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Arts & crafts


Craft glassmakers design, make and decorate glass objects from windows, mirrors and tableware to one-off decorative pieces.

Annual Salary


Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 4.8% fewer Glassmaker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Depending on your specialist skills, you could:

  • design new, one-off pieces or ranges of glass items
  • mix different ingredients and additives
  • blow glass using a blowing iron
  • form and bend glass using heat or moulds
  • cut, grind and fix pieces of glass together using soldering or fusing techniques
  • decorate glass items using laser, point, stipple, drill, copper wheel or sand engraving
  • etch items using acid or make patterns using stencils
  • use tools and machinery like lathes and sandblasters
  • repair or conserve existing glass items like stained glass panels, windows or mirrors
  • if you are self-employed, market your business and do admin tasks

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in a creative studio or in a workshop.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

Most craft glassmakers have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • art and design
  • fine art
  • ceramics and glass
  • architectural crafts

You'll need a portfolio of work to show when applying for courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

Some colleges run short creative craft courses in glass, which may be useful for picking up glassmaking skills and techniques.

There are also glass manufacturing courses, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need to get into glass making in industry. These include:

  • Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Glass Processing
  • Level 2 or Level 3 Certificate in Glass Related Operations

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information

You could specialise in stained glass making through a stained glass craftsperson higher apprenticeship.

This would typically take 36 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

More information

Career tips

Art and design subjects as well as science and technology are helpful if you want to work in glass craftwork as you'll need both technical skills and artistic ability.

For industrial or scientific glass manufacture, science and technology subjects would be most useful.

Further information

You can find out more about a career as a glassmaker from the Crafts Council.

You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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You could set up your own business with your own creative studio or work alongside other artists as part of a creative community.

With experience and further qualifications you could teach students and apprentices in colleges or universities.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of maths
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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