Career outlook for glassmaker
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
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.
UK employment status
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- Attention to detail
- Working with numbers
- Problem solving
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