CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 28, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Become a Glazier

Do you like working with your hands? Would you rather head out to a different project every day rather than sit in an office? If so, perhaps a career as a glazier would suit you.

 

What do glaziers do?

Glaziers install glass in windows, doors, sunrooms, etc. Tasks may include:

 

  • Meeting with customers to determine their needs
  • Explaining the different glass options and helping customers choose the one that’s best for their needs
  • Removing any broken glass or leftover putty from existing frames
  • Fitting the glass to the frame, which may include doing custom cutting
  • Finishing the installation by making the glass secure and watertight

 

Where and when do glaziers work?

  • Most glaziers work a 40-hour week. This may include regular night and weekend shifts as well as responding to customer emergencies.
  • Most of the time, glaziers work onsite at the customer’s home or business.
  • Some projects may include travel.
  • Some installations require working on ladders.
  • Some installations require working outside in rain or other unpleasant weather.

 

What do glaziers earn?

 

 

Low end

Mid-range

High end

UK

£13,000

£20,000

£23,000

U.S.

$24,170

$37,610

$69,120

 

The highest salaries are usually for skyscrapers and other commercial buildings.

 

What skills do glaziers need?

  • Good hands-on, practical skills
  • Strong hand-eye coordination
  • The ability to read and follow a plan
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to take accurate measurements
  • Math skills to make calculations for fitting
  • Good health and fitness (it can be a physically demanding job)
  • Strong sense of balance
  • The ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good customer service skills

 

What education and training are required?

There is no required educational background for glaziers, although most U.S. employers will expect you to have at least a high school diploma. However, advances in technology and the movement toward energy-efficient glass have made the job more complex than it used to be, and some employers will want additional education, especially in math and design.

  • In the U.S., most glaziers train through an apprenticeship program that requires 144 hours of technical coursework and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training for each year of the three-year program. Topics include:

o   Using tools and equipment

o   Handling glass

o   Measuring and cutting glass

o   Math and design

o   Reading blueprints

o   Installation techniques

In addition, the state of Connecticut requires glaziers to be licensed.

  • In the UK, you can either join a construction apprenticeship scheme or work as a glazier’s assistant. As you gain experience, your employer may be willing to offer you some training. You can then pursue a variety of industry qualifications:

o   Level 2/3 (NVQ) Certificate in Glazing

o   Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Fenestration Installation

o   Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Fire Resistant Glazing

o   Level 3 (NVQ) Certificate/Diploma in Fenestration Surveying

Additionally, many employers will want you to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. That assures them that you have basic skills and understand safety precautions.

What are the job prospects?

As you gain experience, you have a couple of options:

o   You could specialize in a certain types of glass or projects (new homes, conservatories, etc.).

o   You could move into a supervisory position and manage a crew of glaziers.

o   You could work as a sub-contractor owning your own business.

The industry expects to see higher-than-average growth over the next few years, thanks, in part, to companies and homeowners retrofitting their doors and windows for energy-efficient glass. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts growth of 17.2 % between now and 2020.

 

If you’re good with your hands, physically fit, and crave the excitement of doing something new each day, working as a glazier could be the perfect job for you.

 

photo credit: flickr via St. Jude’s Photos, 2014

 

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'


G up arrow
</script> </script>