Craft & Food Trades

Glassmakers produce glass products such as glassware, windows and windscreens, sculptures, wall panels, lighting, jewellery and beads, mirrors and tiles, lab equipment, food and drink packaging and fibreglass screens and cables.

Work Activities

Glassmakers work in independent studios or at large scale manufacturers, interpreting designs and drawings, then raw materials, composites or recycled glass are used to mould, shape and blow glass, using heat and kilns other components and metals are added to gild and colour to the required design. Finishing techniques such as laminating and strengthening may be required at the end of the process.

Cutting and grinding tools and machinery may be used to process, cut and decorate products, while following rigorous quality and safety procedures.

Duties may include:

  • processing orders and completing relevant paperwork
  • ensuring production schedule is met and carried out to specifications
  • following health and safety policies and legislation
  • carrying out machinery checks and maintenance
  • working with customers and suppliers
  • providing studio demonstrations

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills required

  • creative, with ability to interpret ideas
  • strong attention to detail
  • time management
  • excellent IT skills, including computer aided design (CAD) software and Illustrator
  • ability to operate tools and machinery
  • customer focused
  • self-motivated
  • good team player
  • ability to communicate confidently and effectively

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

  • design studios and galleries
  • architectural glass designers
  • building companies
  • interior designers
  • glass and packaging designers and manufacturers
  • glaziers and glass/ windscreen repairers
  • glass recyclers
  • automotive, aerospace, electrical and electronic manufacturers
  • colleges and universities


Qualifications and training provided

Creative skills are essential. Glass making apprenticeships may be offered by glass manufacturers, repairers and studios, which may require 5 GCSEs (grades A*-c/ 9-5), A Levels or BTEC for entry.

Level 2 or 3 courses and/ or foundation/ Higher National Diploma (HND)/ degree/ masters in art and design based subjects, design engineering, product design, ceramics or specialist glass design may be required for some job roles. Strong design software skills, especially in Adobe Illustrator, Solidworks and Creo (computer aided 3-D design) are required for some roles.

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