Automotive glass installers and repairers specialize in the repair and installation of automobile glass. They remove windshields and window glass that has been broken, cracked, or pitted, and then obtain a replacement windshield to match the make and model of the automobile. They shape or smooth the glass edges using an automated abrasive belt, or cut the glass to specifications using a glass-cutter. They apply moisture-proof chemicals to the edges of the glass and secure the glass in the vehicle. They also weatherproof the window or windshield by installing rubber-channeling strips around the edges. Automotive glass installers and repairers also may adjust motorized or manual window-raising mechanisms.
Automotive glass installers and repairers need to possess good reading and mathematics skills. Because automotive technology is becoming more and more computerized, the ability to operate computers proficiently has become a necessity. They must be able to follow instructions and interpret diagrams, as well as use technical manuals. Most automotive body repair shops have moved to a specialized, team approach, so the ability to work with a team is essential.
In 2002, automotive glass installers and repairers earned a median hourly wage of $12.93. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $7.91, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $20.24. The median hourly wage in automotive repair and maintenance shops, the industry that employs the most automotive glass installers and repairers, was $12.86.
Training and Education
Many automotive glass installers and repairers receive extensive on-the-job training, as well as short trainings from vehicle, parts, and equipment manufacturers. Proficiency in new technology and repair techniques is essential, and workers with a minimum of training can be eligible for employment. However, employers greatly prefer to hire candidates with formal education and training. Candidates for automotive glass installer and repairer jobs should enroll in automotive body repair programs offered by high schools, vocational schools, and community and technical colleges. The highest standard a worker can achieve in the field is voluntary certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Workers must pass four exams and have at least 2 years of work experience to be certified as an ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician. You can check out a list of Auto Mechanic Schools by clicking on this link.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of automotive glass installers and repairers is expected to increase about as fast as the average. As the general population grows, so does the demand for cars, and hence the demand for experienced automotive glass installers and repairers. However, this growth will be partially balanced by an increase in the quality of automotive parts, reducing the need for more extensive repairs. Most job openings will result from replacement needs due to workers who transfer occupations, retire, or leave the work force for some other reason. Most job growth will be found in automotive repair and maintenance shops and automobile dealers.