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Working As an Elevator Mechanic

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $37,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Elevator Mechanic Do

Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

Duties

Elevator installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints to determine the equipment needed for installation or repair
  • Install or repair elevator doors, cables, motors, and control systems
  • Locate malfunctions in brakes, motors, switches, and control systems
  • Connect electrical wiring to control panels and electric motors
  • Use test equipment, such as ammeters and voltmeters, to diagnose problems
  • Adjust counterweights, door mechanisms, and safety controls
  • Test newly installed equipment to ensure that it meets specifications
  • Ensure elevator compliance with safety regulations and building codes
  • Keep service records of all maintenance and repair tasks

Elevator installers and repairers, also called elevator constructors or elevator mechanics, assemble, install, maintain, and replace elevators, escalators, chairlifts, moving walkways, and similar equipment in buildings.

Elevator installers and repairers usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work. Maintenance and repair workers generally require greater knowledge of electronics, hydraulics, and electricity than do installers because a large part of maintenance and repair work is troubleshooting. Today, most elevators have computerized control systems, resulting in more complex systems and troubleshooting than in the past.

After an elevator is installed, elevator installers and repairers must regularly maintain and service it to keep the elevator working properly. Workers generally perform preventive maintenance, such as oiling and greasing moving parts, replacing worn parts, and adjusting equipment for optimal performance. They also troubleshoot and may be called to perform emergency repairs. Workers who specialize in elevator maintenance typically service many of the same elevators on multiple occasions over time.

A service crew usually handles major repairs—for example, replacing cables, elevator doors, or machine bearings. These tasks may require the use of cutting torches or rigging equipment—tools that an elevator repairer would not normally carry. Service crews also perform major modernization and alteration work, such as replacing electric motors, hydraulic pumps, and control panels.

The following are examples of types of elevator installers and repairers:

Adjusters specialize in fine-tuning all the equipment after installation. They ensure that an elevator operates according to specifications and stops correctly at each floor within a specified time. Adjusters need a thorough knowledge of electronics and computers to ensure that newly installed elevators operate properly.

Assistant mechanics have completed a 4-year apprenticeship program, and although they are fully trained, they typically work under the guidance of a more experienced mechanic.

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How To Become An Elevator Mechanic

Nearly all elevator installers and repairers learn through an apprenticeship. Currently, 35 states require workers to be licensed.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. High school classes in math, mechanical drawing, and shop may help applicants compete for apprenticeship openings.

Training

Elevator installers and repairers learn their trade through a 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. During training, apprentices learn about safety, blueprint reading, elevator and escalator parts, electrical theory, and electronics.

Unions and individual contractors offer apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are the following:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be physically able to do the job
  • Pass basic math, reading, and mechanical aptitude tests

When they finish the apprenticeship program, elevator installers and repairers are fully trained and become mechanics or assistant mechanics. Ongoing training is important for elevator installers and repairers in order to keep up with technological developments throughout their careers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Currently, 35 states require elevator installers and repairers to be licensed. Check with your state’s individual licensing agencies for specific requirements.

Although not required, certification can show competence and proficiency in the field. The National Association of Elevator Contractors offers two certification programs for elevator installers and repairers:

  • Certified Elevator Technician
  • Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician  
Advancement

Some installers may receive additional training in specialized areas and advance to become a mechanic-in-charge, adjuster, supervisor, or elevator inspector.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Elevator installers must keep accurate records of their service schedules. These records are used to schedule future maintenance, which often helps reduce breakdowns.

Mechanical skills. Elevator installers use a variety of power tools and hand tools to install and repair lifts. Escalators, for example, run on tracks that must be installed using wrenches and screwdrivers.

Physical stamina. Elevators installers must be able to perform strenuous work, especially in cramped and confined spaces, for long periods.

Physical strength. Elevator installers often lift heavy equipment and parts, including escalator steps, conduit, and metal tracks. Some apprentices must be able to lift 100 pounds to participate in a program.

Troubleshooting skills. Elevator installers and repairers must be able to diagnose and repair problems. When an escalator stops moving, for example, mechanics determine why it stopped and make the necessary repairs.

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Elevator Mechanic Career Paths

Elevator Mechanic
Electrician Foreman
Superintendent
8 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman Superintendent
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman Supervisor
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Elevator Technician Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Elevator Technician Technician Production Supervisor
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Elevator Technician Technician Team Leader
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Welder Maintenance Technician Journeyman Electrician
Lead Electrician
6 Yearsyrs
Service Mechanic Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician
Field Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Service Mechanic Maintenance Technician Sergeant
Site Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Service Mechanic Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Lead Technician Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Outside Machinist Millwright Crew Leader
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Outside Machinist Millwright Lead Person
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Outside Machinist Millwright Journeyman Electrician
Electrician Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Field Technician Shop Foreman
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Handyman Carpenter Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for An Elevator Mechanic

  1. Elevator Cars
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Control Panel Hookups
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed a talent for following electrical prints and wiring elevator cars with minimal errors.
  • Performed predetermined inspections, modifications, and preventative maintenance on mechanical systems.
  • Inspected wiring connections, control panel hookups, door installation, and alignment and clearance of car hoist way.
  • Make all necessary adjustments and tests on newly installed equipment to ensure that elevator equipment functions properly.
  • Power panels with all types of electric motors and many types of frequency converters, and drive units.

Elevator Mechanic Demographics

Gender

Male

91.6%

Unknown

5.9%

Female

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

57.7%

Hispanic or Latino

20.8%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

90.9%

French

9.1%

Elevator Mechanic Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

8.0%

Apex Technical School

8.0%

Vincennes University

6.0%

College of Southern Nevada

6.0%

Monroe College

6.0%

Orange Coast College

6.0%

Career College of New York - Staten Island

6.0%

The Academy

6.0%

Washington State University

4.0%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

Cumberland County College

4.0%

Central Texas College

4.0%

University of South Florida

4.0%

University of Nevada - Reno

4.0%

Miami Dade College

4.0%

State University of New York Farmingdale

4.0%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

4.0%

California Lutheran University

4.0%

Delaware Technical and Community College

4.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering Technology

17.3%

Business

12.1%

Electrical Engineering

12.1%

Automotive Technology

6.1%

Education

5.6%

General Studies

5.2%

Construction Management

4.3%

Precision Metal Working

3.9%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Computer Information Systems

3.5%

Aviation

3.0%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

3.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.0%

Information Technology

3.0%

Computer Science

2.6%

Engineering

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

Computer Programming

2.2%

Psychology

2.2%

Management

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

46.4%

Associate

18.5%

Bachelors

17.4%

Certificate

11.9%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

1.9%
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Updated May 19, 2020