- 1 What is a Window Fitter?
- 2 What does a Window Fitter do?
- 3 How to Become a Window Fitter
- 4 Window Fitter Salary
- 5 Career Prospects and Progression
- 6 Advantages and Disadvantages
- 7 What the work involves
- 8 Working Conditions
- 9 Related Opportunities
- 10 Further Information
What is a Window Fitter?
A Window Fitter is a skilled professional who specializes in the installation of windows in both new and existing buildings. Their work involves using various tools and materials to replace old windows with new ones and ensuring they are weatherproof. Window Fitters play a crucial role in improving the appearance, functionality, and energy efficiency of buildings.
What does a Window Fitter do?
Window Fitters perform a range of essential tasks related to the installation and replacement of windows. Here’s a closer look at their key responsibilities:
- Window Installation: Window Fitters use hand and power tools to remove old windows and install new ones. They work with materials like glass, plastic, and wood to ensure a proper fit.
- Weatherproofing: After fitting a new window, they must give it a weatherproof seal to protect against the elements and prevent leaks.
- Additional Installations: In addition to windows, their work may also involve fitting doors, conservatories, and weatherboarding to improve the overall functionality and aesthetics of buildings.
- Mathematical Calculations: Window Fitters use mathematical skills to make accurate measurements and calculations to ensure frames and windows are properly aligned and installed.
- Safety Measures: They are safety-conscious professionals who pay close attention to safety protocols, especially when working with glass. They must also be comfortable working at heights and on ladders.
- Customer Interaction: Window Fitters often work with customers in their homes, so good customer relations skills are essential. They should be able to communicate effectively and provide excellent service.
How to Become a Window Fitter
Becoming a Window Fitter typically involves a combination of practical training, qualifications, and relevant work experience. Here’s how you can start a career in this field:
- There are generally no strict formal academic qualifications required to become a Window Fitter. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a basic education, including GCSEs/National 5s in subjects such as English, technology, and, particularly, Maths. Mathematical skills are important for accurate measurements and calculations.
- Equivalent qualifications, like a BTEC Certificate/Diploma in Construction, can be beneficial as they introduce you to some of the basic skills needed in the industry.
- Previous experience in related fields such as carpentry or joinery can be helpful if you’re seeking entry-level positions, such as a fitter’s mate or labourer.
- The most common path to becoming a Window Fitter is through an apprenticeship with a glazing company. These apprenticeships are usually available to individuals aged 16 and older. Some employers may require you to pass an aptitude test as part of the entry process.
- During your apprenticeship, you’ll receive on-the-job training from experienced professionals. Additionally, you’ll attend day or block release instruction at a college or training centre. This combination of practical and theoretical training will help you work toward industry-recognized qualifications.
- Vocational qualifications such as NVQ/SVQ Diplomas in Fenestration Installation (Levels 2-3) or Fire Resistant Glazing (Levels 2-3) may be pursued during your training.
- The Glass Qualifications Authority offers various NVQs related to the manufacture and installation of glass and related products.
- Many employers may require Window Fitters to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card as proof of their competency to work on construction sites. To obtain this card, you usually need to be working toward or have gained an NVQ qualification.
- Having a driving license may also be a requirement, especially if you need to travel between client locations.
Window Fitter Salary
The salary of a Window Fitter can vary based on factors such as experience, location, qualifications, and the specific employer. Here’s an overview of typical salary ranges:
- Trainee Salary: Trainees can expect a starting salary of around £15,000 per year.
- Qualified Window Fitters: With experience and relevant qualifications, salaries can range from £17,000 to £25,000 per year, depending on their level of experience.
- Overtime and Shift Work: Many Window Fitters have the opportunity to earn more through overtime and shift allowances. Self-employed fitters negotiate their own rates.
Career Prospects and Progression
Window Fitters have various opportunities for career growth and progression:
- Specialization: Some Window Fitters choose to specialize in specific areas, such as fire-proof glazing or applying film to glass for privacy.
- Sales and Marketing: Opportunities exist within the sales and marketing sides of the industry for those interested in promoting window-related products and services.
- Supervisory Roles: With sufficient experience, Window Fitters can progress to team leader or supervisory positions, where they oversee the work of other fitters.
- Window Surveying or Estimating: Some may transition into roles related to window surveying or estimating.
- Self-Employment: Experienced Window Fitters can opt to become self-employed and run their own window-fitting businesses.
Advantages and Disadvantages
As with any career, there are advantages and disadvantages to being a Window Fitter:
- Income Opportunities: Window Fitters can increase their income through overtime, extra shifts, and self-employment.
- Job Satisfaction: It can be satisfying to make customers happy by improving the appearance, value, and functionality of their buildings through window installations and repairs.
- Physical Demands: The job can be physically demanding, involving lifting and carrying windows, as well as working at heights.
- Working Conditions: Window Fitters may need to work outdoors in various weather conditions and must often clean up after completing their work.
What the work involves
The daily tasks of a Window Fitter centre around ensuring the proper installation of windows and related components:
- Window Installation: Using hand and power tools to remove old windows and fit new ones, working with materials like glass, plastic, and wood.
- Weatherproofing: Applying seals to new windows to make them weatherproof and prevent leaks.
- Additional Installations: Fitting doors, conservatories, and weatherboarding to enhance building functionality and aesthetics.
- Mathematical Calculations: Taking precise measurements and making calculations to ensure that frames and windows are correctly aligned.
- Safety Measures: Adhering to strict safety protocols, especially when handling glass and working at heights.
- Customer Interaction: Interacting with customers, as much of the work is done in their premises, necessitating good customer relations skills.
Window Fitters work both indoors and outdoors, often in various locations and weather conditions. They may need to work at heights or on ladders. Attention to health and safety, particularly when handling glass, is crucial. Normal working hours are common, but overtime is often required.
A career as a Window Fitter can lead to various related opportunities, including:
- Carpenter/Joiner: Transitioning into carpentry or joinery, leveraging existing skills and knowledge.
- Ceiling Fixer: Exploring opportunities as a ceiling fixer, specializing in the installation of ceilings in buildings.
- Glazier: Advancing into a specialized role as a glazier, focusing on the installation and repair of glass.
For more information about pursuing a career as a Window Fitter, you can refer to the following resources:
- Glass and Glazing Federation: www.ggf.org.uk
This organization provides valuable information and resources related to the glass and glazing industry, including details on training and qualifications.