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National Science Week 2022: Explore 5 Unique Careers Working With Glass

08 August 2022   |   by Explore Careers

We love any excuse to dive into an under-explored industry, and when we saw the theme of ‘Glass’ for this year’s National Science Week – we knew what to do.

Glass is pretty big in our lives when you think about it. It forms a significant part of our building infrastructures and our cars, we use it around the home for various things, and many of us wear it on our faces to help us see!

It’s used in telescopes, spacecraft, aeroplanes, solar panels, mobile phones, televisions and laptops – the list goes on!

And when you realise how much we rely on the substance, it gets you thinking; who is making all this glass, and what do their jobs look like?

Let’s find out!

National Science Week 2022

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, this year, the week runs from the 13th to the 21st. It features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres.

It’s a dedicated opportunity to explore, see, talk, and do science!

Hopefully, this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about National Science Week, and you’ve got lots happening in your school to get you involved and excited about what science can look like in our lives.

This year’s theme of ‘glass’ is a perfect example of how science is all around us – and it’s about so much more than donning a white coat and hanging out in a lab somewhere.

There are heaps of resources to explore and help you engage with the week, whether at home, with friends or in the classroom!

5 Unique Careers Involving Glass

When we started thinking about glass in our lives, we started seeing it everywhere, so we wanted to uncover the types of careers and roles available in this sector. Here’s what we found:

1. Glass Manufacturer

This might be the most obvious one, but there’s so much variety involved it’s well worth exploring! Glass manufacturers perform routine tasks in manufacturing glassware, such as setting up, adjusting and repairing automatic machines and equipment. They might work for a specific company, manufacturing and cutting glass for designated tasks, or they might work as specialists who take one-off commissions from various clients. This could be for anything, including racecars, museum displays, shop storefronts and displays, aquariums and terrariums – anything that needs glass! The role typically involves a fair amount of manual labour, problem-solving and the ability to work precisely with strong attention to detail.

2. Glazier

Glaziers measure, shape, instal and maintain glass across different commercial sectors, including residential and commercial buildings, vehicles, mirrors and more. They use drawings and plans to assess the requirements of the type of glass required, measuring, marking and cutting or drilling the glass to set specifications. Another part of their role is to test glass for weakness or defects and ensure all glass meets required safety standards depending on its use. They need strong accuracy skills, attention to detail, professional knowledge and the ability to problem solve.

3. Glass Artist

Have you ever seen a finely etched piece of glass or interestingly shaped glass vase and wondered about the artist behind it? Glass artists bring a dash of creativity to the glass industry. They might produce pieces purely for aesthetic or functional design – such as vases, lights, picture frames, and mirrors. They might work for design houses or develop artistic pieces to show in galleries. Many often take commissions from individuals and interior designers. It’s a highly specialised craft that requires strong knowledge of the glass development and shaping processes.

4. Solar Panel Engineer

Yup, solar panels are made of glass. The engineers needed to develop, manufacture and instal them have specific skills that allow them to work with the glass panels and engineering components behind them. They work with sales and operations teams to take on board client requests and develop the panels needed to meet the specific job. They also offer advice on instal, including any required adjustments to support the panels once installed. To work with solar equipment, you’ll need to pursue an engineering academic pathway, specialising during your graduate studies.

5. Optician

Where an Optometrist is a doctor who will conduct your eye exam, an optician is a person who fits, develops, and processes prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. They work closely with optometrists and ophthalmologists(eye surgeons) to understand patient needs and requirements and work with precision to create the visual solutions required. You’ll typically need a degree in optical or vision science to help you get started, but it can be a rewarding and challenging career.

Where to Find Out More

Our industry profiles are a great way to start discovering more and more about a wide variety of industries, including the pathways into them!

As always, we’re only just scratching the surface with this list, and we know there’s plenty more out there that we haven’t touched on – are there any you’ve come across that we should know about? Let us know!


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