Insulators

(NOC 7293)

in All Trades and Transportation

Insulators (heat and frost) install insulating materials in commercial and industrial structures and remove existing insulating materials like asbestos. They work for construction companies and insulation contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small, with infrequent opportunities.
Demand: A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.

Hourly Pay

$17.00

Minimum

$32.50

Median

$41.93

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,198

Minimum

$39,576

Median

$91,062

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Insulators (heat and frost) install insulating materials in commercial and industrial structures and remove existing insulating materials like asbestos. They work for construction companies and insulation contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Insulators:

  • Read and interpret drawings and specifications to determine insulation requirements and select type of insulation required.
  • Measure and cut insulating material to required dimensions using hand and power tools.
  • Apply and secure insulation using spraying, blowing, pasting, strapping, taping and other application and installation methods.
  • Fit insulation around obstructions and between studs and joists.
  • Install vapour barriers.
  • Apply waterproofing cement over insulating materials to finish surfaces.
  • Remove asbestos or urea-formaldehyde insulation from buildings when required.

Sample job titles

  • apprentice insulator
  • boiler and pipe insulator
  • fibreglass insulation installer
  • insulation installer
  • insulation mechanic
  • insulator
  • refrigeration and air conditioning equipment insulator
  • soundproof material installer

Skills

  • Precision
  • Manual dexterity
  • Strength and stamina
  • Agility to work in cramped spaces
  • Comfort with heights and working in hot and cold environments
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 7,200-hour apprenticeship program with four apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 10,800 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for insulators (heat and frost) is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for insulators (heat and frost).
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Insulators can work indoors and outdoors, often in extreme temperatures. They may work in confined spaces, on ladders or scaffolding, or with itchy or toxic materials. They may be required to travel. Lifting and moving heavy items is often required.
  • Their work schedules depend on the type of work they are doing, ranging from regular work weeks, to shift work or irregular work hours. Schedules may depend on the availability of contracts, or inconvenience or health risks to adjacent workers or the public.
  • Removing old insulating materials like asbestos, ceramic fibers, lead, and mold is also part of the trade. Special training and licenses may be required to deal with these types of materials.
  • Spraying insulating materials and installing fireproofing and fire stop systems are also specialized parts of the trade.
  • Risks include falls from working at heights, injuries from power tools and exposure to toxic materials Tradespeople observe safety precautions and use equipment like respirators, coveralls, and safety glasses or goggles.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program are completed.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Experienced insulators may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They can also move into positions like maintenance, instructor, contractor, foreperson, superintendent, or estimator.

By the numbers

Quick look

380

employed in 2016

89.3%

employed full-time

5.3%

self employed

2.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.4

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
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94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

49.3%

Halifax

$39,188 median annual income
24.0%

North Shore

$41,705 median annual income
16.0%

Cape Breton

$74,360 median annual income
5.3%

Southern

N/A
5.3%

Annapolis Valley

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

76.4%

Construction

7.3%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

5.5%

Public administration

3.6%

Professional, scientific and technical services

3.6%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

26.0%

25-34

25.0%

35-44

21.0%

45-54

13.0%

15-24

13.0%

55-64

3.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

35.5%

Trade Certification

$71,359 median annual income
28.9%

High school

$37,806 median annual income
18.4%

College Diploma

$48,651 median annual income
15.8%

Less than high school

$19,901 median annual income
2.6%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Insulator

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply insulation materials to pipes, boilers, ducts, refrigeration systems, and related equipment to reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound, or fire. They include courses in insulation specifications, measuring and cutting insulating material, applying and securing insulation, installing vapour barriers, insulation system maintenance, asbestos removal and abatement, and safety training.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Insulator (Heat & Frost)

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
BuildForce Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Atlantic Home Building and Renovation Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades
Lakeside, NS
Merit Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trade Council
Sydney, NS
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 116
Dartmouth, NS

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