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Career profile Insulation Mechanic

Also known as Commercial Insulator, Heat and Frost Insulator, Industrial Insulator, Insulation Installer, Insulation Mechanic, Insulation Worker, Insulator, Mechanic Insulator, Mechanical Insulator

Insulation Mechanic

Also known as Commercial Insulator, Heat and Frost Insulator, Industrial Insulator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$32,830 - $91,120 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Coordination
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Measure and cut insulation for covering surfaces, using tape measures, handsaws, knives, and scissors.
  • Remove or seal off old asbestos insulation, following safety procedures.
  • Fit insulation around obstructions, and shape insulating materials and protective coverings as required.
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What does an Insulation Mechanic do?

Insulation Mechanics apply insulating materials to pipes or ductwork, or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature.

What kind of tasks does an Insulation Mechanic perform regularly?

Insulation Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Measure and cut insulation for covering surfaces, using tape measures, handsaws, knives, and scissors.
  • Fit insulation around obstructions, and shape insulating materials and protective coverings as required.
  • Determine the amounts and types of insulation needed, and methods of installation, based on factors such as location, surface shape, and equipment use.
  • Apply, remove, and repair insulation on industrial equipment, pipes, ductwork, or other mechanical systems such as heat exchangers, tanks, and vessels, to help control noise and maintain temperatures.
  • Install sheet metal around insulated pipes with screws to protect the insulation from weather conditions or physical damage.
  • Select appropriate insulation, such as fiberglass, Styrofoam, or cork, based on the heat retaining or excluding characteristics of the material.
  • Read blueprints and specifications to determine job requirements.
  • Cover, seal, or finish insulated surfaces or access holes with plastic covers, canvas strips, sealants, tape, cement, or asphalt mastic.
  • Prepare surfaces for insulation application by brushing or spreading on adhesives, cement, or asphalt, or by attaching metal pins to surfaces.

The above responsibilities are specific to Insulation Mechanics. More generally, Insulation Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is an Insulation Mechanic salary?

The median salary for an Insulation Mechanic is $50,030, and the average salary is $55,470. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Insulation Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Insulation Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Insulation Mechanics earn less than $32,830 per year, 25% earn less than $39,640, 75% earn less than $64,600, and 90% earn less than $91,120.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Insulation Mechanics is expected to change by 5.0%, and there should be roughly 2,800 open positions for Insulation Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$32,830 - $91,120
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Insulation Mechanics?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Insulation Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Insulation Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Insulation Mechanics typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Insulation Mechanics typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Insulation Mechanic tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Insulation Mechanics strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Insulation Mechanics strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Insulation Mechanics moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Insulation Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Insulation Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Insulation Mechanics need?

Working as an Insulation Mechanic usually requires a high school diploma.

Insulation Mechanics need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Insulation Mechanics

  • 29.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 45.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.4% completed some college coursework
  • 3.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 4.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Insulation Mechanics

Insulation Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mathematics, building and construction, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Insulation Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Insulation Mechanics

Insulation Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Insulation Mechanics need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Insulation Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Insulation Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Insulation Mechanics frequently use skills like critical thinking, coordination, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Insulation Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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