Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in buildings.
What they do
Glaziers typically do the following:
- Follow blueprints and specifications
- Remove any existing glass before installing replacement glass
- Cut glass to the specified size and shape
- Use measuring tape, plumb lines, and levels to ensure proper fitting
- Make or install sashes and moldings for installing glass
- Fasten glass into sashes or frames with clips, moldings, or other types of fasteners
- Add weather seal or putty around pane edges to seal joints
Glaziers specialize in installing different glass products, such as insulated glass that retains warm or cool air and tempered glass that is less prone to breaking.
In homes, glaziers install or replace glass items including windows, mirrors, shower doors, and bathtub enclosures. On commercial projects, glaziers install items such as room dividers, display cases, and security windows. For either residential or commercial exterior projects, glaziers may install items such as architectural glass systems (glass used for exterior walls or other building material) or storefront windows in businesses.
For most large construction projects, glass is precut and mounted into frames at a factory or 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. If 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.
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.
How to become a Glazier
Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Glaziers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation.
Glaziers typically learn their trade through a 3- or 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, 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 having a combination of education and work experience.
Glaziers may choose to get optional certification, such the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT), to demonstrate competency and to broaden employment opportunities.
The median annual wage for glaziers was $44,630 in May 2019. 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 $27,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,780.
Employment of glaziers is projected to 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
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.
Similar Job Titles
Automobile Glass Technician, Commercial Glazier, Foreman, Glass Installer, Glass Technician, Glazer, Glazier, Glazing Superintendent, Journeyman Glazier, Master Glazier
Terrazzo Workers and Finishers, Insulation Workers-Mechanical, Paperhangers, Helpers-Carpenters, Fence Erectors
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
Magazines and Publications
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.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOne Stop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org