How to Become a

Cigar Roller

The complete career guide to be a Cigar Roller: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $31,690
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Skill-Based Work
    Career Attribute

Cigar rolling is a skilled vocation in which you individually hand roll cigars, by wrapping tobacco leaves around bunches. There are different sizes of cigars, therefore a cigar roller has to be meticulous about measuring and cutting each one to perfection.

Recommended Schools

What is a Cigar Roller?


Cigar rolling is a difficult process that requires true expertise and patience. Below are some of the responsibilities of this profession:

  • Carefully selects, shapes and cuts tobacco leaf wrapper into specific shapes with a knife and template.
  • Packs filler evenly into tobacco leaves by rolling them together, for the cigar to have a smooth burn.
  • Secures the end of the tobacco wrapper with glue, and trims any irregularities in the cigar to specified length, using a rounded knife (chaveta) and cigar cutter.
  • Assesses finished cigars for consistent measurements such as weight, size, draw, diameter and other imperfections.

Day In The Life

Cigar rollers have a busy schedule on a day-to-day basis. Every roller starts the day with instructions on how much leaf to press into each cigar they are making. Based on the factory, you would make a cigar from start to finish – making up to 100 or 150 cigars per day. You might also be teamed up with two ‘bunchers’ (i.e. workers creating filler/binder) would would place the wrapper on the cigar in order to maximise production.

At each step, you will meticulously check the tobacco bunch that is placed with your hands, for uniformity and any hard or loose parts. If a cigar is not consistent, it is your job to reject it from the final stage. Once you are almost done, you place a cap on the head or smoking side of the cigar. This cap would be a piece of tobacco from the wrapper leaf before rolling. After you finish a cigar, you would place it on the top of your rolling desk for inspection from the supervisor. Typically, bunches of 50 cigars are weighed together and if there is any variation, all units are returned to the cigar roller for redoing.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

Your work schedule can vary depending on the type of company or business you are working for. Typically, cigar rollers work 6 days a week and have 1 full month off per year for vacation time. Hours are flexible and workers often have assigned shifts. There are certain cigar rolling boutiques that require cigar rollers to travel for work to events at different locations.

Growth Of The Job

There are promising opportunities as a cigar roller today, with renewed interest in collecting authentic and well-rolled cigars. While some aspects of the work have become automated due to advanced technology, a cigar that is rolled by hand is the best possible quality. There are also many positions in niche areas such as cigar rolling companies that provide personal or corporate event services, and workshops on the specifics of hand rolling cigars.

Typical Employers

Typical employers typically include cigar manufacturing companies and private businesses that offer cigar rolling services. There has been a recent boom in high-end companies (i.e. Cigar Aficionado) entering the market for cigar rolling expertise. Specialised and creative businesses are also on the rise, such as Cigar Dolls is a cigar rolling service that hires only women and covers different kinds of events for entertainment purposes.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Cigar Roller

Learning how to become a cigar roller is tough, as there are very few formal institutions that offer such training. Most people in the business, have learned from their family members over generations or trained as an apprentice with a more experienced professional. You can hold a minimum of a high school diploma to enter this profession.

Choosing where to learn should be based on the level of skill you want to attain. If you are looking to enter the profession full-time, go for intensive courses such as those offered by Bobalu Cigar Company or Ybor City’s International Bazaar. Courses can last upto 12 weeks.  Training should cover the types of tobacco available in the market, the different flavours produced, how to use them to develop unique blends that stand out and box presentation.

Approaching a master hand roller for one-on-one tutorials is also an alternative way to gain the expertise you are looking for. Employers value exposure to cigar rolling and a few years of experience. Experience regarding different cigar rolling equipment such as cigar molds, cutting boards, chavetas (cigar cutting “knife”), glue, cigar presses, and all other related equipment, will also give you a competitive edge.

Cigar Roller Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Cigar Roller salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Cigar Roller's can make an average annual salary of $31,690, or $15 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $23,610 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #674 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Cigar Rollers

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 3.2%   Masters
  • 10%   Bachelors
  • 4.4%   Associates
  • 20%   College
  • 31.6%   High School
  • 30.4%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Cigar Roller job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -2,500 jobs for a total of 38,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #715 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Cigar Rollers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Cement and concrete product manufacturing 11,800 -300 0%
Self-employed workers 6,700 -800 -1%
Glass and glass product manufacturing 3,400 -800 -1%

Want To Be a Cigar Roller? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →