How to Become an Insulation Worker: Career Requirements and Info

Learn how to become an insulation worker. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in the insulation field. View article »

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  • 0:26 Career Requirements
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Video Transcript

Should I Be an Insulation Worker?

Insulation workers use special materials to help maintain and control the temperature in enclosed areas. Some of their job duties include reading blueprints, installing barriers and taking measurements. Due to the nature of their work, insulation workers must often spend hours standing, sitting or kneeling in cramped spaces.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Postsecondary training required; certificates or apprenticeships common
Licensure/Certification Certification required for hazardous material handling
Experience Varies; 1,700-2,000 hours of on-the-job training required for apprenticeships
Key Skills Stamina and dexterity; familiarity with related technology such as project management and analytic software; ability to operate field-specific tools including metal cutters, utility knives, power saws, shears, and staple guns
Salary $35,040 (2015 median salary for floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers)
$43,610 (2015 median salary for mechanical insulation workers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET Online

Insulation workers have postsecondary training. Some complete certifications or apprenticeships. They are expected to have stamina, dexterity, and familiarity with related technology, such as project management and analytic software. They must be able to operate field-specific tools, including metal cutters, utility knives, power saws, shears and staple guns. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015, the median annual salary for floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers was $35,040 and the median annual salary for mechanical insulation workers was $43,610.

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Steps to Be an Insulation Worker

What steps do I need to take to be an insulation worker?

Step 1: Choose a Specialty

Insulation workers generally fall into two categories. Floor, ceiling and wall insulation workers install insulation material in attics and other parts of homes and buildings. Mechanical insulators work with pipes in factories and other businesses. Insulators that work on floors, ceilings and walls are generally not required to obtain a formal education. A high school diploma is required for mechanical insulation workers.

Step 2: Obtain Relevant Training

Informal job training is common for most floor, ceiling and wall insulation workers. However, mechanical insulators typically complete formal apprenticeships. Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with technical instruction. First aid, math and construction techniques are some topics covered in formal apprenticeship programs. Formal training can require as much as 1,700 to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and can take up to five years depending on what type of insulation work is being done.

You will want to research the training requirements in your location. In some states, such as Minnesota, workers will need 1,000 hours of on-the-job training prior to obtaining certification. Insulation workers should make sure their apprenticeship program offers the necessary amount of training for the certification requirements.

Step 3: Earn Certification

Insulation workers who come into contact with asbestos must obtain certification through the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Some states, like Washington, require certification candidates to complete an asbestos training program and meet education and work experience requirements.

It's important to renew your certification. To keep their certification current, individuals are required to meet renewal requirements such as attending refresher courses.

Insulation workers use special materials to help maintain and control the temperature in defined areas. They have postsecondary training, stamina, and abilities to use relevant software and tools. And they earn a median annual salary of $35,040 for floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers and $43,610 for mechanical insulation workers.

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