California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Glaziers in California

May also be called: Glass Glaziers; Glazier Apprentices; Stained Glass Glaziers; Window Glaziers

What Would I Do?

Glass serves many uses in modern life. Insulated and specially treated glass retains inside warmed or cooled air and provides condensation and sound control. Tempered and laminated glass makes doors and windows more secure. In large commercial buildings, glass panels give office buildings a distinctive look while reducing the need for artificial lighting. The creative use of large windows, glass doors, skylights, and sunroom additions makes homes bright, airy, and inviting.

Glaziers select, cut, assemble, install, remove, and replace all kinds of glass. In a shop setting, Glaziers build metal sashes and moldings using aluminum or steel framing. The metal is cut and shaped for storefront facings; entrances in commercial, office, and factory buildings; and glass doors and windows of all types.

At a construction site, Glaziers attach the formed metal moldings to the building. The job is finished by fitting in the glass. If necessary, they attach face moldings, weather seals, or hardware; and adjust door or window operation. Less skill is required of Glaziers who install prefabricated glass products that are increasingly used in building construction. Although some Glaziers may specialize in jobs such as installation of tub or shower doors, many learn to handle all the different types of glass installation and the special problems presented by each.

In addition to hand tools such as glass cutters, suction cups, and glazing knives, Glaziers use power tools such as saws, drills, cutters, and grinders. An increasing number of Glaziers use computers in the shop or at the job site to improve their layout work and reduce the amount of wasted glass.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Read and interpret blueprints and specifications to determine size, shape, color, type, and thickness of glass, location of framing, installation procedures, and staging and scaffolding materials required.Mathematics
Measure mirrors and dimensions of areas to be covered in order to determine work procedures.Near Vision
Fabricate and install metal sashes and moldings for glass installation, using aluminum or steel framing.Reading Comprehension
Cut and remove broken glass prior to installing replacement glass.Mechanical
Determine plumb of walls or ceilings, using plumb-lines and levels.Arm-Hand Steadiness
Score glass with cutters' wheels, breaking off excess glass by hand or with notched tools.Manual Dexterity
Cut, fit, install, repair, and replace glass and glass substitutes, such as plastic and aluminum, in building interiors or exteriors and in furniture or other products.Building and Construction
Fasten glass panes into wood sashes or frames with clips, points, or moldings, adding weather seals or putty around pane edges to seal joints.Installation
Secure mirrors in position, using mastic cement, putty, bolts, or screws.Finger Dexterity
Set glass doors into frames, and bolt metal hinges, handles, locks, and other hardware to attach doors to frames and walls.Equipment Selection
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Glaziers often work outdoors. They do a considerable amount of bending, kneeling, lifting, and standing. Minor cuts from glass edges and sharp tools are common in this occupation. Safety training given by employers and unions has helped reduce the incidence of severe cuts. Glaziers also face the danger of falls from scaffolding and the possibility of injury from lifting.

This occupation is heavily unionized in commercial construction. Union membership is high in big cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Many workers belong to the Glaziers and Glass Workers Union of the Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. Some Glaziers employed in construction are members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

Most Glaziers work 40 hours a week. However, some union locals have negotiated alternating 32- and 40- hour weeks. Overtime may be necessary during peak construction periods.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Glazier may appeal to those who enjoy working independently and outdoors performing physical activities. Glazier occupations frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions, working with details, and activities that involve little paperwork or working closely with others.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages

The median wage in 2015 for Glaziers in California was $51,773 annually, or $24.89 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2015Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$37,363$51,773$83,675
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2015 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

Fringe benefits may include life and health insurance, holidays, vacations, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

The demand for Glaziers depends on the demand for new housing in California – as residential construction begins to grow, so will jobs for Glaziers. The necessity for window repairs and a growing desire for energy efficient windows will affect the need for Glaziers in the coming years. In addition, more homeowners prefer rooms with more sunlight so are adding sunrooms and skylights to their homes. Demand for specialized safety glass and glass coated with protective laminates is growing in response to a higher need for security.

Employment opportunities should be greatest in metropolitan areas, where most glazing contractors and glass shops are located.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Glaziers is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Glaziers are expected to increase by 34.0 percent, or 1,700 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Glaziers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2012-2022)
5,0006,7001,70034.01,200
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 170 new job openings per year is expected for Glaziers, plus an additional 120 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 280 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Glaziers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2012-2022)
170120280
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Glaziers usually follow one of the following training paths: formal apprenticeship, vocational school, or extensive on-the-job training.

Glaziers may start by obtaining a job with a contractor who then provides on-the-job training. Entry-level workers generally start as helpers, assisting more experienced workers. During this time, employers may send the employee to a trade or vocational school or community college to receive further classroom training.

Completion of an apprenticeship is another way to become a Glazier. To be eligible for apprenticeship, the applicant must be at least 17 and a high school graduate or its equivalent, with adequate grades in mathematics, receive a passing score on an aptitude test, and possess a California driver license.

Apprentices or helpers often start by carrying glass and cleaning up debris in glass shops. They often practice cutting on discarded glass. Later, they are given an opportunity to cut glass for a job and assist experienced workers on simple installation jobs. By working with experienced Glaziers, they eventually acquire the skills of a fully qualified Glazier. On the job, they learn to use the tools and equipment of the trade. In the classroom, they are taught about glass and installation techniques as well as basic mathematics, blueprint reading and sketching, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.

Experience

The amount and type of experience required varies from company to company. It commonly takes three years of classroom and on-the-job training to become a skilled Glazier. Formal apprenticeship programs include over 7,000 hours of training on the job in addition to classroom training.

Early Career Planning

High school students interested in the position of Glazier should take mathematics (such as trigonometry), mechanical drawing, metal shop, and woodshop.

Apprenticeship and Work Study Programs

Apprenticeship programs vary in length from four to five years for Glaziers. Upon acceptance into a program, apprentices attend evening trade classes at local schools. Some Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) offer training for entry-level construction jobs, which covers such aspects as the use of tools, blueprint reading, and measuring.

Continuing Education

Journey-level workers keep current by studying manufacturers' manuals or through training programs offered by trade associations.

Licensing and Certification

Journey-level Glaziers who wish to enter self-employment as a contractor must obtain a glazier contractor's license through the Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors License Board. Applicants must pay appropriate fees and pass a standard exam on law and business and an exam covering glazing. Licenses are active for two years requiring renewal by paying the fees and submitting the application for renewal. Contact the agency that issues the license for additional information. Click on the license title below for details.

While certifications are not required to perform the work of Glazier, they may enhance employment and advancement opportunities. Some professional associations offer certifications. The National Glass Association, for example, offers a series of written examinations that certify an individual’s competency to perform glazier work at three progressively difficult levels of proficiency. Glaziers who learn the trade through a formal registered apprenticeship program become certified journey workers. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Glaziers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Building Foundation/Exterior Contractors 65.4%
Building Finishing Contractors 3.5%
Local Government 1.3%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Candidates for training or apprenticeship programs should apply to a local union for Glaziers. Direct application to employers is an effective job search method for journey-level Glaziers. Job seekers can apply directly to construction companies, retail glass outlets, or large glass manufacturing firms. Union members can contact their local union for job referrals. Professional associations, the Internet, and newspapers may provide job leads as well. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Glaziers.

  • Contractors Building, General
  • Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing
  • Glass, Plate & Window
  • Glaziers
  • Hardware Stores
  • Metal Window and Door Manufacturing
  • Ornamental and Architectural Metal Work
  • Windows

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Journey-level Glaziers may go into business for themselves as glazing contractors. Businesses involved in glazing contracting need licensing from the Contractors State Licensing Board of the California State Department of Consumer Affairs.

Advancement for Glaziers generally consists of increases in pay; some advance to glazier supervisors, general construction supervisors, independent contractors, or cost estimators.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Glaziers with links to more information.

OccupationOccupational
Guide
Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
Automotive Glass Installers and RepairersProfile
Carpet InstallersProfile
Cost EstimatorsProfile
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble SettersProfile
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, HandProfile

Other Sources

  • California Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board
         www.cslb.ca.gov
  • Glass Association of North America
         www.glasswebsite.org
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
         www.iupat.org
  • National Glass Association
         www.glass.org
  • United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
         www.ua.org

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification47-2121
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Glaziers47-2121.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)RCE
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Glazier 460406
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Glazing095240