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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Glass Installers in Thornton, Colorado

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for auto glass installers in the Thornton, Colorado area. There are currently 380 jobs for auto glass installers in Colorado and this is projected to grow by 14% to 440 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for auto glass installers, which sees this job pool growing by about 1.8% over the next eight years. Auto glass installers generally replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.

Auto glass installers earn about $15 hourly or $31,650 per year on average in Colorado and about $15 hourly or $32,110 annually on average nationally. Auto glass installers earn less than people working in the category of Automotive generally in Colorado and more than people in the Automotive category nationally.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree 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 training to become 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 Thornton 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.
  • Vending Machine Mechanic. Install, service, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, or slot machines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Glass Installer Training

Emily Griffith Opportunity School - Denver, CO

Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80204-2197. Emily Griffith Opportunity School is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,148 students. Emily Griffith Opportunity School has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated twelve students in 2008.


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

For more information, see the National Glass Association website.


Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.