Apprentice thermal insulation engineers, sometimes known as pipework laggers, are critical to energy conservation. Engineers specialise in insulating hot pipes, boilers, and containers to restrict heat from entering or leaving refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
Thermal insulation specialists may install insulating materials in commercial structures such as offices, factories, hospitals, and schools and large-scale industrial projects such as petrochemical facilities, power plants, oil refineries, and ships.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- plan where to put insulation
- choose the best materials and tools to use for a particular job
- prepare and clean areas to be insulated
- measure and cut insulation materials to size
- fasten insulation using clips, sprays, adhesives or wire bands
- seal work areas after fitting insulation
- remove old insulation, like asbestos, in line with health and safety regulations.
- Starting salaries for an apprentice is £20,000 per year.
- Experienced thermal insulation engineers typically earn £40,000 per year.
You will typically work 42 to 44 hours per week between 8am and 6pm whilst working away from home.
You could work on a construction site, in a factory or at a manufacturing plant.
Your working environment may be cramped, dusty and physically demanding.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice thermal insulation engineer include:
- Level 2 Commercial Thermal Insulation Operative – Entry requirements for this level include some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship. This qualification takes 18 months to complete.
- Level 3 Industrial Thermal Insulation Technician – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification takes 24 months to complete.
On a thermal insulation engineer apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- knowledge of building and construction
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with your hands
- knowledge of maths
- persistence and determination
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.
Career path and progression
You might further your education while working toward a technical, supervisory, or managerial role such as foreperson, site safety officer, or building services technician.
You can find work in a related area, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.