Labour market information Explore careers by essential skills

Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

You can use this profile to:
Find a job
Write your resume and prepare for job interviews
Plan your career
Determine which career may best suit you based on your skill set
Manage your workforce
Write job postings, assess employee performance and develop training

Find out more about this occupation

For more information on this occupation, look at the related job profile. It provides information on prevailing wages, job prospects and other skill requirements.

Look up job profile

Glass Forming and Finishing Machine Operators and Glass Cutters(9413)

Machine operators in this unit group operate multi-function process control machinery or single function machines to melt, form, cut or finish flat glass, glassware, bottles and other glass products. Glass cutters cut flat glass of various thicknesses to specified sizes and shapes by hand. They are employed by glass and glass products manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read notes from co-workers. (1)
  • Read technical information sheets from manufacturers and flyers from suppliers about new products and new tints. (2)
  • Refer to building codes to ascertain the weight of glass allowable in various circumstances. (2)
  • Read procedure guides and safety bulletins. (2)
  • Read trade journals for trends in glass forming and finishing. (2)
  • Read machine manuals such as the manual which gives information on the assembly, operation and maintenance of the bevelling machine. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read labels on chemical products such as cerium powder. (1)
  • Read machine logs which list breakdowns of various machines and the maintenance measures taken. (1)
  • Fill in reports showing the number of blowing or cutting errors which have occurred during the shift. (1)
  • Read markings on sheets of glass indicating sizes and bending specifications. (2)
  • Refer to invoices and delivery forms to ensure that all the supplies needed for a job have been received. (2)
  • Read maintenance schedules that list daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks. (2)
  • Read work order forms to find the number and dimensions of windows or other glass products ordered. (2)
  • Refer to wheel charts to determine the settings for a bevelling machine's cutting, grinding and polishing wheels, and to charts which convert measurements between fractions of an inch and millimetres. (2)
  • Identify angles of 15, 30 and 45 degrees when cutting glass. (2)
  • May look at blueprints to see where a window or glass counter will fit into a home design. (2)
  • Enter information into production records, such as quantities of each glass size produced, and record data from temperature and pressure gauges. (2)
  • Obtain information on dimensions and the curve radius from scale drawings. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings of machine parts. (3)
  • May interpret diagrams of muntin patterns for diamond shaped windows to determine the number of pieces to cut and to plan the spaces between the pieces. (3)
  • May enter information into a bottle weight flowchart and read flow charts from previous shifts. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes to themselves to record dimensions and other work order information. (1)
  • Make log entries on job specifications and machine settings. (1)
  • Write instructions to accompany drawings, such as a notation that doors are to have standard hardware. (1)
  • May write an incident report to record a window breaking as it was being transported. (1)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May prepare invoices, calculating discounts and taxes, accept payment from customers and make change. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure the length, width and thickness of sheets of glass. (1)
  • Measure wheel tensions and monitor oil and air pressure gauges to ensure they are operating according to specifications. (1)
  • May calculate the area of a triangle when determining how to cut a triangular mirror. (2)
  • May calculate a dimension of a curve for which measurements are missing on a drawing. For example, given an arc of 90 degrees and a radius, they calculate the length of the arc to know the length of glass needed. They check the radius of a curve on a jig or piece of glass by using a nail as a centre point and measuring with a tape the distance of the radius on several points of the curve. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Calculate the average bottle weight to the nearest 1/5th of a gram four to six times per shift, and compare the measurement to specifications. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the depth of a bevel. (1)
  • Estimate the number of pieces of glass that can be cut out of a standard sheet. (2)
  • Estimate the settings for time and temperature on the kiln. They base their estimate on past experience, job records and talking with their supervisors. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May greet customers and take orders on behalf of the owner. (1)
  • Listen to warnings or instructions from co-workers when moving large sheets of glass. (1)
  • Tell delivery personnel where to place deliveries. (1)
  • Talk to window fabricators to co-ordinate the cutting of glass and to determine how many extra pieces should be cut to take into account possible breakage. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers operating machines to discuss what kind of faults are occurring in bottles and what corrective actions are being taken. (2)
  • Communicate with supervisors to clarify work orders or discuss how to resolve faults in the production process. (2)
  • Talk to suppliers and mechanics to order machine parts or discuss repairs. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May find the glass twists as it melts and goes off the centre of the jig. They wait until the glass cools and reposition it, figuring out how to remake the jig to keep the glass in position. (1)
  • May have a conveyor belt break. They carry out simple repairs themselves or call upon a repair person. (1)
  • May find that glass is fracturing or chipping when it is being cut. They look for the cause, such as a cutting wheel being dull or a sheet of glass being at too cold a temperature. (2)
  • May find that a bevel's corners are cloudy. They check wheel pressures, temperatures and angles, making adjustments carefully to avoid breaking the glass. (2)
  • May find that pieces of glass that have been cut for windows do not fit properly because of split window sashes. They adjust the measurements or arrange for carpentry work which will tighten the fitting of the glass. (2)
  • May find that certain gauges fluctuate when using the automated beveller. They investigate the source of the problem and then work through a process of elimination to resolve it. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide when the glass has bent far enough to turn off the kiln. (1)
  • Decide whether to cut pieces of glass out of whole or partial sheets, keeping in mind the need to minimize waste. (2)
  • Decide whether to accept or reject a piece of glass which has been slightly damaged in transport. (2)
  • Decide when to change a grinder. (2)
  • Decide how to set the polish wheel pressure and when it is necessary to cool down the wheel. (2)
  • Decide whether to close down the line to replace a machine component. (2)
  • Make decisions on job priorities to ensure that the needs of customers are met. This may mean stopping work on one order in order to deliver a completed product to another customer. These decisions take into account the need to schedule machine time with co-workers. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Glass forming and finishing machine operators and glass cutters receive instructions from company owners or managers. They determine the sequence of their tasks, taking into account the need to co-ordinate the use of equipment and machines with co-workers who may be working on the same order or on a different order. They may need to plan a day or so ahead to ensure that their work fits the work plan of others involved in the process. They may be interrupted from time to time to provide assistance to co-workers in cutting spacers or assembling units. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the intervals at which the kiln should be monitored during a firing.
  • Remember operational and maintenance procedures for bevelling machines.
  • May memorize measurements of stock pieces of glass and the cost per square foot of various types of glass, metals and tints.
  • Remember the sanding pressure required for various types of jobs.
Finding Information
  • Verify information on customer work orders. (1)
  • May look in the job history log to look up settings and specifications for glass bending which were used on past jobs. (2)
  • May call suppliers or other specialized glass companies for advice on how to deal with specific problems, such as how to cut very thick glass. (2)
  • Refer to various sections of machine manuals to find information for solving mechanical problems. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use other computer applications such as computer-controlled machinery. For example, they may operate bottle manufacturing and bevelling machines. (1)
  • They may refer to a computerized supply inventory. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Glass forming and finishing machine operators and glass cutters mainly work independently. They sometimes work with a partner to carry heavy glass or run a large piece through the machine. They are part of a team which often works in an assembly line process. As team members, they collaborate in dealing with production problems and with meeting deadlines.

Continuous Learning

Glass forming and finishing machine operators and glass cutters learn on the job as they interact with co-workers and supervisors to deal with the variety of production challenges which accompany customized orders. They learn about machine operations by consulting machine manuals. They may take first aid courses since there is a danger of injury on the job.

Date modified: