How to Get a Job as a Glazier
Glaziers need to have very good eye-hand coordination, a good sense of balance, and be strong enough to lift heavy pieces of glass. They should enjoy working with their hands, have a mechanical aptitude, solid math skills, and the ability to visualize project installations and to correctly interpret complex architectural drawings and construction blueprints. Construction contractors are looking for trained and, preferably, experienced glaziers. Completing a training program is a good way for new entrants into the field to verify their expertise. Unions don't influence access to jobs as much as they once did, but they do retain a large presence in many local craft markets. Like many craft professions, it may be necessary to start on smaller projects that demand fewer skills, and develop both on-the-job experience and contacts within the local construction trades market. Military veterans are sought by many contractors and training programs. "If you have a willingness to learn and a willingness to work, and you're good at what you do, you're always going to find an opportunity to work," Renne says.
What is the Job Like?
“The majority of the work is outside and it is at heights,” Renne explains. “You’re either on a ladder or a scaffolding system.” Work tends to be year-round, he says. Construction managers strive to finish exterior walls to protect projects from winter and inclement weather. “Our busiest time in our colder, northern states is in the winter months,” he says. “They want to close that building in to keep heating costs down” and allow interior work to continue. On most jobs, large pieces of glass are pre-cut and arrive at a job site ready to be installed. Some projects take months to complete and others only days. Glaziers normally work 40-hour weeks but overtime opportunities are common on larger projects that feature financial bonuses or penalties tied to deadlines. And though they tend to work in local labor markets, the severe construction downturn during the past several years prompted many glaziers to seek remote work away from home.