Glass Processor Kaiwhakarite Karaehe

Glass processors prepare and process sheets of flat glass into products such as windows and mirrors for installation in buildings and related structures.

Glass processors may do some or all of the following:

  • process the raw edges of glass
  • cut glass into specific shapes using hand tools or large machinery
  • cut glass to specific dimensions on an autoline cutting machine
  • toughen glass using furnace machinery
  • make double-glazed units.

Physical Requirements

Glass processors need to be reasonably fit and strong as they may have to lift heavy sheets of glass and spend long periods on their feet.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for glass processors includes:

  • any work with glass
  • work in the building and construction industry
  • work in factories or processing plants.

Personal Qualities

Glass processors need to be:

  • careful and safety-conscious
  • practical, and able to follow instructions
  • computer literate, and good at basic maths.


Glass processors need to have:

  • knowledge of different types of glass and how to work with these
  • skill in using machinery and hand tools with precision
  • knowledge of safety procedures and health and safety regulations.

Chemical handling skills are an advantage, as chemicals are used in the screenprinting of glass.


Glass processors:

  • usually work shifts, and may work overtime
  • work in large glass processing plants
  • work in conditions that can be noisy and hazardous at times.

Glass Processors can earn around $23-$25 per hour.

Pay for glass processors varies depending on skills, experience and the type of work they do. 

  • Trainee glass processors can expect to earn the training or adult minimum wage. 
  • Mid-level glass processors usually earn up to $25 an hour.
  • Senior glass processors, and those in specialist technical processing roles, can earn between $23 and $33 an hour.
  • Glass processors in leading hand or supervisory roles can earn between $23 and $36 an hour.

Glass processors can also earn overtime and allowances, such as a shift allowance, which increases their pay. 

Source: Metro Performance Glass, 2017.

Glass processors may become supervisors or move into management positions.

Glass processors may specialise in certain processing techniques, such as furnacing operations to heat-strengthen glass. They may also specialise in using certain pieces of machinery or computerised plotting and shaping tools.

Years Of Training

3 years of training usually required.

To become a glass processor you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in Glass Processing (Level 3). The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation oversees glass processing apprenticeships.

Glass Processor