Insulation Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
There are no specific education requirements for floor, ceiling, and wall insulators. Mechanical insulators should have a high school diploma. High school courses in basic math, woodworking, mechanical drawing, algebra, and general science are considered helpful for all types of insulators.
Training Required
Most floor, ceiling, and wall insulators learn their trade on the job. New workers are provided basic instruction on installation as well as mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety training on handling insulation and asbestos. Insulators who install blown or sprayed insulation will work alongside more experienced workers to learn how to operate equipment before being tasked with leading a spray installation job.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 5% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Insulation workers who remove and handle asbestos must be trained through a program accredited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Median pay: How much do Insulation Workers make?
$39,280 Annual Salary
$18.89 per hour

Insulation workers, also called insulators, install and replace the materials used to insulate buildings and their mechanical systems.

What do Insulation Workers do?

Insulators typically do the following:

  • Remove and dispose of old insulation
  • Review blueprints and specifications to determine the amount and type of insulation needed
  • Measure and cut insulation to fit into walls and around pipes
  • Secure insulation with staples, tape, or screws
  • Use air compressors to spray foam insulation
  • Install plastic barriers to protect insulation from moisture

Insulated buildings save energy by keeping heat in during the winter and out in the summer. Insulated vats, vessels, boilers, steam pipes, and water pipes prevent the loss of heat or cold and prevent burns. In addition, insulation helps reduce noise that passes through walls and ceilings.

Insulators often must remove old insulation when renovating buildings. In the past, asbestosnow known to cause cancerwas used extensively to insulate walls, ceilings, pipes, and industrial equipment. Because of this danger, hazardous materials removal workers or specially trained insulators are required to remove asbestos before workers can begin installation.

Insulators use common hand tools, such as knives and scissors. They also may use a variety of power tools, such as power saws to cut insulating materials, welders to secure clamps, staple guns to fasten insulation to walls, and air compressors to spray insulation.

Insulators sometimes wrap a cover of aluminum, sheet metal, or vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the insulation. Doing so protects the insulation from contact damage and keeps moisture out.

Careers for Insulation Workers

  • Boiler coverers
  • Ceiling insulation blowers
  • Commercial insulators
  • Composition weatherboard installers
  • Cork insulation installers
  • Cork insulators
  • Floor, ceiling, and wall insulators
  • Heat and frost insulators
  • Industrial insulators
  • Insulation installers
  • Insulation machine operators
  • Insulation mechanics
  • Insulators
  • Interior surface insulation workers
  • Mechanical insulators
  • Pipe coverers
  • Pipe insulators
  • Refrigeration insulators
  • Sheet metal insulators
  • Wall insulation sprayers

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