A sizeable majority of Insulators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $18.28 per hour. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. While just under a half report receiving no health benefits, slightly more than half do receive medical coverage, and approximately one in three have dental, as well. For the most part, Insulators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Insulator
Insulators are responsible for applying, removing, and repairing materials in pipes, ductwork, industrial equipment, and other mechanical systems in order to control and maintain temperatures and/or noise.Read More...
Most of their work is done indoors, usually in an industrial or residential setting, but this depends heavily on the particular projects at hand. Much of their time is spent standing, kneeling, and bending in small spaces, and some particular skills and knowledge are necessary for the position. For example, they must know how to read blueprints and measure and cut to exact specifications; they must be able to determine what kind of insulation is needed, how much, and the correct way to install it, which depends on factors like equipment used, surface shape, and location. Knowing how to staple, tape, spray, cement, and fasten insulation is also important, as there is a variety of ways to install the material.
Typically, after jobs are finished, insulators must be able to install sheet metal, plastic, or any other required material in order to protect and hide the insulation from weather conditions and other physical damage. Some insulating materials can be harmful, so those in this position must follow all handling guidelines at all times in order to work safely. For example, to remove old insulating material, which may include asbestos, workers must call on specially-trained hazardous material removers to assist before insulation work can begin.
Most insulators gain knowledge from on-the-job experience. Internships are available, but not necessarily required for employment. A high school diploma and at least some relevant experience may be required by some employers.
- Employ safety protocols in the handling of hazardous materials, such as lead and asbestos.
- Use various hand and power tools to customize insulation materials to pipes, refrigeration systems, ducts, or other surfaces.
- Affix insulation materials to hot or cold regulation systems to maintain a constant temperature.
- Apply finishing materials to secured insulation, such as plastic, canvas, sealants, cement, or metal.
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Pay by Experience Level for Insulator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $36K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $47K. Insulators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $51K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $54K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.