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Become An Elevator Technician

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Working As An Elevator Technician

  • 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

  • N/A

    Average Salary

What Does An Elevator Technician 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 Technician

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 Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

93.4%

Female

4.2%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

76.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

80.0%

Carrier

20.0%

Elevator Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.8%

Montgomery County Community College

8.8%

Tyler Junior College

5.9%

Universal Technical Institute of Arizona Inc

5.9%

State University of New York Broome Community College

5.9%

North Carolina A & T State University

5.9%

Brigham Young University

5.9%

Cape Fear Community College

5.9%

Victoria College

5.9%

Saint Leo University

5.9%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

5.9%

University of Connecticut

2.9%

Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico

2.9%

University of Florida

2.9%

Texas A&M University

2.9%

Lamar Institute of Technology

2.9%

Universal Technical Institute of Texas Inc

2.9%

Guam Community College

2.9%

Amarillo College

2.9%

University of Memphis

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

17.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

12.5%

Business

11.8%

Heating And Air Conditioning

8.1%

Automotive Technology

5.1%

Industrial Technology

4.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.4%

Mechanical Engineering

4.4%

Criminal Justice

4.4%

Precision Metal Working

3.7%

Medical Technician

3.7%

General Studies

3.7%

English

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Biology

2.2%

History

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Psychology

1.5%

Music

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

50.8%

Associate

16.2%

Bachelors

15.7%

Certificate

10.7%

Diploma

3.0%

License

2.0%

Masters

1.5%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Elevator Technician?

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Top Skills for An Elevator Technician

SafetyRegulationsTroubleCallsPreventativeMaintenanceInspectTroubleShootingResidentialElevatorsGrainMaintenanceActionsControlSystemsElectricalComponentsBuildingCodesElectricalEquipmentPLCAdjustHandToolsControlPanelsHydraulicSystemsRoutineMaintenanceRANSystemComponents

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  1. Safety Regulations
  2. Trouble Calls
  3. Preventative Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained records, administered safety regulations and maintained field reports, including time records and job locations.
  • Provide monthly preventative maintenance support and investigate unscheduled maintenance problems for the Dillard Department Stores in the Midwest Region.
  • Tested, inspected and performed organizational level maintenance on shipboard weapons and cargo handling elevators on a system and component level.
  • Trouble shooting and using the 4 out 5 senses to increase those capabilities.
  • Installed, serviced and modernization of residential elevators

How Would You Rate Working As an Elevator Technician?

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Top Elevator Technician Employers

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