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Become An Insulation Installer

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Working As An Insulation Installer

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $19,764

    Average Salary

What Does An Insulation Installer Do

Insulation workers install and replace the materials used to insulate buildings and their mechanical systems to help control and maintain the temperatures in buildings. These workers are often referred to as insulators.

Duties

Insulation workers typically do the following:

  • Remove old insulation and dispose of it properly
  • Read blueprints and specifications to determine the requirements of the job
  • Determine the amount and type of insulation needed
  • Measure and cut insulation to fit into walls and around pipes
  • Fasten insulation in place with staples, tape, or screws
  • Use compressors to spray insulation into some spaces
  • Install plastic barriers to protect insulation from moisture
  • Follow safety guidelines

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

When renovating old buildings, insulators often must remove the old insulation. In the past, asbestos—now known to cause cancer—was 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.

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

Workers 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.

Floor, ceiling, and wall insulators install insulation in attics, under floors, and behind walls in homes and other buildings. Most of these workers unroll, cut, fit, and staple batts of fiberglass insulation between wall studs and ceiling joists. Some workers, however, spray foam insulation with a compressor hose into the space being filled.

Mechanical insulators apply insulation to equipment, pipes, or ductwork in businesses, factories, and many other types of buildings. When insulating a steampipe, for example, they consider the temperature, thickness, and diameter of the pipe in determining the type of insulation to be used.

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How To Become An Insulation Installer

Most floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers learn their trade on the job since no formal education is typically required. Most mechanical insulation workers complete an apprenticeship program after earning a high school diploma or equivalent.

Education

There are no specific education requirements for floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers. Mechanical insulation workers should have a high school diploma. High school courses in basic math, woodworking, mechanical drawing, algebra, and general science are considered helpful for all insulation workers.

Training

Most floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers learn their trade on the job. New workers are provided basic instruction on installation and begin to place insulation immediately. 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.

Most mechanical insulation workers learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship. Some apprenticeships may last up to 5 years, depending on the program. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours of related technical instruction. Technical instruction includes learning about installation techniques as well as basic mathematics, how to read and draw blueprints, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.

Unions and individual contractors offer apprenticeship programs. Although most new workers start out by entering apprenticeships directly, others begin by working as helpers. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Being 18 years old
  • Being physically able to do the work
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Insulation workers who remove and handle asbestos must be trained through a program accredited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Insulation contractor organizations offer voluntary certification to help workers prove their skills and knowledge of residential and industrial insulation.

The National Insulation Association also offers a certification for mechanical insulators who conduct energy appraisals to determine if and how insulation can benefit industrial customers.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Insulation workers must be able to work in confined spaces while maintaining coordination and control of tools and materials. Also, insulators often must reach above their heads to fit and fasten insulation into place.

Math Skills. Mechanical insulators need to measure the size of the equipment or pipe they are insulating. This is especially important when insulation is formed off site so that additional cuts are unnecessary.

Mechanical skills. Insulation workers use a variety of hand and power tools to install insulation. Those who apply foam insulation, for example, must be able to operate and maintain a compressor and sprayer to spread the foam onto walls or across attics.

Physical stamina. Insulators may spend up to 12 hours a day standing, reaching, and bending. Workers should be able to stay physically active without getting tired.

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Insulation Installer jobs

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Insulation Installer Demographics

Gender

Male

92.6%

Female

6.1%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Asian

4.6%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4%

Swedish

4.8%

Ukrainian

4.8%

German

4.8%

French

4.8%

Russian

4.8%

Hmong

4.8%
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Insulation Installer Education

Schools

Utah Valley University

13.5%

Hawkeye Community College

7.7%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Idaho State University

7.7%

Onondaga Community College

5.8%

Central Washington University

3.8%

Ashford University

3.8%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.8%

Fresno City College

3.8%

Davis Applied Technology College

3.8%

Southern Technical College

3.8%

Lane Community College

3.8%

Iowa State University

3.8%

College of Southern Idaho

3.8%

Portland Community College

3.8%

Morehead State University

3.8%

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

3.8%

Bishop State Community College

3.8%

Ridgewater College

3.8%

Howard College

3.8%
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Majors

General Studies

14.5%

Business

10.3%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

Construction Management

6.1%

Precision Metal Working

5.5%

Electrical Engineering

5.5%

Mechanical Engineering

5.5%

Automotive Technology

4.2%

Accounting

4.2%

Computer Science

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Psychology

3.6%

History

3.6%

Graphic Design

3.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Culinary Arts

3.0%

Industrial Technology

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.0%
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Degrees

Other

54.1%

Associate

15.3%

Bachelors

15.3%

Certificate

8.8%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

2.6%
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Real Insulation Installer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Insulation Installer Statewide Insulation DBA Tri County Insulation Santa Cruz, CA Dec 15, 2010 $55,222
Insulation Installer Christian's Insulation, Inc. Monticello, NY May 28, 2015 $54,974
Supervisor of Insulation Installer Robinson Brothers ENV. Inc. Waunakee, WI Apr 15, 2011 $49,712
Insulation Installer Christian's Insulation Inc. Monticello, NY Jun 24, 2011 $36,168 -
$37,566
Insulation Installer WCK Tx 1, LLC Tyler, TX Jun 22, 2016 $31,928
Insulation Installers Powers Thermal Insulation Colorado Springs, CO Jan 29, 2008 $23,541 -
$33,684
Insulation Installar Quality Insulation, Ltd. Conroe, TX Feb 23, 2010 $20,197
Insulation Installer WCK Tx I, LLC DBA Leo Jones Insulating Company Tyler, TX Mar 28, 2012 $20,114
Insulation Installer Quality Insulation Houston, TX Mar 04, 2008 $19,764
Insulation Installer Staley's Insulating Inc. West Jefferson, NC Dec 13, 2010 $19,764
Insulation Installer Staley's Insulating Inc. West Jefferson, NC Dec 07, 2010 $19,764
Insulation Installer Staley's Insulating Inc. West Jefferson, NC Dec 08, 2010 $19,764
Insulation Installer Staley's Insulating Inc. West Jefferson, NC Apr 10, 2009 $19,764
Insulation Installer Staley's Insulating Inc. West Jefferson, NC May 07, 2009 $19,764

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Top Skills for An Insulation Installer

JobSiteCleanupCelluloseInsulationCommonHandToolsFoamInsulationOLDInsulationCrawlSpacesTapeMeasuresBlown-InInsulationInsulationBatsNewConstructionProjectsSafetyProceduresSmallSpacesHoseAttachmentsCustomerServiceAccessHolesInsulationMaterialCanvasStripsFiberGlassInsulationResidentialHomesVaporBarrier

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Top Insulation Installer Skills

  1. Job Site Cleanup
  2. Cellulose Insulation
  3. Common Hand Tools
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Handled job site cleanup and completed paperwork required for reporting.
  • Worked together on a construction crew installing cellulose insulation into both new construction and remodeled homes.
  • Used a variety of tools to effectively complete jobs including common hand tools and compression sprays.
  • Install 2-part spray foam insulation on basement rim band, knee walls, foundations, etc.
  • Replaced old insulation in walls and attics.

Top Insulation Installer Employers

Insulation Installer Videos

Adding Wall Insulation Video

How to Choose and Use Foam Insulation - This Old House

How to Beef Up Attic Insulation - This Old House

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