Window installers work in the building and construction industry, and their primary task is to place windows in residential and commercial buildings. If you possess an aptitude for practical work and prefer jobs that require little formal training, you can become a competent window installer.
1. What Do Window Installers Do?
The specific tasks of window installers include:
- Taking measurements and using specialized tools to cut glass into various shapes and sizes
- Making patterns on the glass in line with the client’s preferences
- Reading and interpreting building blueprints to determine the size and number of windows to be installed on the structure being built or repaired
- Assembling metal or wood frames and fitting them into the structure, and carefully fitting glass into these frames and securing them in position with cement or other materials
- Polishing glass and smoothing the edges
- Clearing the worksite
- Estimating the costs involved in installing windows and informing the property owners.
2. Work Environment
Usually, window installers work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They can also be called in to perform emergency repairs during the weekend.
They spend most of their time on the worksite installing windows, and part of it in their workshops cutting glass or making custom window designs.
Like most jobs in the building and construction industry, window installing is physically demanding and potentially dangerous. You will often work at heights on scaffolding or ladders. To prevent injuries, you have to wear safety glasses, earmuffs and other pieces of protective clothing.
According to PayScale, window installers earn between $20,654 and $70,316 annually.
4. Entry Requirements
You don’t need any formal training to get hired as a window installer. Large companies that offer window installing services offer apprenticeship programs which can get you started. As an apprentice, you will learn window installation skills and techniques from experienced installers for between two to five years. Thereafter, you can take on tasks independently.
If, however, you wish to get some formal training and enhance your chances of landing a job in large commercial construction settings, be sure to pursue an associate degree in building construction technology. The program which provides training in topics such as blueprint reading and estimating, carpentry framing and finishing, and construction safety is offered in several colleges across the country, including:
5. Important Qualities
Which skills and abilities do you need to be a competent window installer? Find out below:
- Excellent practical skills
- Strong technical skills to use hand power tools such as drills
- Physical stamina
- Basic blueprint reading skills
- Good eye-hand coordination
- Good math skills for measuring
- A good level of creativity to design eye-catching windows
- Workmanships (Good teamwork skills)
- Good problem-solving skills
- Good customer service skills
- An awareness of trends in current window designs.
6. Career Advancement
Once you start practicing as a window installer, focus on gaining vast work experience. In practical jobs like this, it is more efficient to hone your skills on the job.
When you feel ready to pursue more credentials, you can obtain the Certified Window Installer certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) or from the American Window and Door Institute (AWDI).
AAMA also offers membership opportunities which you can grab to gain access to other professional development resources such as industry publications.
If you are ambitious enough, pursue a bachelor’s degree in building technology or construction science.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of window installers include:
- Window installation companies
- Architectural companies
- Residential and commercial construction companies
- Manufacturers and sellers of window materials and equipment
With experience and a professional certification, you can be hired as a supervisor – a position that involves supervising other installers at a project site. If you possess strong business skills, you can set up your own window installation company.
A bachelor’s degree in building technology or construction will lead to better-paying jobs in the building and construction industry, such as construction manager.
Generally, the building and construction industry in the US is home to thousands of new jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 156,000 job openings for construction workers in February 2015 alone. Certainly, a good number of these positions went to window installers.
So, if you have a knack for construction, this is a job that could suit you.