Have you ever looked at cool glass sculptures like this and wondered how they are made?

A display of glass-blown art Photo by Stephen on Unsplash

Look no further! Glass blowers are artists that create sculptures like this — and other works of art like vases to jewellery — out of glass.

What Do They Do?

  • Plan the design for the glass product

  • Gather the required tools (e.g. stencils, engraving plates, and more!) and materials (multiple colours if necessary for certain products)

  • Use various tools such as tweezers and shears to mould and cut the molten glass

  • Blow air through pipes to adjust the glass to the desired size

A glass blower working on a piece

Where Do They Work?

Glass blowers might work in a small studio with one or two people or in a large firm with hundreds of people.

These are the two main types of workplaces:

Freelance

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  • They work on their own, using their own studio space

  • May have a helper or mentor an apprentice glass blower

Manufacturing Firms

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  • They can also work for large manufacturing firms in an assembly line

  • They each complete one part of the glass product

How Much Do They Earn?

Flaticon Icon The average annual salary for a glass blower in Canada is $45,101 CAD.

Flaticon Icon The average annual salary for a glass blower in USA is $34,030 USD.

Do I Need A Degree?

No degree required! The best way to get into glassblowing is by securing an apprenticeship with an experienced glass blower.

Hands-on experience is the best way to learn about how to handle glass, managing the heat from furnaces, and more.

A person blowing fire out of a glass pipe Photo by Michael O'Sullivan on Unsplash

Other Methods Of Entry Into This Career

Penguin with a briefcase going to work

  • A degree/diploma/foundations course in a related field (e.g. ceramics, 2D and 3D art, etc.) can give you a good grasp on design and art needed for glass blowing

  • Subject-specific courses in glass design and blowing from schools, museums, or freelance glassblowing classes

Is This Career Right For Me?

You will love this job if...

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  • You are good with sudden changes — glass blowing is a delicate process and glass can suddenly break and derail your project

  • You are comfortable working in a high temperature environment for long periods of time

Look for another job if...

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  • You are unable to work in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time

  • You have other injuries or health conditions related to your airway — lots of protective equipment is required to prevent burns, cuts, and breathing in toxic fumes and chemicals from materials

Quiz

Amy is interested in creating cool objects out of glass, but she is very sensitive to heat and has weak lungs due to asthma. Would glass blowing be a suitable career for Amy?

Take Action

Michael Scott from The Office looking interested

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This Byte has been authored by

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Adrienne Cheng

Student Designer