What They Do: Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in storefronts and buildings.
Work Environment: As in many other construction trades, the work of glaziers is physically demanding. They may experience cuts from tools and glass, falls from ladders and scaffolding, and exposure to solvents. Most work full time.
How to Become One: Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Salary: The median annual wage for glaziers is $47,180.
Job Outlook: Employment of glaziers is projected to grow 5 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of glaziers with similar occupations.
Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in storefronts and buildings.
Glaziers typically do the following:
Glass has many uses in everyday life. For example, insulated and specially treated glass keeps in warm or cool air and controls sound and condensation. Tempered and laminated glass makes doors and windows more secure by making them less prone to breaking. Glaziers specialize in installing these different glass products.
In homes, glaziers install or replace windows, mirrors, shower doors, and bathtub enclosures. They fit glass for tabletops and display cases. On commercial interior projects, glaziers install items such as room dividers and security windows. Glazing projects may also involve exterior work such as replacing storefront windows for supermarkets, auto dealerships, banks, and other establishments.
For most large-scale construction jobs, glass is precut and mounted into frames at a factory or a contractor's shop. The finished glass arrives at the jobsite ready for glaziers to position and secure into place. Using cranes or hoists with suction cups, workers lift large, heavy pieces of glass for installation. In cases where the glass is not secure inside the frame, glaziers may attach steel and aluminum sashes or frames to the building, and then secure the glass with clips, moldings, or other types of fasteners.
Many windows are now being covered with laminates—a thin film or coating placed over the glass. These coatings provide additional durability, security, and can add color or tint to interior and exterior glass. The laminate also provides safety benefits by making glass less prone to shattering, which makes it ideal for commercial use.
Workers who replace and repair glass in motor vehicles are covered in the automotive body and glass repairers profile.
Glaziers hold about 53,600 jobs. The largest employers of glaziers are as follows:
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||69%|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||14%|
|Building finishing contractors||4%|
As in many other construction trades, the work of glaziers is physically demanding. Glaziers spend most of the day standing, bending, or reaching, and they often must lift and maneuver heavy, cumbersome materials, such as large glass plates. Glaziers are often exposed to the weather while installing glass. They may be required to travel to different jobsites for commercial or residential work.
The work of glaziers can be dangerous, and workers risk injury. Injuries may include cuts from tools and glass, falls from ladders and scaffolding, and exposure to solvents. To minimize their risk of harm, workers may wear protective gear, such as safety glasses, harnesses, and gloves.
Most glaziers work full time.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Glaziers near you!
Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Glaziers typically learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship or on-the-job training. On the job, they learn to use the tools and equipment of the trade; handle, measure, cut, and install glass and metal framing; cut and fit moldings; and install and balance glass doors. Technical training includes learning different installation techniques, as well as basic mathematics, blueprint reading and sketching, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.
A few groups sponsor apprenticeship programs, including several union and contractor associations. Most programs require apprentices to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old. After completing an apprenticeship program, glaziers are considered to be journey workers who may do tasks on their own.
Some states may require glaziers to have a license; check with your state for more information. Licensure requirements typically include passing a test and possessing a combination of education and work experience.
Balance. Glaziers need a good sense of balance while handling large panes of glass or while working on ladders or scaffolds.
Communication. Glaziers need to be able to communicate effectively with other team members and with customers to ensure the work is done precisely and on time.
Hand–eye coordination. Glaziers must be able to cut glass precisely. As a result, a steady hand is needed to cut the correct size and shape in the field.
Physical stamina. Glaziers work on their feet and move heavy pieces of glass most of the day. They need to be able to hold glass in place until it can be fully secured.
Physical strength. Glaziers must often lift heavy pieces of glass for hanging. Physical strength, therefore, is important for the occupation.
The median annual wage for glaziers is $47,180. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,340.
The median annual wages for glaziers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||$47,750|
|Building finishing contractors||$46,660|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||$45,400|
Pay for apprentices is less than what fully trained glaziers make. Apprentices receive more pay as they gain experience. Glaziers who work at heights may be eligible for hazard pay.
Most glaziers work full time.
Employment of glaziers is projected to grow 5 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.
Despite limited employment growth, about 6,000 openings for glaziers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Demand for glaziers stems both from new construction and from the need to repair and replace windows and other glass in existing buildings. The availability of prefabricated windows that carpenters and construction laborers can install is expected to moderate the employment growth of glaziers.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2020||Projected Employment, 2030||Change, 2020-30|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.