Overall employment of insulation workers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth rates, however, will vary by occupation.
Employment of mechanical insulation workers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for mechanical insulators will be spurred by the need to make new and existing buildings more energy efficient. In the past, mechanical insulation had been reduced or cut from building plans as a cost-saving method, but energy analyses show that improved insulation provides a greater return on investment. The anticipated construction of new power plants, which are big users of insulated pipes and equipment, also should result in greater employment demand. In addition, jobs are being created that are related to the extraction and transportation of oil and natural gas.
Employment of floor, ceiling, and wall insulators is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increases in home building will spur employment growth over the coming decade. In addition, insulation will continue to be added into existing buildings to save energy.
Floor, ceiling, and wall insulators are expected to face competition for jobs as they often compete with other construction trade workers and there are fewer job entry requirements for these insulators. Job openings will continue to arise because the difficult working conditions cause many insulation workers in residential construction to leave the occupation each year.
Mechanical insulation workers who have completed training should have the best job opportunities. In fact, overall opportunities for mechanical insulators should be very good as new construction continues to grow, as the increased focus on maintenance and retrofitting continues, and as government and private businesses strive for more energy efficiency. Workers with military service experience are viewed favorably during initial hiring.
Insulation workers in the construction industry may experience periods of unemployment because of the short duration of many construction projects and the cyclical nature of construction activity. Workers employed to perform industrial plant maintenance generally have more stable employment because maintenance and repair must be done regularly.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Insulation workers, mechanical
Construction trades workers
Total, all occupations
Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program