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.

Main 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.

Employment requirements 

  • Completion of secondary 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.
  • Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified insulators (heat and frost).

Additional information 

  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
  • Red Seal trade certification allows for interprovincial mobility.