Career Profile: Glazier
Every building has windows, and almost every room in a building has windows with glass in them. Some windows have fancy stained glass and others have plain glass, but they all have one thing in common. All of these windows required the work of a glazier – a specialist in glass. Glaziers are tradespeople who cut glass and fit it into various shapes and sizes of window. They work in new buildings, but they also help to repair breaks and to restore windows to their best condition. Being a glazier involves a combination of knowledge and skills in a trade that many people can enjoy.
Windows come in many different forms. They can be the small ones in car doors, the glass in kitchen windows, large storefront windows, or even skylights on the roofs of buildings. Some glass even comes in several different colours for making stained glass windows. Glaziers install and repair all of these different types of glass. They have to be able to measure spaces where the glass will go and know how to use power tools with breakable material.
Working as a glazier can be somewhat difficult. Sometimes glaziers get cuts from either the metal edges or from broken glass, and they have to be careful how they work. They might work with poisonous chemicals or be injured from lifting heavy pieces of glass. Glaziers work together with others to lift the glass into place, but they still need a certain amount of physical strength and an ability to climb ladders and manage heights. Although the job does not normally require great strength, it requires some physical ability and stamina.
People become glaziers through a combination of education and experience. Besides being able to cut glass and fit it into metal, they often need to be able to read blueprints and to estimate costs for projects. Vocational training or an apprenticeship can be useful to teach people the skills they need to know for the work, such as the mathematical calculations for estimating costs. Learning from other people on the job is also an important part of training.
Wages for glaziers in Canada are highest in areas of southern Alberta around Calgary and Banff and lowest in the Montreal area, but the average is about $20 per hour. Some glaziers work mainly in people’s homes, but others work in factories, stores or offices. They might work with all types of glass or specialize in one type, such as stained glass. Wherever there are windows that need glass, glaziers are at work.
Does a job as a glazier sound like the kind of job you would enjoy? Maybe you should consider it as a career option.