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What is a Glazier?

A Glazier is a construction professional who measures, handles, cuts, prepares, installs and repairs all types of glass, mirrors and glass substitutes, typically in buildings or on the exterior walls of buildings.  Glaziers also install aluminum storefront frames and entrances, glass handrails and balustrades, shower enclosures, curtain wall framing and glass and mirror walls.  Glazier is a nationally designated trade under the Inter-provincial Red Seal program.

An apprentice glazier can work on both commercial job sites and residential ones. It takes four years for an apprentice to complete the on-the-job training and schooling. After filing qualifications, an apprentice becomes a journeyman glazier and is qualified for work on commercial and industrial glazing jobs.

When Glaziers are working on commercial buildings, they are often involved in the layout, preparation, fabrication and replacement of architectural metal components like storefront systems, entrance ways, windows, skylights and curtainwall systems.  Glaziers also replace windows and windshields in vehicles and install skylights and special glass in churches, museums and other establishments.  As well, they are now becoming involved in manufacturing furniture, display cabinets, bathroom fixtures and decorative windows.  In other cases, they create custom-designed glass installations for residential and commercial use.

Getting Started

Finding a job is key to participating in an apprenticeship program. Your employer’s cooperation is required to complete an apprenticeship as a glazier. If you feel that your skills do not match what is expected of an entry-level worker in this trade, your next step would be to seek pre-apprenticeship or entry level training at a recognized educational institution. Click here for provincial opportunities.

Generally, people employed as glaziers should have good mathematical and mechanical skills, as well as an analytical approach to problem-solving, physical strength, manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination.  Additional skills include an ability to read and interpret drawings and code specifications. Although glaziers do not have to be computer experts they should be computer literate and be able to work efficiently with hand tools. Glaziers should be able to work alone as well as a member of a team. Those who install or retrofit glass in homes or businesses must be neat and able to deal with customers courteously. To remain competitive in this field, it is essential that workers be willing to continually upgrade their skills.

The glazing apprenticeship process requires time spent on the job and in school training. An glazing trainee must complete a four (4) year program including 6,000 workplace hours and 1,200 in-school hours of training. After completion of training, a passing grade on the Inter-provincial exam will result in the BC Certificate of Apprenticeship, BC Certificate of Qualification, and the Inter-provincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.

A challenge process exists in some provinces for individuals who have completed an apprenticeship in another province or country. Please check with each province for their specific requirements.