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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Glass Installers in Vancouver, Washington

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for auto glass installers in the Vancouver, Washington area. Currently, 830 people work as auto glass installers in Washington. This is expected to grow by 12% to 930 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%. Auto glass installers generally replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.

Auto glass installers earn about $16 per hour or $34,370 annually on average in Washington and about $15 per hour or $32,110 annually on average nationally. Incomes for auto glass installers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Automotive in Washington, and better than the overall Automotive category nationally.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as an auto glass installer. Given that the most common education level 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 Vancouver 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Glass Installer Training

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen, zero, and five students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated zero, zero, and two 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.