Glaziers specialize in installing different glass products in skylights, windows, mirrors, and other areas where glass is needed. A few glaziers also work with marble, granite, plastics, and other materials that are used as glass substitutes. The job is physically demanding and most glaziers work on a full-time basis.
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How to Become a Glazier
Typically, a glazier enters an apprenticeship program that lasts about 4 years. For every year attending, the student must complete at least 144 hours of related technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Instruction includes the use of tools and equipment of the trade and learning installation techniques, safety practices, first aid, and blueprint reading. Some groups sponsor apprenticeship programs, including contractor and union associations.
The qualify to enter one of these apprenticeship programs, you must be 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or the equivalent, and be physically able to perform the job. Only two states require a license: Florida and Connecticut. These states require that applicants complete an apprenticeship, pass an exam, and have a combination of work experience and education.
Job Description of a Glazier
Glaziers have various tasks to perform on-the-job with different levels of difficulty. However, they typically follow the specifications for the job and reading relevant blueprints. They may need to remove old or broken glass or other materials before replacing the glass. He or she must properly cut glass to the specified shape and size.
Some glaziers may need to make or install moldings or sashes for the glass installation and secure them in with clips, moldings, or other fasteners. They install weather seals or putty around pane edges to seal joints. A glazier may install shower doors, table tops, security windows, storefront windows, or many other variety of glass installations.
Glazier Career Video Transcript
Installing a retail store display window or securing the glass panels of a skyscraper takes the craftsmanship of a glazier. Glaziers cut and install glass for a variety of structures, and ensure it is secured and weatherproof for all seasons. In homes, glaziers install or replace windows, mirrors and shower doors as well as fitting glass for tabletops and display cases. On commercial projects, glaziers install items such as decorative room dividers, security windows, or skylights, and replace storefront windows. On large-scale construction jobs, glass arrives on a project already cut and mounted into frames.
Glaziers position and secure the windows in place, with the help of construction workers using cranes or hoists to guide the pieces into place. The work is physically demanding. Glaziers spend most of the day standing, bending, or reaching, and often must lift and maneuver heavy, cumbersome materials. They have a higher than average rate of injuries and illnesses— typically from falls and overexertion. Most glaziers work full time, and the majority work for building contractors.
Some work for building material and supplies dealers. Glaziers typically train in a 4-year apprenticeship, after completing a high school education. Unions and contractor associations typically sponsor apprenticeship programs in this field. A few states require licensure.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Glaziers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 47-2121.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.