How to become a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

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.

Personal requirements of a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Steady hands for precise work
  • Able to work at heights
  • Good eyesight (may be corrected)
  • Able to calculate and measure accurately

Education & Training for a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

To become a glass and glazing tradesperson you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Glass and Glazing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

Glass and glazing tradespeople may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

Working conditions for a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

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

Employment Opportunities for a Glass and Glazing Tradesperson

Many glass and glazing workers are employed in cities by building hardware and material suppliers, glass merchants, glaziers and glass processors. Some are self-employed and work mainly on small or domestic jobs, due to the high capital cost of equipment for commercial jobs. With experience, and sometimes further training, glass and glazing tradespeople can progress to positions of leading hand, supervisor, sales representative, estimator or management. They can also be trained in the use of high-tech specialised equipment used in the manufacture of secondary products, such as toughened and laminated safety glasses, insulated glass and coated glass. As with most building occupations, employment in this trade may depend on the level of activity in the construction and housing industries. Repair and maintenance work is always needed. Greater mechanisation, such as the use of computerised cutting machines, has reduced opportunities for glass workers but this has been offset by the increased use of glass on commercial buildings.

Specialisations:


Flat Glass Tradesperson

A flat glass tradesperson measures, cuts, finishes, fits and installs glass in windows, doors, walls, mirrors, display cabinets and other furniture.


Furniture/Millworking Tradesperson

A furniture/millworking tradesperson installs glass during assembly in prefabricated wood and metal products such as doors, window sashes, partitions and cabinets.


Glass Beveller

A glass beveller applies decorative or protective-edge treatment to glass. They bevel (smooth) edges of mirrors or other flat glass items using grinding wheels or abrasive belts. Other treatment may include drilling holes, end-notching, cut outs and finger slots.


Glass Cutter

A glass cutter cuts glass sheets by hand or machine to obtain sections of pre-described dimensions, either square or shaped, and removes blemishes.


Glass Embosser

A glass embosser engraves designs in glass by grinding, sandblasting or using acid. After the design has been made, the operator removes the residue, protective tapes and coatings, and cleans the glass.


Glass Silverer

A glass silverer selects the polish and scrubs glass for mirror making. A silvering solution is then sprayed over the surface and allowed to drain off. The mirrors are then washed, dried and coated to protect the silvering from moisture.


Glazier/Structural Glass Tradesperson

A glazier/structural glass tradesperson installs glass into prepared openings such as windows, doors, skylights and display units, or fits glass to prepared surfaces such as interior walls. This can be done in a factory environment if fitting glass into prefabricated products, or on site in the case of new construction or repair.


Leadlight Worker

A leadlight worker designs and constructs stained-glass windows, doors, partitions and decorative works of art in a variety of buildings. The glass is fitted together with strips of lead, using putty to hold the glass.

Additional Information
In some states and territories, glass and glazing tradespeople carrying out work over a specified value may need to be accredited as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. If working on a construction site, glass and glazing tradespeople may also be required to undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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