The Other Employee Problem

Finding and retaining quality employees has always been one of the glass industry’s biggest challenges. It’s consistently been the number 1, 2 or 3 largest problem cited in every glazing study we’ve done over the years. The glass industry had this problem long before every other industry did. Now that every other industry has the same problem, it’s become worse than ever for the glass companies to find new and good employees.

Glass installation competes against everything from convenience store employees ($20 an hour around here) to other building trades. Glass installation is physical work, often in unpleasant conditions. Even though they should, glaziers don’t get the respect that electricians or plumbers do.

And that’s not the only thing they don’t get. The research firm Porch recently crunched a lot of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop a way to measure the desirability of certain professions. They created data matrices that tracked an annual pay score, pay potential score, industry size score, growth score and entry-level requirements.

SOURCE: Porch Research. For an interactive version, visit

Porch also measured selected industries against the scale in order to access desirability. Although they did so for the home improvement industry, the results are telling for all construction trades. Of the 25 professions tracked, glazing came in 16th. And it had one of the lowest pay potential scores of any construction industry.

Where are the jobs of the future? According to BLS, they are in solar photovoltaic installation by a wide margin. The glass shop that can provide both services would be well-positioned for the future.