Glass is one of the most innovative technological advancements known to mankind. This amazing creation has evolved from ornamental usage such as faience pieces in ancient times, to practical applications like windows. The process of cutting, mounting, framing and fixing glass is called glazing and those who do so are glaziers.
Glaziers Do Windows Like No One Else
Modern construction and glass-making methods have made great strides in the accessibility and affordability of windows and glass in architectural design and construction. When glaziers of old handcrafted individual panes of glass, mounted them and sealed them, it was a long and specialized process. Traditionally, glaziers have been a large part of the union-backed workforce due to the training required.
Today, industry innovations such pre-fabricated framing, the integration of glass and steel in skyscrapers, advances in construction equipment, and double-paned windows are the norm. Nowadays, a glazier is more likely to be found installing and replacing the glass on skyscrapers than in residential repair due to industry advancements.
From Tinkerer to Journeyman and Beyond
One of the biggest draws of becoming a glazier is that although specialized training will absolutely advance your career, it’s not required to begin it. The average glazier begins their training just out of high school and may opt to continue onto a training course or apprenticeship; or they might choose to learn on the job, beginning in related fields.
A high school diploma is allowed when entering the profession as an apprentice. However, more employers are actively seeking glaziers with experience in math, design, and construction equipment according to a US Dept. of Labor Statistics report from July 2018. The median salary of entry level glaziers is $42,580 per year/ $20.47 per hour. This high paying career is rising quickly in job growth as well, at 11% compared to other industries. Wages increase drastically with higher ranking of expertise and certifications.
Stained Glass and Skyscrapers
Glaziers tend to stay in their careers as well, and the industry has many opportunities for upward mobility based on experience, training, and specializations. Glaziers have the choice between union and nonunion employment as well, and generally are offered attractive benefits packages as they advance from apprenticeship to journeymen to masters.
Specializations could include artistic, structural, or energy-efficient design, residential or commercial scale installations and repair, amongst various pay grades. Highly skilled commercial glaziers can earn up to $75k/year. This growth is expected to continue as aging glaziers retire and younger workers fill their roles.
Glaziers Are Nimble and Bright
Advancements in technology may have made the job of a glazier easier in many ways, there are some skills that will remain vital. A steady hand is a must, as well as great upper body strength and the ability to repeatedly lift heavy sheets of glass. Glaziers do have a higher rate of injury due to the nature of their profession. Becoming a glazier is generally considered rewarding and lucrative career with steady employment.