Learn to apply, remove and repair thermal and acoustical insulation on all types of commercial and industrial equipment - such as calcium silicate, glass foam, mineral wool, Styrofoam and fibreglass - on all types of commercial and industrial equipment.

Throughout your career, you will read and interpret drawings and specifications to determine insulation requirements, select the amount and type of insulation to be installed as well as the method of securing the insulation according to the type and shape of the surface, whether or not the equipment is cold or hot, inside or outside and what the equipment is going to be used for.

You'll also measure, cut and fit insulating material and coverings to the required shape and dimension, install vapour barriers and finish insulated surfaces by applying metal cladding, canvas, plastic sheeting or cement and remove or seal old asbestos insul

Insulators are skilled tradespeople who are comfortable working at heights, collaborating with others and working independently. This line of work is most fulfilling for those who enjoy working with their hands and are driven by quality, precise work.

To thrive in this career, it is important to have the following traits:

  • creative problem solvers
  • committed to precise, detail-oriented work
  • manual dexterity
  • strength, stamina, and ability to use proper lifting techniques for items up to 25 kg
  • ability to work at various elevations, in confined spaces, and in hot and cold environments
  • ability to work alone or in a team environment
  • commitment to safe work habits

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and apprenticeship education periods, graduates will be awarded a certificate in addition to journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

This is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

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Careers and opportunities

Apprenticeship training

The term of apprenticeship for an insulator (heat and frost) is three years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1517 hours of on-the-job training and seven weeks of classroom instruction each year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You will start by learning standard and specific workplace safety, tools, accessories and equipment. You will then learn hot and cold applications, dual temperature applications as well as math and blueprints level one.

Year 2 | Period 2

You will then learn canvas on insulated piping, ducts and equipment, pattern layouts level one, coverings, specialized applications level one as well as math and blueprints level two.

Year 3 | Period 3

You will then learn Red Seal program, specialized applications level two, pattern layout level two, pipe rack layout as well as math and blueprint level three.

Apprenticeship education performance

To succeed in apprenticeship education, you must pass each section of the course and the AIT exam.

The passing grade for each section in a course is 65%. A passing mark on each provincial exam and the interprovincial qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

View Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures


Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

Admission requirements

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements

Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 10-2
  • Math 10-3


A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests


Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended requirements

Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.


Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

How to register

Available intakes


2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023.

Domestic students

Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 7 $924 $310 $1,234
2 7 $924 $310 $1,234
3 7 $924 $310 $1,234
Total cost:

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the Bookstore.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

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Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Financial aid

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.


Have more questions?

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