A glazier is a skilled individual who specializes in selecting, cutting to size, installing, and replacing glass products in both residential and commercial buildings. In some cases, glaziers have to work with large panes of glass while suspended on the sides of tall buildings. Here is a detailed look at a glazier’s job description:
A glazier’s duties span every conceivable facet of glass-based work. This includes:
• Cutting glass to required size and shape
• Removing and replacing old glass products with new ones
• Securing/fastening glass onto frames using sashes or clips
• Grinding, drilling, and polishing glass to desired specifications
• Advising clients to purchase glass products that comply with specific building codes
• Handling glass products in warehouses, retail stores, during transport, and at construction sites
• Supervising lifting or handling of large and heavy glass products using lifting equipment such as hoists with suction cups
• Apply the relevant caulks, putty, adhesives, or weather sealants between glass panes or between glass panes and window, door, or wall frames.
• Supervise and advise apprentices learning the same craft.
• Create or fashion decorative glass features.
In residential buildings, the expertise and skill of a glazier comes in handy during the installation, replacement, construction, or re-positioning of glass doors, skylights, glass windows, sun-rooms, or glass-based room screeners/dividers. For instance, a glazier is the right professional to hire if you would like to install a bathtub enclosure. When working on large-scale commercial projects, glaziers usually receive and install pre-cut products. For instance, glass panes used to cover the outer surfaces of high-rise buildings arrive at construction sites pre-cut to the correct size. This makes a glazier’s work easier because all he/she has to do is hoist and secure them onto their frames.
In order to work as a glazier, you must complete an apprenticeship program that includes at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job paid training. According to the BLS, a glazier-training program takes four years to complete. Most apprenticeship programs admit trainees who are 18 years or older, can handle the physical rigors involved in working as glaziers, and have graduated from high school.To work as a glazier in Connecticut, one must fulfill requirements such as take and pass a written exam, as well as successfully complete the relevant apprenticeship program.
Useful Personal Attributes
A glazier must have great hand-eye coordination, which comes in handy when cutting, drilling or polishing glass products. To succeed in this industry, one must also be physically strong and have lots of stamina because the job entails lifting heavy objects and standing or moving around for long periods.
A glazier must have a good grasp of different types of glass. This includes knowledge of their physical characteristics such as brittleness. At the same time, one must be well skilled in cutting, polishing, smoothing, installing, and handling diverse glass materials. Furthermore, a glazier must be well versed in local building codes, standards, and regulations. This means knowledge of structural as well as personal safety regulations. Even in cases where a glazier is employed, both employer and employee must comply with the relevant standards and laws.
The duties detailed earlier show that a glazier’s job is not for the faint-hearted because it is physically demanding and may involve working at great heights. As such, expect to spend a lot of time on ladders and scaffolds. This is in addition to long spells spent standing, bent, stretching, or contorting the body in awkward ways.
To avoid sustaining injuries while working in the surroundings described above, glaziers must wear protective gear including hand gloves, hard hats, eye goggles, and footwear with anti-slip soles. In spite of these protective measures, glaziers are prone to cuts and lacerations while handling glass, prone to falls and slips, prone to eye injuries caused by flying debris when drilling or cutting glass, and prone to chemical exposure when handling adhesives or sealants. As such, glaziers normally take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue. When working outdoors during summer, glaziers stay well hydrated by drinking water. Some glaziers also snack during work breaks to replenish the body’s energy stores. At every work site, a first aid kit/box is always easily accessible. Finally, glaziers carry communication devices such as walkie-talkies or mobile phones that they can use to call for help in the event of an emergency when working alone.
The work of a glazier revolves around one product or medium; glass. After successfully completing a training program, a glazier can undertake installation of glass windows, doors, handrails, storefronts, mirrors, or wall partitions at commercial and residential work sites.