great deal of intelligence. Being an intelligent person is so much more than memorizing facts in a book.
 
Oh yeah, and by going into the trades, you do not have the college debt that haunts most people for decades.
 
What jobs are there in roofing

  • Laborer
  • Installer
  • Foreman
  • Superintendent
  • Project Manager
  • General Manager
  • Accounts Manager (sales and estimating)
  • Estimator
  • Office administration
  • Business Development
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CEO
  • Owner

 
As you see, there are many jobs in the roofing industry that you can do. It is possible that you could succeed in the roofing and never installed a lick of material. Or you can get out there with your hands and cut and nail to your heart's content.

 



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What? You do not want to work for a contractor.
That's ok too. The construction industry is not just a bunch of contractors. There are many other opportunities in the industry.

  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Independent Representative
  • Manufacture Technician
  • Warehouse
  • Delivery drivers
  • Consultant, and more.

 
Summary
The point I want to make here is that everything worth doing, everything good, takes work. It takes work to get it. It takes work to keep it. In both worlds, you can be whatever you choose to be and climb the ladder of success. The difference is that in the trades, you do it without heavy college debt and if you are honest and hard working. You can climb the ladder fast in roofing. And when you meet back up with your college friends in ten years. You will not be the one complaining about college debt.
 
Want to know more about getting into roofing? Call us. Helping people in the roofing industry is what we do. Or visit us at www.theschoolofroofing.com

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