Insulators

(NOC 7293)

in All Trades and Transportation

Insulators apply insulation materials to plumbing, air-handling, heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, piping equipment and pressure vessels, and walls, floors and ceilings of buildings and other structures, to prevent or reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound or fire. They are employed by construction companies and insulation contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Insulators most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 38% of Insulators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $49,844. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.55

Minimum

$25.00

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,198

Minimum

$39,576

Median

$91,062

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Insulators apply insulation materials to plumbing, air-handling, heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, piping equipment and pressure vessels, and walls, floors and ceilings of buildings and other structures, to prevent or reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound or fire. They are employed by construction companies and insulation contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Insulators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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

To work in this trade you should have physical stamina, agility, and coordination, and be capable of climbing, reaching, crouching, and handling heavy materials.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in insulating is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for insulators (heat and frost) is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified insulators (heat and frost) upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

Jobs in the construction industry are strongly affected by seasonal changes and general economic conditions, and many are on a project basis. As a result, workers in these jobs should be prepared for periods of unemployment. The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

265

employed in 2016

90.3%

employed full-time

5.7%

self employed

2.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.4

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.7%

Halifax

23.7%

Northern

15.8%

Cape Breton

5.3%

Southern

5.3%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

73.7%

Construction

5.3%

Public Administration

3.5%

Paper Manufacturing

3.5%

Manufactured Mineral Products

3.5%

Oil and Gas Extraction

What is the age of Employment?

27.2%

45-54

21.7%

55-64

20.7%

25-34

18.5%

35-44

9.8%

15-24

2.2%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

36.5%

Trades certificate

$31,029 median annual income
28.4%

High school

$38,918 median annual income
18.9%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
13.5%

Less than high school

$38,279 median annual income
2.7%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Insulator

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to apply insulation materials to pipes, boilers, ducts, refrigeration systems, and related equipment to reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound, or fire. These programs 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

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Insulator (Heat & Frost)

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

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
260 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 3
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1V9
Tel: (902) 468-2267
Fax: (902) 468-2470
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

Pipe and Ducting Insulators

View all job postings