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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 50,100 jobs. The largest employers of glaziers are as follows:
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||68%|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||12|
|Building finishing contractors||6|
As in many other construction trades, the work of glaziers is physically demanding. They 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 have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Typical injuries for glaziers include falls and overexertion.
Most glaziers work full time.
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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 $41,920. 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 $26,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $81,050.
The median annual wages for glaziers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Building finishing contractors||$48,360|
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||42,720|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||38,060|
The starting pay for apprentices is less than what fully trained glaziers make. They receive more pay as they learn to do more. Glaziers who work at heights may be eligible for hazard pay.
Most glaziers work full time.
Employment of glaziers is projected to grow 11 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.
Demand for glaziers stems both from new construction and 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.
Job opportunities should be good because of growth in the construction industries. Workers will also be needed to replace the glaziers who leave the occupation each year.
Like many other types of construction worker jobs, employment of glaziers is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, glaziers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2016||Projected Employment, 2026||Change, 2016-26|