Insulation Workers, Mechanical
Apply insulating materials to pipes or ductwork, or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature.
Sample of reported job titles: Commercial Insulator, Heat and Frost Insulator, Industrial Insulator, Insulation Installer, Insulation Mechanic, Insulation Worker, Insulator, Mechanic Insulator, Mechanical Insulator
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Install sheet metal around insulated pipes with screws to protect the insulation from weather conditions or physical damage.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove or seal off old asbestos insulation, following safety procedures.
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- Analytical or scientific software — North American Insulation Manufacturers Association NAIMA 3E Plus
- Data base user interface and query software — CMSN FieldPAK; Comput-Ability Mechanical Insulation Key Estimator
- Project management software — Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
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- Mathematics — 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.
- Mechanical — 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- 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.
- 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.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
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- 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.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Cut carpet, vinyl or other flexible materials.
- Measure materials or objects for installation or assembly.
- Remove worn, damaged or outdated materials from work areas.
- Install insulation in equipment or structures.
- Select construction materials.
- Install metal structural components.
- Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
- Apply sealants or other protective coatings.
- Apply adhesives to construction materials.
- Prepare surfaces for finishing.
- Load materials into construction equipment.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 92% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 62% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to High Places — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “Some freedom.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 45% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 46% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 27% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 77% responded “40 hours.”
- Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 46% responded “Less than half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|41||Less than high school diploma|
|35||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: RCI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — 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.
- Conventional — 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.
- Investigative — 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.
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- Dependability — 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.
- Independence — 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$24.05 hourly, $50,030 annual|
|Employment (2020)||28,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||2,800|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
- National Center for Construction Education and Research
- National Insulation Association
- North America’s Building Trades Union
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Insulation workers
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