Mechanical Insulation Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Measures and cuts insulation for covering surfaces, using tape measures, handsaws, knives, and scissors.
  • Fits insulation around obstructions, and shapes insulating materials and protective coverings as required.
  • Determines the amounts and types of insulation needed, and methods of installation, based on factors such as location, surface shape, and equipment use.
  • Installs sheet metal around insulated pipes with screws to protect the insulation from weather conditions or physical damage.
  • Applies, removes, and repairs insulation on industrial equipment, pipes, ductwork, or other mechanical systems such as heat exchangers, tanks, and vessels, to help control noise and maintain temperatures.
  • Reads blueprints and specifications to determine job requirements.
  • Selects appropriate insulation, such as fiberglass, Styrofoam, or cork, based on the heat retaining or excluding characteristics of the material.
  • Covers, seals, or finishes insulated surfaces or access holes with plastic covers, canvas strips, sealants, tape, cement, or asphalt mastic.
  • Prepares surfaces for insulation application by brushing or spreading on adhesives, cement, or asphalt, or by attaching metal pins to surfaces.
  • Removes or seals off old asbestos insulation, following safety procedures.

Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Commercial Insulator --
  • Heat and Frost Insulator --
  • Industrial Insulator --
  • Insulation Helper --
  • Insulation Installer --
  • Insulation Mechanic --
  • Insulation Worker --
  • Insulator --
  • Mechanic Insulator --
  • Mechanical Insulator --