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Glass Instrument Maker
Glass instrument makers manufacture and repair glass appliances and instruments for use by scientists and researchers in experiments.

They manufacture scientific apparatus according to the specifications of the scientist requiring the apparatus, or according to standard specifications. Other specifications are usually given in the form of a sketch. Sometimes glass instrument makers design the instruments themselves.

The work of glass instrument makers involves the bending and forming of glass tubes, the blowing of reactor valves and the forming of gas waste-pipes, the partial machining of basic glass components and taps, as well as the mounting of such components by melting them together to form a complete apparatus. They make use of various techniques in the formation of glass components.

Satisfying Aspects
- being able to design and provide the required instruments
- seeing the finished product
- working with your hands

Demanding aspects
- concentration needed for long periods, due to potential dangers of heat and chemicals
- frustration when a piece breaks

- good eyesight
- somewhat artistic
- dexterity
- enjoy making things with your hands
- able to visualize objects three-dimensionally.
- interest in working with machines
- good at solving practical problems
- physically fit

School Subjects
Grade 11 Certificate, although a higher qualification is recommended

Compulsory school subjects: None
Recommended school subjects: Mathematics, Physical Science, Visual Arts

Since the trade of glass instrument maker is not a designated trade, students follow the courses for N1, N2 and N3 for instrument-makers.

Training covers a period of from two to four years, depending on skill and theoretical knowledge. Practical and theoretical training are included.

The theoretical courses can be taken at a College for FET. A correspondence course can be followed through Technisa.

- such organizations as: AECI, Sasol
- universities and research institutes
- glass blowing industries
- self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own glass blowing business.

The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation
of South Africa (SEIFSA)
P O Box 1338
Johannesburg, 2000
Tel: (011) 298-9400 Fax: (011) 298-9500