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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Glass Installers in Birmingham, Alabama

Auto glass installers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Currently, 350 people work as auto glass installers in Alabama. This is expected to grow 13% to 400 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for auto glass installers are expected to grow by about 1.8%. In general, auto glass installers replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.

Auto glass installers earn approximately $13 per hour or $27,910 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $32,110 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Automotive, people working as auto glass installers in Alabama earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Automotive nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as an auto glass installer. The most common level of education for auto glass installers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an auto glass installer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Auto Glass Installer

Auto Glass Installer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, auto glass installers replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.

Auto glass installers decide on appropriate tools and parts in line with job requirements. They also set up replacement glass in vehicles after old glass has been removed and all needed preparations have been made. Equally important, auto glass installers have to allow all glass parts installed with urethane ample time to cure, taking temperature and humidity into account. They are often called upon to prime all scratches on pinchwelds with primer and allow primed scratches to dry. They are expected to remove broken or damaged glass windshields or window glass from motor vehicles, using hand tools to remove screws from frames holding glass. Finally, auto glass installers set up rubber channeling strips around edges of glass or frames to weatherproof windows or to inhibit rattling.

Every day, auto glass installers are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for auto glass installers to cut flat safety glass in line with specified patterns or perform precision pattern making and glass cutting to custom-fit replacement windows. They are often called upon to hold cut or uneven edges of glass against automated abrasive belts to shape or smooth edges. Somewhat less frequently, auto glass installers are also expected to cool or warm glass in the event of temperature extremes.

Auto glass installers sometimes are asked to apply urethane around the perimeter of  pinchwelds and dress the remaining urethane on the pinchwelds so that it is of uniform level and thickness. And finally, they sometimes have to remove all dirt and loose glass from damaged areas, apply primer along windshield or window edges, and allow primer to dry.

Like many other jobs, auto glass installers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Auto Body Mechanic. Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
  • Auto Mechanic. Repair automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
  • Household Appliance Repairer. Repair, adjust, or install all types of electric or gas household appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and ovens.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Glass Installer Training

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has a less than one year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Bevill State Community College - Sumiton, AL

Bevill State Community College, 101 State St, Sumiton, AL 35148. Bevill State Community College is a small college located in Sumiton, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,860 students. Bevill State Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated eleven and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Glass Installer: NGA Certification can lead to better visibility, opportunities, and jobs.

For more information, see the National Glass Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.