We are currently working to resolve technical issues affecting the search function for essential skills profiles. In the meantime, you can see the list of all profiles to find an occupation.

Note that the essential skills profiles were not updated to reflect the transitions to the Skills for Success model and the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). For more up-to-date information on the skills required for different occupations, visit the Occupational and Skills Information System (OaSIS) website.

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


Glaziers cut, fit, install and replace glass and frames for glass in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, on exterior walls of buildings and other structures, furniture and other products. They are employed by construction glass installation contractors, retail service and repair shops and glass fabrication shops.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read job and purchase orders that include a brief description of labour and parts required, shipping information and costs. (1)
  • Read notes, memos and letters from suppliers that include information on rates, charges and materials. (2)
  • Read labels on products to confirm the appropriateness of the product to the situation and for correct application instructions. (2)
  • Read bulletins and brochures from suppliers describing new products, parts and prices. (2)
  • Read safety procedures that are site and task specific. For example, they read procedures for high risk installations such as a 300 pound light (single pane of glass) lifted to an upper floor. (2)
  • Read occupational health and safety manuals. For example, they check for compliance to regulations for use of swingstages, scaffolding or outriggers. (3)
  • Read MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for general information such as short and long term effects of working with a hazardous material and specific information such as personal protective equipment. (3)
  • Read numerous technical manuals that give instructions for installing different kinds of windows and hardware or building frames using a variety of materials. Instructions are usually integrated with assembly drawings. (3)
  • May read a trade journal to learn about new products such as using window film on wired glass. (3)
  • May read engineers' reports to determine the best method of making a repair. For example, they read to understand the history and problems related to leaks in a curtain wall (an exterior, non-bearing wall), in order to make recommendations for repair. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read price lists and tables in parts manuals and catalogues. (1)
  • Read labels/stickers on windows giving directions for installation. (1)
  • Use levels, tape measures, protractors and mitring gauges. (1)
  • Refer to lists and tables containing information on various types and sizes of materials such as gaskets or glazing tapes. (2)
  • Read installation or delivery schedules on a construction site to coordinate and sequence tasks. (2)
  • Read and complete various forms such as: daily time sheets, shipping documents, purchase orders, invoices, job sheets, city permits. (2)
  • Refer to a table to determine the correct counterweights for setting up a swing stage or to verify load capacity. (2)
  • Check shipping documents to determine that the correct items and quantity are delivered to the site. Details that are checked may include size, colour, angles, coating and type. A list of back order items may be required. (2)
  • Refer to safety regulations, especially during technical training, regarding lock out procedure, personal protective equipment, swingstages and other topics. Information must be integrated from several sources and different document types including tables, diagrams and drawings. (3)
  • Refer to a wide array of complex assembly drawings integrating text, drawings and actual components. (4)
  • Refer to detail drawings to understand how elements are to be constructed by reading angles, interpreting symbols, cross referencing to other documents and information written on the drawings. This information may include constraints on order of completion and requirements such as type of sealant. (4)
  • Use blueprints starting with the most general views leading through shop drawings, route sheets, specifications and finally to detailed drawings. Navigating through the layers and integrating, glaziers identify placement and details of installation by interpreting symbols, abbreviations, and referencing to other documents. (5)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes to themselves regarding work orders and customer requests that include details about measurements or scheduling information. (1)
  • Write internal notes to request supplies and materials. (1)
  • Complete a variety of forms such as shipping orders, time sheets, job sheets, purchase orders and invoices. (1)
  • May write a one page quote or estimate for a customer that includes costs of labour to remove existing materials and install the new product, as well as costs of all materials. (2)
  • May write a monthly summary of activities for a supervisor. (2)
  • May write memos or letters to customers or suppliers and manufacturers relaying or requesting information on prices, equipment, parts or procedures. (2)
  • May write an incident report for the company or the Worker's Compensation Board describing an accident that occurred on the job. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • Accept payments from customers in the form of cash, cheque or credit card and make change if necessary. (1)
  • Prepare customer invoices, calculating labour at an hourly rate, materials by the linear metre or square foot and taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May meet quotas for installation set in the estimation of a job. For example, one unit replaced per day or 12 units installed per day. (1)
  • Determine the amount of materials needed, for example, number of tubes of sealant based on standard coverage, for various phases of a job. (2)
  • Compare differing costs for materials and job procedures. For example, they calculate the most cost efficient frame fabrication by comparing products available, and calculating the least wasteful cuttings and labour costs. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Calculate the total weight of materials when shipping work to customers. (1)
  • Set the required angles for cutting on the mitre saw gauge. (1)
  • Use tape measure, either SI (system international) or Imperial, to make measurements to construct and fit frames. (1)
  • Set up center lines and then measure to ensure that units are properly placed and centered in openings. (2)
  • Calculate radius, circumference and angles in order to construct architectural features such as curved curtain walls. Glaziers use a transit to lay out points of a segment for curved or unusual shapes that may include splitting angles and finding centre points. (4)
  • May calculate the measurements of architectural features where no measurements are provided. For example, using geometry in conjunction with trigonometry to calculate distances and angles in relation to established elevations and gridlines to lay out and place window and door systems. (5)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the size of a rough opening. (1)
  • Estimate safe work loads for equipment such as swing stages by adding the weight of workers, tools and materials. (2)
  • Prepare written estimates for new installations, service calls and shop work. Glaziers estimate quantities and calculate approximate costs for materials, taking into account characteristics such as thickness, size, colour and type of edge finish of glass or mirrors. Estimates also include labour costs based on an estimation of the time needed to complete a job. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Ask shipping/receiving staff or unit line workers to get help unloading supplies or for information on when products will be ready. (1)
  • Talk with order desk staff to receive printed customer orders. (1)
  • Talk with a partner or helper to relay messages, give directions or coordinate tasks. (1)
  • Communicate with other members of the work team such as the draftsperson or the estimator to determine what needs to be done and what materials are required and to solve routine problems. (2)
  • May tell a supervisor about amount of work done, hours of work, or material and equipment purchases. (2)
  • May talk with customers in a friendly, professional and diplomatic manner to determine what they need and to give advice on service and repair options. (2)
  • Participate in site safety meetings. (2)
  • May explain drawings to production workers. (2)
  • May reassure a customer when an installation does not go as planned and the customer's living space may be exposed to the elements. (2)
  • Negotiate with foremen, contractors, building managers, clients, suppliers and other tradespeople regarding work schedules and materials and equipment. These exchanges can be complicated by conflicting priorities and a complexity of detail that will need to be considered. (3)
  • Instruct others, such as an apprentice or a work crew, explaining and demonstrating procedures. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May find that a pivot needed for a frame doesn't fit. They recut the frame. (1)
  • May break glass that is being installed. They arrange for the glass to be replaced at extra cost to the company. (1)
  • May order incorrect material for a job. They attempt to use that material in another job by making size accommodations. They may need to re-schedule tasks and arrange for delivery of proper material. (2)
  • May need to deal with customer complaints such as a job site not being cleaned properly or a product not meeting customer expectations. They must take responsibility for the problem, apologize where needed, and use persuasion and negotiating skills to make the necessary corrections in as cost effective a way as possible. (2)
  • May hoist or deliver units, especially heavy or awkward shapes, to the area of installation only to find out that it can't be moved into place or doesn't fit the intended opening. Double checking of measurements of the load compared to the size of the installation opening and delivery path may result in adjustments to the load or opening before hoisting. In some cases, computer software can be used offsite to simulate practical problems and different solutions can be tried effortlessly. (3)
  • May encounter problems with other trades when priorities conflict. Unit installation on the third floor of a building will make stone work beneath unsafe. Workers from different trades coordinate work tasks. Glaziers find alternate tasks or negotiate trade offs to prevent escalation of disputes that may involve supervisors. (3)
  • May discover that measurements or elements have been omitted from drawings or are incorrectly placed. They constantly translate two dimensional blueprint specifications into three dimensions and relate new construction with existing structures. By visualizing the parts, glaziers can identify and correct errors early in the process. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide what equipment to use on a job, such as whether to use a ladder or a scaffold, based on the size and elevation of a project. (1)
  • Decide whether to do a job independently or arrange for assistance. (2)
  • Decide on the sequence and timing of many tasks such as whether to construct a frame before or after the doors have arrived. (2)
  • Decide a method to determine the correct side in order to install a sealed unit containing two lights. "Low E" coating is used to deflect the sun and must be placed on the correct side. An error in installation could result in the unit failing. Glaziers have several methods of determining the correct side, for example, using a flame to distinguish the light reflecting a discoloured flame. (2)
  • Make numerous safety decisions such as whether to proceed with a job on a windy day, or whether to put up barricades or allow public access to a work area or whether equipment is safe to operate. (3)
  • Decide which is the most cost efficient and safe method to move heavy or awkward loads. They consider accessibility, load capacity, labour and time involved. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Glaziers' work schedules are planned in response to customers' needs. Although they organize and decide on the sequence of tasks, glaziers' priorities are generally decided in consultation with supervisors and others working on the contract or project. Planning and ordering of tasks are key skills for efficiency. Glaziers' work must be coordinated with the work of many others including contractors, other building trades, draftspersons, estimators, foremen, suppliers and delivery personnel. Weather is also an important factor and glaziers adjust their schedules in response to wind, precipitation and cold. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember many common product numbers.
  • Remember the names, phone numbers and locations of frequently used suppliers and customers.
  • Remember details of specifications for a particular job during the time they are working on that job.
Finding Information
  • Refer to suppliers' lists to find parts and materials required. (1)
  • Consult glass and framing parts and installation manuals for information on procedures and prices. (1)
  • May phone a supplier or manufacturer to find out about a product such as a new sealant. (2)
  • Consult with a manager or others working in the industry with regard to hard to locate parts or for advice about alternative materials. (2)
  • May access a reference library containing texts on layout, hoisting and rigging and other related topics. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • On some job sites, blueprints are accessed online which involves navigating a number of screens to find the right detail drawing. CAM programs may be used in fabrication shops. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Glaziers may work independently or with partners or apprentices depending on the type of work they are performing. For example, frame fabricators often work alone while constructing frames, while installers will usually work with a partner or apprentice while installing windows. Glaziers must coordinate their work with many other co-workers, trades and suppliers. They see themselves as members of a team who work together to provide a quality service or product. Some glaziers supervise the work of apprentices and other journeypersons on larger jobs.

Continuous Learning

Glaziers frequently learn about new products and materials such as a new line of metal for framing or a new high performance window. They find out about these products by referring to brochures or manuals from suppliers and by using them on the job. Occasionally, their employer may send them for training by the manufacturer in how to use or install a new product. Glaziers also attend courses and orientations on safety procedures and the operation of equipment such as a swing stage or scissor lift. Union training plans also offer upgrading on topics such as layouts, rigging and welding.

Date modified: