Glaziers work on clients' premises installing glass in windows, doors and other glazed units.
You could fit double glazing at a house, install windows at a new office development or carry out glass repairs. If you like practical tasks and enjoy doing things carefully and precisely, this could be the job for you.
To be a glazier, you should be able to follow technical drawings and plans. You should have good practical skills. You should also be able to take accurate measurements for glass cutting.
You do not always need qualifications, but employers usually want people with some on-site
On a glass replacement job, you would:
• select the correct glass for the job, for example safety glass to go in a shop front or security glass for a bank
• remove the old or broken panes, using tools like suction pads (for larger pieces), chisels and pliers
• remove the beading or putty from frames
• fit the new glass
• make the fitting watertight using sealants, rubber strips, or lead and aluminium flashing.
You would normally use made-to-measure glass panes that have been cut to size in a workshop beforehand. You may need to make some small adjustments to shape pieces on site using diamond- or wheel-cutting tools.
As well as fitting glass, you could be involved in the manufacture of glazed units, such as timber or UPVC-framed windows and doors. With experience, you may be able to use your skills on specialist projects, for example on churches or restoring listed buildings.
Some jobs involve working at heights from ladders, scaffolding or suspended cradles
You may find opportunities with businesses that sell, cut and install glass for construction companies, or with local authorities, public organisations and shopfitting companies. You could also work for glazing companies that specialise in conservatory construction, glass roofing or emergency repairs for shops and offices.
With experience, you could progress to technician or supervisor level, overseeing a team of glaziers, or move into specialist work. You could also become self-employed and work on a sub-contract basis.
Another option is to work in the automotive industry, repairing and replacing windscreens on vehicles.
Please see the motor vehicle body repairer job profile for more information.
• motor vehicle body repairer
You may find the following useful for vacancies and general reading:
• Glass and Glazing Federation (to find glazing companies)
• Jobcentre Plus job search
You do not always need formal qualifications to become a glazier but employers usually want people with some on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before, you could look for a job as a glazier's assistant (mate) or labourer to get some experience. Once you are working, your employer may be willing to offer you glazing training.
You may be able to start in this career through a construction Apprenticeship scheme. You will need to check which schemes are available in your area. To find out more, see the Apprenticeships website.
For more information about construction careers, training and qualifications, see the CITB and bConstructive websites.
Once you are working, you could take industry qualifications like the Level 2/3 (NVQ) Certificate in Glazing. These cover shaping and cutting glass,
• installation, and health and safety, plus optional units on
• fitting glass stairs and floors
• security glazing
• shop fronts
• overhead installations, for example glass roofing.
If your job involves assembling pre-fabricated glazed units, installing conservatories, or specialist glass fitting, you could take further training towards:
• Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Fenestration Installation
• Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Fire Resistant Glazing
• Level 3 (NVQ) Certificate/Diploma in Fenestration Surveying.
See the Glass Qualifications Authority website for more information about qualifications where to train.
• Glass Qualifications Authority
Starting salaries can be between 13,000 and 17,000 a year.
With qualifications, glaziers can expect to earn up to 20,000 a year. Experienced glaziers with additional responsibilities may earn over 23,000 a year.
Overtime and shift allowances may increase income.
Self-employed glaziers set their own rates