How To Become a Glass Blower (With Salary and Job Outlook)

Updated September 30, 2022

Glass blowing is a technique in which artisans use specialized tools and their own breath to form molten glass into intricate shapes. Glass blowing may be an appealing career for artistic individuals who want a job that allows them to express themselves creatively. If you're interested in a career as a glass blower, it can be beneficial to learn more about the position to better prepare yourself.

In this article, we discuss what a glass blower is and what they do, how to become a glass blower and the salary and career outlook expectations for a glass blower.

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What is a glass blower?

A glass blower is a professional who specializes in working with glass and forming it to create art or products for consumers. Glass blowers use a variety of techniques to prepare and shape their glass and create objects ranging from simple shapes, such as bowls, to complex sculptures. A glass blower may specialize in specific types of glass creation and pursue different professional opportunities, like being an artist, a freelance contractor or a full-time employee.

Related: What Is a Glass Blowing Apprenticeship? (With Steps To Take To Become a Glass Blower)

What does a glass blower do?

The responsibilities of a glass blower can vary based on the items they make and their working arrangement. Some of their duties may include:

  • Conceptualizing and planning glass creations to provide a working guide during the creation process

  • Creating sketches or other visual representations to serve as a reference or to show to a client or employer

  • Mixing components to prepare the correct consistency and color for all glass blowing projects

  • Heating glass components to molten temperatures to produce the pliability required for blowing

  • Blowing through a pipe into the molten components using a popping technique to form the glass

  • Turning the glass blowing pipe to allow gravity and the glass blowers' actions to shape the glass components

  • Manipulating the molten glass components using glass blowing tools to adjust the shape of glass products

  • Cooling blown glass safely to maintain structural integrity and reduce the potential for cracks or breaks

How to become a glass blower

If you're interested in a career as a glass blower, you can follow these steps:

1. Enroll in glass blowing classes

Find glass blowing classes near you and enroll in them to get experience and learn basic glass blowing techniques. Taking beginner courses can be an excellent way to get started at glass blowing and discover if you enjoy it and wish to pursue it professionally. Glass blowing schools may offer multiple levels of classes, allowing you to first learn the fundamentals from an experienced glass blower, then progress to more advanced techniques to broaden your capabilities for designing and executing glass blowing plans.

Related: Q&A: What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Art?

2. Practice your craft

You can develop your glass blowing skills by practicing a variety of styles and shapes. By diversifying the type of glass blowing projects you complete, you can increase the range of your skills and your options when designing and executing glass blowing projects. This can make you a more effective glass blower by broadening your potential and allowing you to make new creations that were previously outside of your education or skill level.

3. Apply to an apprenticeship

Consider doing an apprenticeship or taking an internship opportunity with an experienced glass blower. Serving as an apprentice to a more experienced glass blower allows you to observe them in action and learn from the techniques they use in their glass blowing. An apprentice may also assist in the glass blowing process. This allows you to practice under the supervision of a professional who can offer tips and corrections when needed as you refine your technique.

Related: 8 Apprenticeships That Pay (Plus Definition)

4. Develop your skills

Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a glass blower and work on improving areas in which you have room to do so. By diversifying your skill set and improving in areas you find challenging, you can increase the quality of the final products you produce. By expanding the number of skills have, you can increase your options when planning and executing a new glass project.

5. Choose a career path

Decide on your preferred method of working as a glass blower. Glass pieces can cover a range of functions, including functional glass pieces and purely artistic constructions. The different career paths available to a glass blower can also have significantly different methods of monetization. For example, a commercial glass blower may work for an employer and earn a paycheck, while an artistic glass blower may produce and sell works independently.

Related: How To Write an Artist Resume (With Steps, Template and Example)

Glass blower work environment

The work environment of a glass blower may vary based on the size and type of glass projects they create and their available budget. For instance, a glass blower may work in an art studio, using their own set of equipment or sharing tools and materials with other artists. Glass blowers may also work in a factory setting, using employer-provided equipment.

Glass blower average salary

Although Indeed doesn't currently have salary information for glass blowers, it has related salary information you can use to help guide your decision when choosing this career path. Current data shows an average salary of $36,874 per year for artisan professionals. It's important to note that artisan workers can experience a significant range of earning potential with both lower and higher income levels possible.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.

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Glass blower career outlook

Knowing the career outlook for glass blowers may help you decide if it's an appealing career choice for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently projects a 14% growth in jobs from 2020 to 2030 for craft and fine artists. This is significantly higher than the average projected growth across all industries over that same period and may show security for the industry, with consumers continuing to seek new art to enjoy.

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