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.
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.
Glass and glazing tradespeople may perform the following tasks:
The work falls into three areas: cutting the glass, bevelling or smoothing edges, and fitting or glazing glass into prepared openings.
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.
A flat glass tradesperson measures, cuts, finishes, fits and installs glass in windows, doors, walls, mirrors, display cabinets and other furniture.
A furniture/millworking tradesperson installs glass during assembly in prefabricated wood and metal products such as doors, window sashes, partitions and cabinets.
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.
A glass cutter cuts glass sheets by hand or machine to obtain sections of pre-described dimensions, either square or shaped, and removes blemishes.
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.
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.
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.
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.