What do Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers do?
These professionals use their technical skills and tools to do more than just swap out cracked panes of glass. They repair chips, change out window trim pieces, and ensure that your car’s seals will hold up against wind and rain.
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Skills and Abilities
Auto glass installers must have a variety of core skills and aptitudes. It takes excellent manual dexterity and physical strength to accurately maneuver and position new glass during the installation. They must also have an eye for detail and a head for business. A successful glass installer must have the following aptitudes:
- Basic mechanical ability
- Excellent hand and eye coordination
- Communication skills
- Problem solving and critical thinking abilities
Mobil repair work is common and this often necessitates a clean driving record for employment. Installers must be self-motivated and demonstrate that they can complete tasks reliably. They must be trustworthy, and capable for managing their time effectively.
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Duties
Job duties begin with an evaluation of the customer’s needs. Installers must selecting an appropriate repair and find the parts and supplies to carry it out. Sometimes an installer will be working for a client’s insurance company, and other times they will be working for the vehicle owner directly. Regardless, accurate record keeping and managing administrative tasks becomes critical.Glass installers must remove the old broken glass safely without further damaging the vehicle. This may require precision cutting, but it will always be necessary to dispose of broken glass safely. The installation of new windshields must also be performed without breaking the new glass. In applications where urethane sealers are used, it is important to carefully line up the new sealant and glass with the metal window frame of the vehicle. Errors lead to leaks that cause wind noise and water damage.
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Tools and Technology
Automotive glass installers work with a variety of basic and specialty tools. They also need to have access to accurate inventory data to find appropriate windshield replacements and supplies. Standard equipment includes:
- Basic hand tools, panel removers, and pry bars
- Powered cutting tools
- Razors and cutting wires
- Powered caulking guns
- Epoxies, tapes, sealers
- Computers and standard business software
For mobile work, an installer will also need to be equipped with a suitable vehicle. Communication with a base office requires a cell phone. Financial tools like fuel credit cards and expense accounts also help to keep workers attentive to their tasks throughout the day. All glassworkers need standard safety equipment. They must use eye and hand protection, and follow emergency procedures when injured or exposed to toxins.
Education and Training for Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers
Those with a high school diploma are qualified to begin working as an automotive glass installer. Most learn the trade through an apprenticeship or job training program. Formal education is not necessary, but some may attend a technical training program at a local community college.
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Salary
Starting out you can expect to make about $20,000 annually. Once you have master this craft, your income should rise to the median salary of $32,000 a year. The top pay range is about $48,000 a year for more experienced workers. Those in high demand regions can make as much as $58,000. If you are ambitious enough to start your own business, you may be able to increase your profits beyond these basic projections by training up new entrants into the workforce.
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Jobs by Geography
This is a career with great job security. You will find opportunities for work anywhere there is broken automotive glass. In more populated states like California, Texas, Florida, and New York the demand is higher. Other areas that offer great work opportunities are those that have severe weather patterns that lead to damaged glass. Northern states in both the east and western regions that suffer from harsh winters typically have a higher than average demand for these experts.