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Updated / Apprenticeship

Insulator (Heat and Frost)

Insulators (heat and frost) apply, remove and repair thermal and acoustical insulation (for example, calcium silicate, glass foam, mineral wool, styrofoam, fibreglass) on all types of industrial equipment (for example, duct piping, heat exchangers, tanks, vessels).

  • Avg. Salary $69,657.00
  • Avg. Wage $32.67
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,100
  • In Demand Medium
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Insulators (7293) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Insulators (H143) 
  • 2011 NOC: Insulators (7293) 
  • 2016 NOC: Insulators (7293) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

94%
94%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Insulator (Heat and Frost) is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Insulators
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to apply waterproofing cement over insulating materials to finish surfaces, and to install vapour barriers

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating hand and power tools to measure and cut insulating materials to required dimensions

innovative

Interest in fitting insulation around obstructions and between studs and joints

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, insulators (heat and frost select the amount and type of insulation to be installed and a method for securing the insulation, such as spraying, pinwelding, wiring, pasting, strapping or taping. The choice of insulation and the method depends on the type and shape of the surface, whether or not the equipment is cold or hot or inside or outside, and what the equipment is going to be used for.

Insulators also:

  • Read and interpret drawings and specifications to determine insulation requirements
  • Measure and cut insulating material and coverings to the required shape and dimension
  • Fit insulation around obstructions or shape insulation materials and protective coverings
  • Install vapour barriers and finish insulated surfaces by applying metal cladding, canvas, plastic sheeting or cement
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Insulators (heat and frost) work both indoors and outdoors, often in uncomfortable or potentially hazardous circumstances: in very hot or cold settings, on ladders or scaffolding, in cramped areas or with materials that are dusty, itchy or toxic. They must observe safety precautions and use equipment such as respirators, coveralls and safety glasses or goggles.

Insulators may work a 40-hour, 5-day week or work 40 hours in 5 days. They may see some overtime to meet construction deadlines. Those employed in the maintenance of industrial plants may work shifts.

Lifting or moving items that weigh up to 25 kilograms may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Insulators (heat and frost) need:

  • Precision
  • Manual dexterity
  • Strength and stamina
  • Agility to work in cramped spaces
  • Comfort with heights and working in hot and cold environments
  • The ability to work alone or as part of a team
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

To work in Alberta, an insulator (heat and frost) must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate
  • Someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • Self-employed

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,517 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training each year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Insulator apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Insulator (Heat and Frost)

Insulators (heat and frost) apply, remove and repair thermal and acoustical insulation (for example, calcium silicate, glass foam, mineral wool, styrofoam, fibreglass) on all types of industrial equipment (for example, duct piping, heat exchangers, tanks, vessels). For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Insulator (Heat and Frost) Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice insulators (heat and frost) in Alberta is 3 years (three 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,517 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Insulators (heat and frost) trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on “Contact Us” on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Insulators (heat and frost) are employed by:

  • Construction companies
  • Fabrication facilities
  • Industrial plants
  • Insulation contractors

This occupation is subject to business cycle swings that can lead to periodic high levels of unemployment.

Insulators may advance to supervisory or management positions such as foreman, general foreman or superintendent, or move into estimator positions.

In Alberta, 82% of people employed as insulators work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the H143: Insulators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 5 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson insulators (heat and frost) wage rates vary but generally range from $30 to $42 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 50% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 60% in the second, and 70% in the third.

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $39.31 $25.27 $25.00
Overall $25.00 $40.16 $32.67 $33.00
Top $29.00 $46.12 $37.98 $38.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Construction
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

94%
94%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

41%
41%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

8%
8%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers website: www.insulators.org

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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