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A glazier is someone who specializes in cutting and fitting glass into place in structures which range from single homes to large commercial office buildings. It is considered a skilled profession, and a glazier can command high fees for his or her services, especially if they involve specialty glass or working at great heights. The word, incidentally, is derived from the Middle England glasier, related to glas, for “glass.”
Most people learn to become glaziers through apprenticeships with experienced glass workers. They may start by performing basic jobs around the workshop to get comfortable and familiar with glass, and they will slowly be allowed to cut glass and then to travel to job sites to install glass. Training to become a glazier can get quite extensive, as the apprentice will learn about different types of glass, structural supports in architecture, and other issues which need to be considered when installing windows and panes of glass.
In residences, the task of a glazier is generally straightforward. He or she may install glass in new windows, shower enclosures, cabinets, and so forth, or replace damaged glass. Many modern homes are built with standard window sizes which eliminate the need for a glazier since they can be mass produced, complete with pre-installed frames. Older homes may require glaziers to cut glass for unusual windows, and a glazier is also needed for special jobs like fitting stained glass windows.
In larger structures like office buildings, a glazier is often involved during the construction stage, to ensure that the building has enough support for the large windows which are often in demand for these types of buildings. In this case, the glazier helps to create the frames for his or her windows, and then installs them. This may involve working with extremely large and therefore heavy sheets of glass at great heights which require confidence and physical strength.
Depending on the type of work a glazier does, the job may be quite dangerous or relatively safe. Glaziers who work on large, high projects are at risk of falls or injuries from improperly secured glass. On small projects, a glazier can still be injured by broken glass or the sharp tools of the trade. Since this skilled profession requires specialized training, a glazier who works for a shop may be covered with extensive health insurance to protect the shop's investment.