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Cavity Insulation Installer

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Cavity Insulation Installer

The Work

 

As a cavity insulation installer you would fit insulation materials into the spaces between the inner and outer walls of buildings. You would also lay loft insulation, fit draught-proofing and install soundproofing materials in buildings.

On a typical installation job, your tasks would include:

  • carrying out a pre-installation survey to work out which methods and materials to use
  • writing up a survey report for customers and managers
  • marking out ventilation, wiring and pipework ducts in walls and sealing openings like air vents
  • working out the volume of space to be filled, and the amount of insulation needed
  • drilling a pattern of horizontal and vertical holes into the building's walls
  • injecting insulation materials into cavity spaces through the holes in a specific order
  • re-filling the holes and re-pointing mortar, taking care to colour-match it with the original
  • checking that all the airbricks and flues are clear
  • making sure that the materials and methods used meet Building Regulations.

You would use various tools to install materials, including hand-held electric and pneumatic drills, and injection pumps. You would normally be part of a team and often work from ladders, scaffolding or cradle equipment.

Hours and Environment

You would work up to 45 hours a week, which may include weekends.

The job can be physically demanding and you may be required to work in cramped conditions, for example when laying loft insulation.

Skills and Interests


  • the ability to follow written and spoken instructions
  • good practical skills for operating drills and other equipment
  • maths skills to work out cavity space sizes and amounts of material
  • a good level of fitness
  • a head for heights
  • good customer care skills
  • teamworking skills
  • an awareness of health and safety.

Entry

You do not always need qualifications to work as a cavity insulation installer, but some employers may ask for GCSEs in subjects like maths, English or design and technology. Experience of using power tools and knowledge of basic brickwork could be useful.

You may also have an advantage when looking for work if you have completed a general construction course at college, such as a BTEC First Certificate or Diploma in Construction at Level 2.

A driving licence could be useful, although it is not always essential.

See the ConstructionSkills website for more details about careers in the construction industry.

Training

Once you start working, you would be trained under the supervision of an experienced installer, and attend short courses offered by product manufacturers. You normally need three to six months' training to become a skilled installer.

You could work towards the NVQ Level 2 Insulation and Building Treatments (Construction), which includes units in:

  • external wall insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • damp-proofing.

See the NEA website for more details about the NVQ and your local assessment centres.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Many building contractors now insist that you have a CSCS card to work on their sites. The card is proof of your skills and competence. To get your card you must:

  • pass a health and safety assessment
  • have an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

If you are working without qualifications, you may be able to use On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card. Contact CSCS or SkillsDirect for further details.

Opportunities

Typical employers include housing authorities, construction companies and specialist installation firms. There may be opportunities with energy companies such as British Gas. Opportunities are increasing as the building industry strives to meet energy efficiency targets.

You may find vacancies through local press, Jobcentre Plus offices, directly by contacting companies and on the Directgov (Jobseekers page).

You can find a list of registered installation companies on the National Insulation Association (NIA) website.

With experience, you could become a team leader or estimator, or set up your own installation business. You could also use your skills and site experience to move into the wider construction trades.

Annual Income


  • Trainees can earn between 12,000 and 14,000 a year.
  • With experience, this can rise to around 20,000.
  • Senior installers can earn up to 30,000 a year.

Some contracts, particularly for self-employed installers, pay by the square metre.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 

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