Career Facts

Investigate MORE INFO on all professions that sound interesting. Take your time. Don't skip a step.

Job Outlook: 11% (Much faster than average)

  1. Is WHAT YOU DO enjoyable?
  2. Does the WORK ENVIRONMENT feel comfortable?
  3. Are you ok with THE REQUIREMENTS?
  4. Is the PAY ENOUGH?
  5. Is the JOB OUTLOOK positive- more than 7%?
  6. Still interested? WATCH THE VIDEO
  7. RELATED OCCUPATIONS Click here to view similar jobs.
FIND A JOB and more.

What Glaziers Do About this section

Glaziers
Suction handles are used to pick up and maneuver glass.

Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in buildings.

Duties

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.

Workers who replace and repair glass in motor vehicles are described in the automotive body and glass repairers profile.

Work Environment About this section

Glaziers
Glaziers may need to work at great heights.

Glaziers held about 52,800 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of glaziers were as follows:

Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors 69%
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers 14
Building finishing contractors 5
Manufacturing 5
Self-employed workers 1

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.

Injuries and Illnesses

The work of glaziers can be dangerous, and workers risk injury. Injuries may include cuts from tools and glass, falls from ladders and scaffolding, and exposure to solvents. To minimize their risk of harm, workers may wear protective gear, such as safety glasses, harnesses, and gloves.

Work Schedules

Most glaziers work full time.

How to Become a Glazier About this section

Glaziers
Glaziers typically learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship or on-the-job training.

Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.

Education

Glaziers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation.

Training

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.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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. 

Important Qualities

Ability to work at heights. Glaziers must not be afraid to work at great heights while installing glass windows in skyscrapers or other tall buildings.

Communication skills. Glaziers need to be able to convey information to other team members and customers to ensure that the work is done correctly.

Detail oriented. Glaziers must be precise in their measurements, cuts, and modifications to avoid making costly mistakes.   

Physical stamina. Glaziers are on their feet most of the day moving heavy pieces of glass. They also need to be able to hold glass in place until it can be fully secured.

Physical strength. Glaziers often must lift heavy pieces of glass for hanging.

Reading comprehension skills.  Glaziers must be able to understand and follow complex blueprints and instruction manuals.

Pay About this section

Glaziers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Construction trades workers

$46,340

Glaziers

$44,630

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

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.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for glaziers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors $46,500
Building finishing contractors 44,030
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers 39,270
Manufacturing 33,540

Pay for apprentices is less than what fully trained glaziers make. Apprentices receive more pay as they gain experience. Glaziers who work at heights may be eligible for hazard pay.

Most glaziers work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Glaziers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Glaziers

4%

Total, all occupations

4%

Construction trades workers

3%

 

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.

Job Prospects

About 5,400 openings for glaziers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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.

Employment projections data for glaziers, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Glaziers

47-2121 52,800 54,800 4 2,100 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this trade, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors or firms that employ glaziers, or local union-management finishing trade apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship program online or by phone at 877-872-5627. Visit Apprenticeship.gov to search for apprenticeship opportunities.

For more information about glaziers, visit

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

Finishing Trades Institute

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

National Glass Association

For information about opportunities for military veterans, visit:

Helmets to Hard Hats

Related Career Outlook Articles

Interview with a… Glazier

O*NET

Glaziers

Video