Glazier
   Houses & Buildings



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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 2

Glaziers cut, shape, install, repair and decorate glass and glass fixtures in homes and other buildings. They measure and assess the area requiring the glass, cut or trim the glass and fix it into place. Future Growth Strong

Glaziers may also treat glass by smoothing its edges and applying treatments, films or decorative solutions. They may work on houses and other small buildings and fit glass panels themselves, or they may fit heavy glass windows to skyscrapers or other large buildings, as part of a team.

Glass and glazing tradespersons cut, shape and install glass used in windows, doors and mirrors. They may also prepare and install glass used for structural purposes in residential, commercial and high-rise buildings.

The work falls into three areas: cutting the glass, bevelling or smoothing edges, and fitting or glazing glass into prepared openings.

Looking

Glaziers also repair and maintain broken windows and glass fittings. Glaziers install windows, skylights, and other glass products in houses, storefronts and commercial buildings.

Alternative names: Glass Installer, Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

Knowledge, skills and attributesHolding up glass

A glazier needs:

  • practical and manual skills

  • the ability to undertake detailed and intricate work

  • physical fitness and stamina

  • good coordination and balance

  • the ability to make calculations and take measurements.


Duties and Tasks

As a glazier, you would:

  • select the correct glass for the job, for example safety glass to go in a shop front or security glass for a bank

  • measure the space to determine the size of the glass required

  • remove old or broken panes, using tools like suction pads (for larger pieces), chisels or pliers

  • remove beading or putty from frames

  • fit new glass and make the fitting watertight using sealants, rubber strips, or flashing

  • install metal frames into which glass panels are fitted, such as for shower screens and sliding doors

  • inscribe decorative edges on glass and mirrors

  • interpret drawings and plans or measure the space to determine the amount of glass required

  • lay sheets of glass onto glass cutting tables and score (mark) the surface of the glass using a variety of glasscutters

  • remove excess glass with notched tools or glass pliers

  • cut, drill and notch holes in glass with diamond-tipped cutters and drills

  • remove broken glass and mirrors and prepare surfaces for reglazing

  • smooth and polish edges on a grinding or bevelling wheel

  • fit the glass using putty, chemical compounds or rubber strips into timber, steel and aluminium frames

  • assemble and secure parts of pre-made glass units, such as shop fittings, display cases and shower enclosures

  • install metal window and door frames into which glass panels are fitted, such as for shower screens and sliding doors

  • fabricate aluminium for domestic and commercial applications, and fit and install on site

  • inscribe decorative edges on glass and mirrors

  • create drawings using computer-aided design systems

  • read diagrams, drawings or specifications to determine job requirements

You would normally use made-to-measure glass panes that have been cut to size in a workshop beforehand. You may need to make some small adjustments to shape pieces on site using diamond- or wheel-cutting tools.

As well as fitting glass, you could also be involved in the manufacture of glazed units, such as timber framed windows and doors.

Working conditions

Glaziers work in a variety of locations, from workshops and factories to building and construction sites, and clients’ homes. They generally work regular hours, however, overtime may be required.

Some glaziers may be required to be on call 24 hours a day, in case of emergencies. Glaziers may work anywhere across the State, installing anything from large glass panels in large scale office buildings in inner-city locations, to windows in new homes, throughout the metropolitan and regional areas.

Tools and technologiesCutting glass

Glaziers use a range of tools including glass cutting blades, gauges, cutting oil, sealants and applicators, abrasives and lubricants, lifting and mounting equipment and accessories such as tape, measuring equipment, bevels, point drivers, pry bars, knives and scraping equipment.

They also use more generic hand tools such as hammers, chisels, drills, screwdrivers and spirit levels. They may be required to wear safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and work boots.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a glazier, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship A glazier and glass processor apprenticeship takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

​Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Did You Know... that Volcanoes Spew Glass?

Volcanoes glass

Iceland, 21 May 2011, 5:30 p.m.: After seven years of lying dormant, the Grimsvötn volcano erupted again, spewing ash more than 5 kilometers into the sky, and up to 19 kilometers high on the following day, grounding air traffic within a radius of 200 kilometers. President Barack Obama cut short his state visit to Ireland, and the FC Barcelona soccer players flew to the Champions’ League finals in London earlier than planned.

Scotland, 24 May 2011: Scientists at the independent James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen used a ZEISS electron microscope to examine ash particles from Grímsvötn, which had been scraped off of a car windshield and ranged in size from 2 to 30 thousandths of a millimeter. It turned out that the ash contained very fine particles of volcanic glass. Is this glass comparable to manufactured glass? In principle, yes.

Like most types of stone, volcanic ash and lava are composed mainly of silicates. When the hot, liquid magma cools very fast or is quenched with water, crystals are prevented from forming. When Grimsvötn erupted, the glacier on the volcano provided the cooling, during which a large part of the glacial ice evaporated, so that the ash cloud consisted primarily of steam.

Synthetically manufactured glass primarily consists of non-crystalline silicates as well. However, due to the different composition and the manufacturing process, no quenching is necessary. In extreme cases, the cooling process can take up to an entire year. This is done with certain optical lenses for the purpose of preventing stress effects and image distortion. The glass spewed by volcanoes is thus generally unusable.
(Source: Zeiss)

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