A glazier cuts, fits, installs, removes, and repairs glass. The products he or she may work with include windows, mirrors, skylights, table tops, display cases and shower doors. Glaziers work in homes and commercial buildings, for example, retail stores, banks, and offices. They work on existing structures and on new construction. Workers who replace and repair auto glass are not included under this occupational title.
There were 42,000 glaziers employed in 2010. More than half worked for foundation, structure and building exterior contractors. Building material and supplies dealers employed a small number of them. A few (5%) were self-employed.
If you want to become a glazier you will have to enroll in a three-year apprenticeship program that will include 144 hours of technical training and 2000 hours of on-the-job training per year. Technical training will consist of instruction in glass installation techniques, basic math, blueprint reading and general construction techniques. You will also learn about safety practices and get first aid training. During your on-the-job training, you will be exposed to the actual work a glazier does. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, you will be deemed a journey worker who has the proper skills to work independently.
Apprentices must be at least 18-year-old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be physically able to do the work required by this occupation.
Unions and contractor associations often sponsor apprenticeship programs. Contact the local union that represents glaziers in your area or see the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades' Apprenticeship Directory for a list of training opportunities sponsored by that organization.
Once you are done with your apprenticeship, you can get to work. Most states do not license glaziers. Connecticut is one exception. It is always wise to check with the state in which you want to work in case the requirements have changed. The Licensed Occupation Tool from careeronestop can help you find out if a particular occupation requires a license in your state.
As is the case with all occupations, there are certain characteristics one needs to have in order to succeed in this field. These qualities cannot be attained through formal training. Glaziers, like others working in construction, must be physically strong and have good hand-eye coordination. In addition, they must have good balance as they are often required to stand on ladders and scaffolding.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow much faster, through 2020, than the average for all occupations. It will, as a matter of fact, be one of the fastest growing of all occupations that require a high school diploma.
Glaziers earned a median annual salary of $37,350 in 2011. Their median hourly salary was $17.96.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a glazier currently earns in your city.
A Day in a Glazier's Life:
On a typical day a glazier's tasks might include:
- choosing glass based on size, color, type and thickness specified in blueprints
- removing old glass before installing replacement
- cutting glass to specified size and shape
- fabricating and installing moldings and sashes
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Glazier.
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Glazier.