A window installer mounts glass into the window frames of new and existing structures. In order to become a window installer, you must be physically fit and able to work at significant heights. A combination of high school and on-the-job training is typically needed for this occupation. You may also want to pursue voluntary professional certification before you become a window installer. Advanced training in this field may allow you to specialize in window tinting or fire-resistant glazing installation.
This career involves a variety of skills that you should possess. A certain amount of physically-demanding activity, such as lifting heavy objects and climbing ladders, is required, so you will need to be physically fit and unafraid of heights to become a window installer. Good interpersonal and communications skills are also required since these professionals often work as part of a team. Excellent time-management skills are usually needed because most employers charge their customers by the hour rather than a flat-rate fee. In addition to these prerequisites, you may also be required to pass a criminal background check in order to work in occupied homes and buildings.
Although there is no formal educational path required to become a window installer, most employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. You should try to complete courses in woodworking or metalworking during high school if they are available. Most of the formal training for this career is accomplished through an entry-level apprenticeship. This on-the-job training may take several years depending on the particular type of installation. During this apprenticeship, you will learn the fundamental skills of the trade, including removing existing window panes, taking measurements, surface preparation, and fitting panes securely.
It might also be helpful to obtain some type of professional certification before you become a window installer. This certification assures prospective employers and customers that your skills and knowledge are up-to-date with current industry standards. In the United States, there are two widely-recognized organizations that offer professional certification in this field. The National Glass Association (NGA) offers certificates to candidates with six months work experience or equivalent formal training. Qualified individuals must successfully complete a comprehensive skills and knowledge examination.
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) also offers professional certification to qualified candidates who pass a comprehensive exam. The AAMA exam focuses primarily on energy-efficient window installations. Test-preparation materials and courses are readily available from both organizations and complete eligibility information can be found at their websites. You may also want to pursue a specialty trade after you become a window installer, as further training may qualify you to work exclusively as a window tinting or fire-resistant glazing installer.