Insulators held about 55,600 jobs in 2014. Employment was split about evenly between mechanical insulators and floor, ceiling, and wall insulators.
The majority of floor, ceiling, and wall insulators were employed in the drywall and insulation contractors industry.
About 55 percent of mechanical insulators were employed in the building equipment contractors industry. Another 20 percent were employed in the drywall and insulation contractors industry in 2014.
Insulation workers generally work indoors in residential and commercial settings. Mechanical insulators work both indoors and outdoors. They spend most of their workday standing, bending, or kneeling in confined spaces.
Injuries and Illnesses
Although installing insulation is not inherently dangerous, falls from ladders and cuts from knives are common hazards. In addition, small particles from insulation materials, especially when sprayed, can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs. To protect themselves, insulators must keep the work area well ventilated and follow product and employer safety recommendations. They may also wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including suits, masks, and respirators, which protects against hazardous fumes or materials.
Mechanical insulators may get burns from the pipes they insulate if the pipes are in service.
Although most insulators work full time, more than 40 hours a week may be required to meet construction schedules. Those who insulate outdoors may have to stop work when it rains or during very cold weather.