How to become a Glazier
Have you ever traveled through a major city and remarked on the number of buildings towering in the sky? These concrete giants are typically home to hundreds if not thousands of residents, or office workers and showcase both new and old architectural designs with facades of glass creating often aw-inspiring cityscapes. Glass plays a fundamental role in the world we live in like balancing thermal insulation in homes with the ability to see the outside world, providing touch interfaces for devices like phones and self-serve kiosks, cabinetry, shower enclosures, railings, and much more. In a world of glass, who is responsible for installing, repairing, or removing this glass? Most commonly, Glaziers.
What is a Glazier?
A Glazier is an individual who cuts, fits, installs, and repairs glass (also see glazing) in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, furniture, on exterior walls of buildings and other structures. It’s a trade that handles all things windows, glass, and installation of glazed units on a client’s property. Keep reading for all you need to know on how to become a glazier.
What types of jobs does a Glazier perform?
If you’re new to window installation and glass replacement, you may not be familiar with the number of roles that a glazier fulfills. As glass has several uses in daily life, a glazier’s work ranges from home renovation projects to banks to auto dealerships to supermarkets. Any construction job that handles glass is a place that benefits from employing a glazier to get the job done right. 
Here are examples of what a glazier job description may include:
- Read and interpret blueprints and specifications to determine type and thickness of glass, frame, installation procedure and materials required like selecting the correct size, and type of glass and corresponding coatings for a given job
- Remove old and broken panes using suction cups or pads, chisels, and pliers
- Measure and mark glass and cut glass
- Fit new glass for replacement
- Make glass fitting watertight by adding sealants, rubber strips, etc.
- Repair and service residential windows, commercial aluminum doors and other glass supporting structures
- Install glass tabletops, mirrors, and doors
- Install glass patio doors, French doors or shower doors
- Cut, edge, and install mirrors
- Assemble, erect and dismantle scaffolds, rigging and hoisting equipment
- Install all types of commercial and residential glass products including but not limited to skylights, showcases, aquariums, and fabricated glass and aluminum for installation 
How much money does a Glazier make?
Like most trades related work, experience, levels of specialization, and project specific consideration will play a significant factor in the amount of money a Glazier earns.
How much money does a Glazier make in the United States?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a glazier made an average of $20.94 per hour or $43,550 per year in 2018.
How much money does a Glazier make in Canada?
According to the Canadian Department of Employment and Social Development, Glaziers working in Canada usually earn between $15.00/hour and $37.50/hour with the median wage for a Glazier being $25.00 CAD per hour. In Canada, Glaziers are classified as a subset of a larger group called Other construction trades (NOC 729) and according to Labour Force Survey (2015) boasts the highest self-employed percentage rate and a 98% full-time employment status rate compared to 81% in all other industries.
What is the outlook for Glazier job opportunities?
In the United States, the Glazier profession has been projected to grow around 10% over the course of the next several years making it a good profession for anyone looking for a secure job.  Each year, glaziers leave the occupation, so it’s always necessary to train new glaziers to add to the workforce to meet demand. 
In Canada, factoring in key labour market indicators such as wage growth, employment, and the unemployment rate – job seekers exceeded the number of job openings in this occupation group between 2014 – 2016  with the majority of available job prospects over the course of the next three years being weighed in favour of provinces such as Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
How to become a Glazier in North America?
Top qualities for glaziers include balance, hand-eye coordination, good communication, and physical strength and stamina. These traits are all necessary to ensure safety while working in a construction area and around heavy pieces of glass. 
If you’re interested in becoming a glazier, there’s a variety of ways to enter the career path. Typically, glaziers will have at least a high school diploma before they seek a 4-year apprenticeship or on-the-job training. This practical training is highly important as it allows glaziers to get comfortable with all the necessary glazing skills. Some states and provinces may require further licensing and certification, but most programs and apprenticeships require individuals to be at least 18 years or older.
If you are interested in learning more about Glazier apprenticeship training and certification in Ontario, Canada, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Ontario Council offers courses for Glazier and Metal Technicians in southern Ontario at their Finishing Trades Institute.
Have you always been good with your hands? Are you fascinated by glass and the numerous uses that it has in society? Whether you’re interested in building beautiful glass shower enclosures, breath taking storefront entrances and glass railings, repairing residential or commercial windows, or towering high above the ground for new condo and building development, becoming a glazier or pursuing new expertise in the field of glazing is a great way to get started.
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