Become a Commercial Glazier: Education and Career Roadmap

Mar 05, 2020

Find out how to become a commercial glazier. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career as a commercial glazier.

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Become a Commercial Glazier

Commercial glaziers install glass windows, dividers and doors for businesses. Some focus on replacement glass for storefronts, while others work on large installations, such as glass walls on the sides of skyscrapers. While mainly working with glass, glaziers also weld metal frames and work with plastic, marble and other glass substitutes. Falls from ladders and cuts from glass or tools are typical hazards of this occupation.

Training Required High school diploma or equivalent and the completion of an apprenticeship program
Licensure Licensure is only necessary in Florida and Connecticut
Certification Voluntary certification is available
Experience No experience is required to become an apprentice
Key Skills Good balance and hand-eye coordination; strong communication skills; familiarity with computer aided design (CAD), project management and work order software; familiarity with files, glass cutters, glass bevellers, polishers, levels, sanders and saws; physical stamina
Median Salary (2018) $43,550 (for all glaziers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), O*Net OnLine.

Earn a High School Diploma

Prospective glaziers need a high school diploma or GED to qualify for entry to apprenticeship programs. To prepare for this postsecondary training, individuals should develop their math skills while still in high school.

Complete an Apprenticeship

Individuals interested in becoming commercial glaziers typically enter the profession through apprenticeship programs. These programs are offered by unions and contractor associations, and, in some cases, might be found through technical or community colleges. To qualify for an apprenticeship, an individual must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or the equivalent, and have the physical strength and stamina to perform a glazier's job duties.

Apprentices spend about 4 years learning the trade and working alongside experienced glaziers. Each year of their apprenticeships includes 144 hours of technical training in areas including blueprint reading and installation techniques. Students also complete 2,000 hours of paid training each year.

Here are two tips for success:

  • Develop a fitness regimen. Physical strength is essential for glaziers; they spend much of their time working on their feet and lifting large pieces of glass. They also might use heavy or dangerous tools that could cause injury if not used properly. Aspiring glaziers can develop physical fitness routines to help ensure their continued ability to do their job safely.
  • Hone key communication skills. Apprentices should take this time to learn how to effectively communicate while working as glaziers. Glaziers must be able to translate blueprints and other plans for glass installations into finished projects for businesses. They should use their time working with experienced glaziers to gain a greater understanding of how to communicate successfully with fellow glaziers and clients.

Become Certified or Licensed

Certification isn't mandatory to work as a commercial glazier, but it might be helpful for securing jobs, since it shows dedication and expertise in the trade. Certification is available through professional organizations, as the Auto Glass Safety Council, which provides entry-level credentials to technicians who can pass an exam.

To qualify for licensure, individuals must have a certain amount of education and industry experience. They must also pass a test.

To recap, commercial glaziers learn their trade through apprenticeship programs. Connecticut and Florida require licensure for glaziers, and voluntary certification could enhance job prospects.

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