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Occupational Profile
Apprenticeship

Insulator

Insulators 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 $74,604.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.47
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 4,900
  • In Demand Lower
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

68%
68%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Insulator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Insulators
NOC code: 7293
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 Dec 15, 2016

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, insulators:

  • read and interpret drawings and specifications to determine insulation requirements
  • select the amount and type of insulation to be installed and a method of securing the insulation (for example, spraying, pinwelding, wiring, pasting, strapping, taping) depending on the type and shape of surface, whether or not the equipment is cold or hot, inside or outside, and what the equipment is going to be used for
  • 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
  • remove or seal off old asbestos insulation.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Insulators may work a 40 hour, five day week or work 40 hours in four days. Some overtime may be required to meet construction deadlines. Those employed in the maintenance of industrial plants may work shifts.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Insulators need the following characteristics:

  • manual dexterity
  • the agility required to work in cramped spaces
  • the ability to work at heights and in hot and cold environments.

They should enjoy doing precision work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, an insulator 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:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. 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 credit or certification.

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 and is currently offered at:

  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Insulators are employed by construction companies, insulation contractors and industrial plants. This occupation is subject to business cycle swings that can lead to periodic high levels of unemployment.

Insulators may advance to supervisory positions such as foreman, general foreman or superintendent, or move into estimator positions. Alberta certified journeyperson insulators who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

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

The employment outlook in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,900 Albertans are employed in the Insulators occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 5 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $30 to $42 an hour plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice insulators 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.

Insulators
NOC code: 7293

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

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 $40.87 $25.25 $20.00
Overall $29.46 $40.87 $35.47 $36.00
Top $32.00 $50.00 $45.27 $50.00

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
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

68%
68%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

59%
59%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

21%
21%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

Heat and Frost Insulators website: www.heatandfrostinsulators.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 30, 2015. 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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