Individuals who are involved in glazing duties, are very skilled and adequately trained in their profession. Glaziers’ are mainly responsible for measuring, cutting, and installing of glass for both residential and commercial buildings alike. They are usually involved in several different projects through-out the day, and thus require knowledge of a variety of specialized glass types.
Glazier Job Responsibilities
Residential glazing work usually involves installation of various types of glass or mirrors for both exterior and interior structures. Most interior work consist of installation of mirrors, shower glass doors, and bathtub enclosures. Such glass and mirror materials are often measured, cut, and mounted in frames so that they are ready for installation at the job site.
Commercial glaziers are mainly responsible for the installation of storefront windows and decorative room dividers. Glazing projects usually require installation on a variety of businesses such as supermarkets, car dealerships, banks, schools, restaurants, and retail outlets. All glass and mirrors are also prepared at either the the glaziers’ shop location, or such materials are preordered to specification before they are installed.
Whether the glazier is installing for residential or commercial building, windows are installed by inserting the glass carefully in position. Depending of the height of the building, this glass is installed either by hand or by crane. Next, the window is secured with putty, metal clips, mastic, bolts, or rubber gaskets.
Glaziers generally use tools of the trade such as hand power tools (i.e. saws, drills, cutters, and grinders), glasscutters, suction cups, and glazing knives.
Moreover, glaziers are known to work in hazardous environments, and should pay strict attention to broken glass, sharp tools, and great heights. Glazier also do a considerable amount of standing, kneeling, lifting, and bending. Therefore, it is essential that glaziers pay consistent attention to their surroundings, and are very knowledgeable about safety in the work environment.
Glazier Training and Education Requirements
Some glaziers learn their jobs through on-the-job-training. These individuals are usually hired by glazing contractors, and will work as assistants to experienced and skilled glaziers. In some instances, the entry-level glaziers are sent to a vocational school for some academic training.
On the other hand, some entry-level glaziers are offered apprenticeship programs from their employer. This type of program provides both classroom instruction and paid-job-training. This program last approximately 3 years. Classroom instruction usually consist of learning the fundamentals of glazing work, mathematics, glass installation, safety practices, blue print reading, and sketching. Upon completion, these individuals can become certified and become journeyworkers. The National Glass Association offers a 3 stage series of examinations. This certifies the glaziers as being highly competent and very skilled in their profession.
Nonetheless, whether individuals are starting out as apprentices or on-the-job-training employees, their initial field duties require no to low skill levels. Until their skill level increases, they will only assist in carrying glass, cleaning up debris, and observing more skilled glaziers.
Glazier Salary and Wages
The average wage for glaziers in 2008 was $17.11 per hour. Salary and wages will vary depending on training and skill level. However, union workers are generally paid higher than non-union workers, regardless of the level of skill involved. Moreover, due to the fact that glaziers are working outside, weather is usually a factor in yearly wage calculations. Specifically, glaziers usually experience a lose in paid-work time because of weather conditions, or a slow-down in construction building.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The certification process involves successful completion of a written exam. This exam is designed to demonstrate the glaziers’ understanding and competency in their work. The National Glass Association designs the exams, and each level gets progressively difficult as the student advances to the next stage. The certification process involves the following levels:
Level I – Glazier
Level II – Commercial Interior or Residential Glazier, or Storefront or Curtainwall Glazier
Level II – Master Glazier
Glazier Professional Associations
There is one main professional glazier association that provides a training, education, and certification in the glazing field. The National Glass Association (NGA) is the main portal of information that increases skill and knowledge, and improve quality practices for quality workmanship. The NGA provides a variety of training courses consisting of the following:
My Glass Class and My Window Class Program
This program offers c150+ courses that are designed to assist in additional education interest or to become certified. These courses range from subjects such as customer service to workplace safety.
Glass Management Institute Program
This program is designed for moderately to advanced level of skilled glaziers who have one year or more of experience. The ideal candidate must have had supervisory or management experience. In addition, individuals should be knowledgeable of storefront framing operations, glass and glassing, etc. Most importantly, this class consist of 4 weeks and include courses such as bidding/estimating, sales/marketing, finance, legal, and strategy.