Career Profile: Architectural Glass and Metal Technician
Almost every building has metal and glass in it, whether in small sections or covering entire walls. Architectural glass and metal technicians are the people who install these features. For people with the stamina and physical ability, this job can be a good career choice.
Most buildings have at least some metal and glass, whether it covers the entire outer layer of a skyscraper or just a few mirrors inside the building. Architectural glass and metal technicians work with blueprints to measure and cut glass and metal to the right sizes and shapes. Often, people in this trade cut the glass and metal themselves and even assemble and dismantle scaffolding. They may work in teams or work alone.
People in this trade should be in reasonably good physical condition and have good dexterity with their hands. Being able to manage heights is important as much of the work can be far off the ground. Sometimes, however, technicians may need to work in small spaces. The job can be unpleasant in hot, windy, cold, or rainy weather. During winter when construction usually ends, people in this trade might still be able to work on jobs inside buildings, but the possibilities are limited.
Architectural glass and metal technicians can work almost anywhere, although they are more likely to find work in large cities than in smaller places. Generally, wages start at $18 per hour and can rise to over $36 per hour, or $39,000 to $74,000 per year. These technicians work with mirrors, prefabricated glass, and metal frames. Some of the work is indoors as people manufacture the items and outside while they install the windows.
A Grade 10 education is the minimum for people in this trade, but high school graduation is better. Courses in math, English, science, and technology are helpful. Following high school, many people enter an apprenticeship program, which normally takes four years of both practical work and classroom studies. It is also possible for people with some experience to challenge the Certificate of Qualification.
Like in many trades, architectural glass and metal technicians can be part of the Red Seal program if they pass the Interprovincial Standards Examination. This means that they will be able to work in any province or territory without any additional training except for special tasks specific to the employer. That way, people in this trade can easily move to where the jobs are.
Architectural glass and metal technicians need a certain amount of physical fitness to be able to lift heavy objects and to work with potentially dangerous machines. Being able to stand for long periods of time is important. As physical stamina fades with age, people might want to move on to other jobs.
Like many trades, opportunities in this field depend on the economy and how many people start construction projects. Work is easier to find in large cities than in small towns, but some people may need to combine more than one job to earn a living. If this career sounds good to you, why not consider pursuing it?
College of Trades. “Architectural Glass and Metal Technician.” https://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/Architectural-Glass-and-Metal-Technician-424A-EN-TS-3.pdf.
Durham Workforce. “Architectural Glass and Metal Technician.” http://durhamworkforceauthority.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Architectural-Glass-and-Metal-Technician.pdf.
Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. “Architectural Glass and Metal Technician.” https://oyap.ca/trades/?fuseaction=Profile&appnum=131
Payscale Canada. “Average Glazier Hourly Pay in Canada.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Glazier/Hourly_Rate.