Glaziers held about 53,500 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of glaziers were as follows:
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||69%|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||12|
|Building finishing contractors||5|
As in many other construction trades, the work of glaziers is physically demanding. They spend most of the day standing, bending, or reaching, and they often must lift and maneuver heavy, cumbersome materials, such as large glass plates.
Injuries and Illnesses
The work of glaziers can be dangerous, and workers risk injury. Injuries may include cuts from tools and glass, falls from ladders and scaffolding, and exposure to solvents. Workers may wear protective gear, such as safety glasses or gloves, to minimize the risk of harm.
Most glaziers work full time.
Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Glaziers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Glaziers typically learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship or on-the-job training. On the job, they learn to use the tools and equipment of the trade; handle, measure, cut, and install glass and metal framing; cut and fit moldings; and install and balance glass doors. Technical training includes learning different installation techniques, as well as basic mathematics, blueprint reading and sketching, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.
A few groups sponsor apprenticeship programs, including several union and contractor associations. Most programs require apprentices to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old. After completing an apprenticeship program, glaziers are considered to be journey workers who may do tasks on their own.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Some states may require glaziers to have a license; check with your state for more information. Licensure requirements typically include passing a test and possessing a combination of education and work experience.
Glaziers typically have an interest in the Building and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a glazier, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Glaziers should also possess the following specific qualities:
Balance. To minimize the risk of falling, glaziers need a good sense of balance while working on ladders and scaffolding.
Hand-eye coordination. Glass must be precisely cut. As a result, a steady hand is needed to achieve a cut of the correct size and shape.
Physical stamina. Glaziers must be on their feet and move heavy pieces of glass most of the day. They need to be able to hold glass in place until it can be fully secured.
Physical strength. Glaziers must often lift heavy pieces of glass for hanging. Physical strength, therefore, is important for the occupation.
The median annual wage for glaziers was $44,630 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,780.
In May 2019, the median annual wages for glaziers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors||$46,500|
|Building finishing contractors||44,030|
|Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers||39,270|
The starting pay for apprentices is less than what fully trained glaziers make. They receive more pay as they learn to do more. Glaziers who work at heights may be eligible for hazard pay.
Most glaziers work full time.
Employment of glaziers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Demand for glaziers stems both from new construction and the need to repair and replace windows and other glass in existing buildings. The availability of prefabricated windows that carpenters and construction laborers can install is expected to moderate the employment growth of glaziers.
Job opportunities should be good because of growth in the construction industries. Workers will also be needed to replace the glaziers who leave the occupation each year.
Like many other types of construction worker jobs, employment of glaziers is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, glaziers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
For more details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this trade, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors or firms that employ glaziers, or local union-management finishing trade apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship program online or by phone at 877-872-5627.
For more information about glaziers, visit
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades