They probably didn’t all grow up aspiring to be glaziers one day, but they’re all probably glad now they did.
It’s proven a fairly wise professional choice, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report story that listed “glazier” as America’s 75th best profession to enter. Attributing its rankings to a medley of ample employment opportunities, competitive salaries, job security and a manageable work-life balance, the story described glazing as “where construction meets art” and predicted more opportunities ahead in the future for glaziers who are trained and possibly even licensed.
Being a dentist was ranked as the top job in America, followed by registered nurse, pharmacist, computer systems analyst and physician. The professions of data base administrator, software developer, physical therapist, web developer and dental hygienist rounded out the Top Ten.
Other construction-related professions ranked include civil engineer (No. 26), architect (No. 70), and construction worker (No. 98).
Glaziers are the primary skilled craftsmen doing glass work on all types of America’s buildings, including new structures and remodeling jobs. Their work often varies, ranging from installing sweeping glass vistas on the upper floors of high-rise office and apartment buildings to putting standardized window inserts into residences, said the article.
The profession isn’t without its pitfalls, however. Glaziers suffer high job-related injury rates, from cuts as well as falls from ladders and scaffolding.
The U.S. News and World Report story listed Bureau of Labor Statistics listing the 41,960 jobs, the $37,350 median salary (nearly $18 per hour) and the industry’s 12.7 percent unemployment rate for the glazing ranking. The BLS predicts employment growth of more than 42 percent between 2010 and 2020, accounting for 17,700 new jobs and 15,700 replacement jobs, according to the story.
Employment sectors that pay particularly well include local government and nonresidential building construction, plus elementary and secondary schools. New York and Chicago have the most jobs for glaziers, according to the news story. The most-demanding and generally best-paying jobs involve working on high-rise buildings, which tend to be located in or near large metropolitan areas.
Glazing is also benefiting from the rise in environmentally-conscious “green” construction that often features energy-efficient glass products and window systems.
Although jobs do not require more than a high school diploma, employers are becoming increasingly more demanding in terms of math and design knowledge and familiarity with sophisticated construction equipment. As a result, multi-year training and apprenticeships are required for many jobs.
U.S. News and World Report gave glazing average marks in both upward mobility and stress level, but high marks in flexibility.