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What is a Glazier? Job Description, Salary and Requirements

February 4, 2020

Working as a tradesman is an exciting career path that can give you a high level of job satisfaction. This job is ideal for those who enjoy working with their hands while also helping others. One type of tradesman that many people may not know about is a glazier. If you are interested in working with glass, this may be a good career for you. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about glaziers, including what they do, their average salary and how you can become one yourself.

What is a glazier?

A glazier is a tradesman who works with glass and glass substitutes. Tasked with cutting, installing and removing glass of all kinds, glaziers install glass into things such as windows, doors, displays, storefronts and skylights, among other things. They may also be required to install sashes or moldings for installations and secure them with a variety of fasteners. Those who enjoy being creative while working with their hands may also gravitate toward this career path.

To become a glazier, you must be very physically fit. Glaziers are required to do heavy lifting and must often work outdoors. They must also be courageous and confident, as they are often required to complete jobs several stories in the air, and they regularly use ladders and scaffolds to complete work. This requires the ability to stand, sit, kneel and squat for prolonged periods.

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The average salary of a glazier

The average salary for a glazier is $19.61 per hour. However, typical salaries range from $7.25 to $44.60 per hour. Additionally, since glaziers are in high demand, they often earn $6,750 annually in overtime pay. Glaziers tend to make more money once they have taken the time to perfect their craft. This can be reinforced by becoming an overall expert or by focusing on becoming a specialist in certain aspects of the field. The typical tenure for a glazier is between one and three years.

What does a glazier do?

If you are interested in becoming a glazier, the following is a list of their most common daily responsibilities:

  • Consulting with customers: Before they can begin any job, glaziers must take the time to meet with each customer to understand their needs. From there, they can give the customer their options and make a plan to rectify any necessary issues.
  • Removing glass: Glaziers are responsible for cutting and removing any existing glass before installing new glass.
  • Selecting materials: Since every job is different, glaziers must decide which materials work best to complete each job.
  • Replacing glass: Glaziers are responsible for cutting, fitting, installing and repairing glass and glass substitutes into a variety of fixtures and locations.
  • Installing metal and other frameworks: Glaziers may be required to install pre-assembled metal or wood frameworks for doors and windows before they can install the glass.
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints: Glaziers need to be able to read and interpret blueprints to determine the most appropriate size, shape, color and thickness of the glass or glass substitutes.
  • Traveling: Unless they are working as a member of a team, glaziers are often responsible for transporting themselves as well as all necessary materials for each job site.
  • Securing glass: Glaziers are responsible for lifting and securing glass and glass substitutes using blots, screws, putty and cement.

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Common traits of a glazier

While every glazier is different, here are some of the most common traits a glazier may have:

  • Stamina: Since being a glazier can be a physically-demanding job, those who take on this role must have a high level of stamina. Not only should they be able to stand, kneel and sit for long periods, they must also be able to hold heavy pieces of glass until they have been fully installed.
  • Balance: Since they are required to work on ladders and scaffolds, glaziers must possess a good level of balance to avoid falls and injuries.
  • Hand-eye coordination: Since many of the glass pieces must be cut by hand, a glazier should have great hand-eye coordination.
  • Reading comprehension: Glaziers must have good reading comprehension to read material such as regulations and contracts.
  • Critical thinking: To be able to figure out the best plan of action for each client, glaziers must possess critical thinking skills.
  • Written, verbal and interpersonal communication: Given the vast array of clients they come into contact with, glaziers should have excellent communication skills.
  • Dependable: Considering the urgent nature of the issues that may arise in this field, glaziers must be very dependable.

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How to become a glazier

A glazier is a rewarding position for someone who enjoys using a combination of mental and physical skills. Those who take pride in working with their hands and offering superior craftsmanship can excel in this field as well. If you want to become a glazier, you can do so by completing the following steps:

1. Earn a diploma or GED

To begin your journey as a glazier, you must first obtain your high school diploma or a GED. While a college degree is not required, obtaining one can make it easier to be accepted into various programs and will also help your resume stand out among other entry-level glaziers.

2. Complete an apprenticeship

One of the most important steps to becoming a glazier is completing an apprenticeship. This allows you to get practical experience by working with existing experts in the field. Offered by unions, contractors and technical schools, these programs take approximately four years and help prepare apprentices to become professional glaziers. Additionally, they also complete 2,000 hours of paid training annually.

3. Get licensed or certified

One last step you can take to become a glazier is to get licensed. While acquiring a license is typically not required, doing so can help you get higher-paying and better quality jobs. However, if you live in either Florida or Connecticut, obtaining a license is mandatory.

Another option is to get certified. Certifications are made available through various professional organizations, and they provide apprentices with the necessary credentials to secure entry-level positions.