Career Definition for an Auto Glass Installer
Auto glass installers remove and replace damaged windshields and car-window glass. They apply a drying compound along glass edges, fit glass into the vehicle and use rubber strips to weatherproof and hold the window in place, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Oftentimes, auto glass installers work in conjunction with auto body mechanics, cooperating to repair damaged vehicles in an assembly line setup. Installers may specialize in an individual field and choose to work for an auto glass replacement company. Auto glass installers may also weatherproof windshields in cars, using chemical treatments to strengthen newly installed glass against damage.
|Education||High school diploma or GED to start; on the job training may take a year, community and junior colleges offer classes|
|Certification||Credentials through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is optional|
|Job Skills||Technical skills, customer service, physical strength and dexterity, quality control aanlysis|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$34,170 for automotive glass installers and repairers|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||7% for automotive glass installers and repairers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The BLS reported that for those with a high school diploma or GED, it could take as little as six months to train for a career as an automotive glass installer, but advanced skills can take about one year to acquire. Some community and junior colleges offer courses in auto glass installation. Graduates may choose to continue their training and learn other collision repair skills in order to make themselves more valuable as employees at repair shops.
Voluntary certification is recommended through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in non-structural analysis and damage repair. ASE certification is good for five years, and successful completion of the test earns an individual the title of ASE-Certified Master Collision Repair Technician. In addition, the Auto Glass Safety Council offers an Auto Glass Technician certification online exam to those trained in the field and a Certified Master Auto Glass Technician certification examination to currently certified Auto Glass Technicians who have more than three years of experience.
The BLS stated that auto glass installers must have these listed qualities:
- Physical strength and dexterity in order to work well with large panes of glass
- Customer service skills for interacting with the public in repair shops and with clients during transactions
- Technical skills earned through education and/or training
- Time management and quality control analysis in order to complete repairs in a timely fashion
Employment and Salary Outlook
According to the BLS, automotive glass installer and repair jobs were expected to grow at an average speed of 7% from 2016-2026. Although the increased number of cars on the road should bring in more business to the auto repair field, new technology allows fewer workers to complete jobs more efficiently, reducing the number of employees needed to get the jobs done. The BLS also reported that auto glass installers and repairers made a median annual salary of $34,170 in May 2017. Many workers are paid on an incentive basis, which means their earnings depend on how much work is assigned and how fast it is completed.