Education and Training Requirements

High School

The best way for glaziers to learn their trade is by completing an apprenticeship program. Requirements for admission to apprenticeship programs are set by the local administrators of each program. Typically, applicants need to be high school graduates, at least 18 years old, in good physical condition, with proven mechanical aptitude. Some previous high school or vocational school courses in applied mathematics, shop, blueprint reading, and similar subjects are desirable as preparation for work in glazing occupations. 

Postsecondary Training

Apprenticeships last four years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction in related subjects. Apprenticeship programs are operated by the National Glass Association in cooperation with local committees representing unions and employers or local contractor groups.

Apprentices spend roughly 6,000 hours working under the supervision of experienced glaziers in planned programs that teach all aspects of the trade. Apprentices learn how to use tools and equipment; how to handle, measure, cut, and install glass, molding, and metal framing; and how to install glass doors. Their formal classroom instruction, 144 hours each year of the apprenticeship, covers subjects such as glass manufacturing, selecting glass for specific purposes, estimating procedures, mathematics, blueprint reading, construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.

Many glaziers learn their skills informally on the job. They are hired in helper positions and gradually pick up skills as they assist experienced workers. When they start, they are assigned simple tasks, such as carrying glass; later they may get the opportunity to cut glass and do other more complex tasks. Glaziers who learn informally on the job often do not receive as thorough training as apprentices do, and their training usually takes longer.

Other Education or Training

The National Glass Association offers MyGlassClass.com, an online educational program that provides more than 60 online courses covering topics such as installation best practices, performance requirements, product design and selection, customer service, and other topics. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The Auto Glass Safety Council offers a voluntary certification program for auto glass installation and repair technicians. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association offers the InstallationMasters Training and Certification Program, which is geared toward installers of windows and patio doors in the residential and light commercial markets. Contact these organizations to learn more.

Approximately 30 states license glazier contractors who work on residential properties. Licensing requires a combination of education, experience, and the completion of an apprenticeship (in some states).

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Working as a helper or apprentice will provide key experience and training to aspiring glaziers.

To be a successful glazier, you should have good eyesight, be in good physical condition, and not be afraid of heights. You should have excellent manual dexterity and be familiar with the tools and processes associated with this career. Strong communication and interpersonal skills will help you to work well with other glaziers and your supervisors.