Become a Window Installer: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a window installer. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career installing windows.

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Should I Become a Window Installer?

Window installers fit pre-made windows into window openings and door frames of homes and buildings. Some installers work on residential or smaller commercial buildings, while others work on large commercial buildings. Installing windows is a physically demanding job that might require heavy lifting and climbing. There is some precision work required to ensure the windows are level, weather-tight and installed according to manufacturer specifications. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $39,440 in May 2015 for glaziers.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent
Training On-the-job or apprenticeship
Certification Voluntary through organizations such as InstallationMasters
Experience 2-5 years of related experience
Key Skills Proficiency with specialized tools and equipment; customer service, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
Salary (2015 median for glaziers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; CareerBuilder.com job listings (December 2012), InstallationMastersusa.com; Window manufacturers/installers

To become a window installer, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent. You'll also need training on-the-job or through an apprenticeship, along with 2-5 years of related experience and proficiency with specialized tools and equipment and customer service, interpersonal and problem solving skills. Certification is voluntary through organizations such as Installation Masters.

Steps to Become a Window Installer

Let's learn about the steps you need to take to begin your career as a window installer.

Step 1: Learn the Skills of the Trade

While some people may choose to learn construction techniques at a vocational school, most employers don't require applicants to have formal training in order to be hired as a window installer. Candidates may be employed by independent contractors or home improvement businesses and often receive on-the-job training from experienced carpenters or other industry professionals. Duties may include measuring window frames, ordering them from a manufacturer, removing old windows, preparing the opening for new windows, fitting the new window securely and ensuring it is weathertight.

Step 2: Consider Obtaining Certification

The National Glass Association (NGA) offers the Certified Glass Installer designation for commercial glass installation. Eligibility requires at least six months of work experience, completing an online class or purchasing a study manual. Candidates must pass an exam. Continuing education or a recertification exam is required every three years to renew.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), in conjunction with InstallationMasters, offers a voluntary training and certification program that teaches window installers how to improve energy efficiency. The 2-day program culminates in an exam before granting students the InstallationMasters certification for residential and commercial window installations. A recertification test is required to renew after four years.

Step 3: Gain Experience to Advance Career

While an unskilled window installer can obtain an entry-level position with little experience, more experienced window installers generally advance to overseeing an installation crew, managing the project and may even become contractors. Window installers who have good customer service skills, several years of experience, have their own truck and tools and do quality installations are more competitive in this career and may have greater advancement opportunities.

To become a window installer, you'll need to learn the trade and gain experience. Then you can consider certification.

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