If it fascinates you to work with glass and if you possess excellent practical skills, an off-beat career choice that you may consider is to become a glassmaker.
Glassmakers are people employed in manufacturing or craft sector so as to produce a range of products such as scientific equipment, doors and windows to be used for construction, windscreens for motor industry, etc.
As a glassmaker, you may be either involved in industrial glassmaking or craft making. Your primary job is to produce a wide variety of objects such as:
- Flat glass – For windows and doors for buildings
- Containers – For bottles, jars and tableware
- Scientific and laboratory equipment
- Automotive glass – For vehicle windows and sunroofs
- Glass fiber – For insulation and optical cables
- Crystal ware – For wine glasses and gifts
Your job demands you to perform various tasks such as:
- Designing of glasses
- Heating the ingredients to very high temperatures
- Shaping the mixture
- To use different additives to make different types of glass
- To apply various decorative techniques
- Selling your products
Your working hours are usually 39 hours, Monday to Friday. If you are self-employed, you have the freedom to decide your own working hours.
You usually work in a factory, studio or workshop. You are expected to wear goggles and protective clothing as a part of your job.
In this profession, salaries may vary depending upon the type of employment.
Around £14,000 a year
£18,000 to £22,000 a year
£22,000 to £35,000 a year
If you wish to enter into glassmaking, it is advantageous to possess qualifications in science, design and technology, or art.
You may also enter into this profession through a Glass Industry Apprenticeships Scheme.
To work as a craft glassmaker, you may enroll yourself into a foundation degree, HND or degree in following subjects:
- Glass and ceramics
- Applied arts
- Design crafts
- Decorative arts
You usually need a portfolio of work for admissions and there may be other requirements as well.
In this you are usually trained on-the-job by your employer. If you are employed in manufacturing sector, you may work your way up towards various industry qualifications such as:
- Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Flat Glass Manufacture
- Level 2/3 (NVQ) Diploma in Glass Processing
- Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Glass Related Operations
- Level 3 Diploma in Glass Manufacturing
If you want to train yourself for supervisory or management roles, you may work towards the Level 4 Diploma in Occupational Leadership in a Glass or Glass Related Working Environment.
You may consider becoming a member of the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers to access resources and technical information.
Skills and Interests Needed
To become a glassmaker, it is vital that you possess:
- Team working skills
- Health and safety awareness
- Patience and calmness
- Be able to pay close attention to detail
- Excellent creativity
- Good practical skills
- Technical know-how
- Artistic skills
As a glassmaker, you may find employment in factories, workshops, glass studios and may be at some hospitals and universities.
After gaining significant experience, you may get progression to supervisory or management roles. You may also choose to become self-employed in the future.
Lastly, this career choice may only be suitable to individuals who have a creative bent of mind otherwise it may prove to be a mundane job.
Image source: http://rapidfreak15.files.wordpress.com/