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Erector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

Erector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

Renovation tradesErector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

When it comes to choosing a career path, we’re often faced with multiple options that can lead to confusion and render the task at hand much more difficult. The best way to proceed in such a situation is to opt for a profession that’s in line with our interests and one that has positive prospects.

The erector mechanic (glazier) trade is focused on installing and repairing glass products or alternative materials on construction sites. 

Glazier Trade

An erector mechanic (glazier) is a professional tradesperson who has for mission to make, install, and repair glass and glass products on construction worksites. In other words, in Schedule A (article 24) of the Regulation respecting the vocational training of the workforce in the construction industry, the term erector mechanic (glazier) is defined as “(...) any person who installs and repairs work (permanent or not) related to the flat glass industry and all other similar work made of metal or substitute materials (...).”

Erector mechanics are also referred to as metalworkers or glaziers. These tradespersons are involved in all sectors of the construction industry, but the vast majority work on institutional and commercial construction sites compared to the very few who work on residential and industrial construction sites.

Metalworking technicians are employed by a variety of companies, including window and door shops, window installation companies, glaziers, home improvement centres, hardware stores, real estate companies, and building contractors. They can also be self-employed.

Duties of a Quebec-Based Glazier

yellow wall with window_Erector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

A glazier’s duties are numerous and diverse. They include, and are not limited to, the following:

  • Assembling and installing display windows and glass doors;

  • Making and repairing metal door frames, windows, and panes;

  • Installing and securing glass-paned shower stalls;

  • Installing mirrors;

  • Securing glass banisters and railings;

  • Assembling and securing commercial and residential doors;

  • Ensuring proper installation of aluminum panels;

  • Ensuring the proper repair of glass products;

  • Training apprentices;

  • Managing the work being done by other, less experienced, workers.

Basic Tools Used by Metalworking Technicians

Below is a brief overview of the tools and equipment used by glaziers when carrying out their various tasks:

  • Hand tools: nail punch, window stapler, adjustable wrench, funnel, utility knife, snips, chalk line, pry bar/lever, a ratchet set, chain cutter, clamps, metal saw, etc.

  • Power tools: shears, portable heater (for sealant), rotary drill, wireless drill, power screw gun, power router, heat gun, concrete mixer, etc. 

  • Stationary power tools: sandblaster, aluminum metal cutting blade, band saw, grinder, sander, table lift, ratchet tie-down strap, radial saw, etc. 

  • Tracing and measuring equipment: combination square, precision sliding T-bevel, calculator, plumb bob, multimeter, ruler, total station, laser distance measurer, etc. 

  • Custom tools: tripod glass drill machine, torque wrench, nail punch, slitting pliers, rubber gasket tool, hook and loop tool, etc. 

  • Access tools and scaffolding: stepladder, crane, extendible or articulated ladder, stirrups, articulated boom lift, hydraulic lifting platform, etc. 

  • Rigging, hoisting and lifting equipment: chain, dumpster, shackle, vacuum, winch, slings, manual chain hoist, etc.

  • Personal protective gear: gloves, leg guard, respirator, hearing protection, security goggles, knee pads, etc.

Glazier Salary

In Canada, the median yearly salary of a glazier is $58,926, so $28.33 per hour. Apprentice erector mechanic (glaziers) start their careers with a salary of about $39,520 a year, while the most experienced workers earn up to $84,323 a year. Of course, these figures can be revisited, either upwards or downwards, according to the industry sector (institutional, commercial, industrial, etc.) in question.

Erector Mechanic (Glazier) Training

To access construction worksites, all persons must be able to provide the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) a valid Vocational Studies Diploma (DVS) in glass and glass product manufacturing and installation. The candidate must also provide an employment guarantee from a CCQ-recognized employer for a period of at least 150 hours over a 3-month period. All of this leads to the obtention of a competency certificate as an apprentice in the trade.

Generally, admission into the trade is reserved for degree holders. However, in times of labour shortage, non-graduates may be eligible to work in the profession. Therefore, non-graduates can be eligible to obtain a DVS only if there's a shortage of qualified workers. To do so, each candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Show that they have the academic prerequisites needed to obtain a DVS in the targeted trade. If the applicant doesn't have the necessary requirements, they must sign a consent letter stating that they'll undertake training to prepare for the program.

  • Submit proof of employment with a company registered with the CCQ for at least 150 hours over three consecutive months.

To obtain a journeyperson competency certificate, the apprentice erector mechanic (glazier) must complete 3 apprenticeship periods of 2,000 hours each (6,000 hours in total) and successfully complete the provincial qualification exam.

Skills & Abilities Required for Glaziers

glass doors_Erector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

Here’s a list of must-haves and skills to be a competent glazier:

  • Good dexterity;

  • Knowledge in geometry;

  • Physically fit;

  • Ability to work well in a team;

  • Be meticulous, precise, and thorough;

  • Ability to read and decipher blueprints and quotes;

  • Ability to work at great heights;

  • Ability to lift/move heavy objects;

  • Be versatile and dynamic;

  • Be autonomous and adaptable.

Job Prospects

In 2018, an estimated 2,513 glaziers were employed in the construction industry in Canada. Within the same year, there were 557 new recruits, and 183 new apprentices admitted to the industry. These numbers continue to grow over the years.

The job prospects for glaziers are very favourable. In fact, currently, there’s a growing demand in the industry, while the workforce is very limited. In a few years' time, much of the current workforce will retire, helping free up some of these positions in favour of the younger generation.

Though glaziers don't have much in the way of career advancement, they can work their way up to foreperson, project manager, or even start their own businesses after acquiring some years of experience.

    Why choose to be an erector mechanic (glazier)?

    bathroom_Erector Mechanic (Glazier): Ins and Outs of the Trade

    This trade is perfect for dynamic thrill seekers as it entails working at great heights at all times. If you like to challenge yourself on a daily basis and push yourself to your limits, you won't find a better career than this.

    Moreover, the career prospects for glaziers are excellent. Not only does it pay well, but it also offers many promising career opportunities.

    A Few Related Trades

    • Door and window fitter;

    • Doors, windows, and other glass products sales associate;

    • Glazier;

    • Exterior wall glazier;

    • Window and door sales representative.

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    Last modified 2023-11-07

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