glass designer
Design, arts and crafts
Create Produce

Career outlook for glassmaker

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You could manufacture glass objects like bottles, glasses, test tubes, windows and car windscreens.

If you work in industrial glassmaking you’d make large quantities of products, usually using computer-controlled machinery. As a craft glassmaker you’d design and make products such as hand-blown glassware or stained glass in a small studio or workshop.

You could make these products:

  • Flat glass – windows and doors for buildings
  • Containers – bottles, jars and tableware
  • Scientific and laboratory equipment
  • Automotive glass – vehicle windows and sunroofs
  • Glass fibre – for insulation and optical cables
  • Crystal ware – for wine glasses and gifts

Depending what you produce you would:

  • Use silica (sand), lime and soda as basic ingredients for windows and cheaper items
  • Use different additives to make different types of glass
  • Heat the ingredients with cullet (scrap glass) to very high temperatures at which they become liquid
  • Shape the mixture by either glassblowing or by kiln forming
  • Carry out processes such as cutting, grinding, toughening or laminating, depending on the product
  • Apply decorative techniques such as engraving, sand or grit-blasting, stencilling and acid etching

In a craft studio or workshop you would be involved in the whole process of designing, making and decorating. You’d sell your products directly from your studio or at craft fairs, or through shops and galleries.

Working conditions


In industrial glassmaking, you will usually work up to 39 hours, Monday to Friday. If you are self-employed, you will decide your own working hours, depending on the amount of work you have.


You will work in a factory, studio or workshop, and will need to wear goggles and protective clothing.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Designing
  • Creative
  • Working with numbers
  • Problem solving

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Many glassmakers have a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Art Glass Production or Art and Design, 3D Design which include elements of glass work.

You can enter a 3D Design or Art Glass Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCFQ level 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

Useful subjects

Courses often require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Art and design
  • Design and manufacture and/or practical technologies

You will also need

A portfolio of your work when applying to courses and to some jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show creative and practical craft skills and industry knowledge.