What is an Insulator?
Insulators apply, remove and repair thermal and acoustical insulation (e.g., calcium silicate, glass foam, mineral wool, styrofoam, fiberglass) on all types of industrial equipment (e.g., duct piping, heat exchangers, tanks, vessels).
In general, insulators:
- Read and interpret drawings and specifications to determine insulation requirements
- Select the amount and type of insulation to be installed as well as a method of securing the insulation (e.g., spraying, pin welding, wiring, pasting, strapping, taping) according to 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
Skills & Abilities
Insulating is most rewarding for those who enjoy doing tasks precisely. It is also an occupation for people who prefer stability and security.
To be successful in their trade, insulators need:
- Manual dexterity
- The ability to lift up to 25 kilograms
- The agility required to work in cramped spaces
- The ability to work at heights and in hot and cold environments
The term of apprenticeship for an insulator is 3 years (three 12-month periods). This consists of a minimum of 1517 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training in the first, second and third year of apprenticeship, for a total of 4551 hours.
An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the Insulator trade or holds a related journeyman certificate and has the employer’s recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship.
A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may apply for a Prior Learning Assessment.
To find answers to your questions and learn more about a career as an Insulator, contact the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 110.
For a quick summary of a career as an insulator, ask about the insulator trade card.