Overall employment of insulation workers is expected to grow 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth rates, however, will vary by occupational specialty.
Employment of floor, ceiling, and wall insulators is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Modest increases in home building will spur employment growth over the coming decade. Insulation will continue to be added into existing buildings to save energy.
Employment of mechanical insulation workers is expected to grow 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, spurred by the need to make existing buildings more energy efficient. In the past, mechanical insulation has 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 powerplants, big users of insulated pipes and equipment, should also result in greater employment demand.
Floor, ceiling, and wall insulators are expected to face competition for openings as they often compete for jobs with other construction workers. Openings will, nonetheless, continue to arise because the irritating nature of many insulation materials, combined with the often difficult working conditions, causes many residential insulation workers to leave the occupation each year.
Mechanical insulation workers with formal training should have the best job opportunities.
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 do industrial plant maintenance generally have more stable employment because maintenance and repair must be done continually.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition