Elevator technicians install and repair elevators, with some focusing on moving walkways, chairlifts, and escalators as well. They connect wires and adjust motor switches, control systems, and brakes. Many maintain and test elevators periodically to ensure they function correctly.
Other duties include:
- Determining how the elevator components interact using blueprints
- Assembling and disassembling elevator cars for installation and repairs
- Ensuring equipment meets safety requirements
- Troubleshooting and repairing malfunctions
- Recording the history of the elevator’s performance
Elevator technicians can choose specializations that have varying knowledge and work requirements.
The electrician career trajectory should grow 7% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average of 4% for all occupations. Most construction jobs have a 5% projected growth.
The most prominent sources of job growth come from stores and office buildings that have elevators and escalators. Ones who work on chairlifts have plenty of work assisting the disabled and elderly. Old equipment continually needs maintenance and repairs, and new designs need implementation into buildings.
About 3,000 job openings should occur each year throughout the decade.
How Do I Become an Elevator Technician?
At this time, elevator technicians do not need a college education to work. Instead, you will need to complete an apprenticeship and receive a state license.
Before becoming a certified elevator mechanic, you will need to work as an apprentice for four to five years. Apprenticeship programs offer you real-world training and classroom experiences to teach you what you need to know in the field.
You generally need a high school diploma or GED to get accepted. Classes in mechanical drawing, math, and physics may help.
Since apprentices work on the job, they receive wages for their training. They work under the guidance of experienced technicians to learn on the spot before practicing the tasks.
The classroom covers safety practices, applied physics, reading blueprints, mathematics, mechanical components, electronics, and circuit theory.
Some colleges offer apprenticeship programs, but you may need to go through a separate institution like an employer, union, or association.
You must complete a specific number of hours in the classroom and on the job each year. Once you have finished your training, you can become a mechanic or assistant mechanic. As technology develops, even the most experienced elevator technician needs retraining.
If you had prior experience and could prove your skills, you may only require a shorter apprenticeship.
While not necessarily a part of training, you will want to work on your physical fitness. Since the job requires lifting heavy equipment, an elevator technician needs to build strength and endurance. Furthermore, the position has a high risk of injury; regular exercise can significantly reduce injury severity.
License and Certification
If you want to begin working as an elevator technician, you may need a state license. The licensing process usually involves a written exam that tests your knowledge of parts, installation, and limitations. The organization may require several years of experience before applying.
While you can get a job without one, a certification proves your competency and can open the door to more employment opportunities. You can apply for one through the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International or the National Association of Elevator Contractors.
Are Requirements Different From State to State?
Most states have specific licenses to work as an elevator technician. You will need to check with your local department of labor to see the requirements. However, reciprocity does exist for most states according to Careeronestop.org.
"Reciprocity: Anyone holding a certificate or license of competency as an elevator mechanic or an accessibility lift mechanic from another state may, upon approval of a completed application, be issued a license without examination with payment of a $35 fee"
Skill Sets Required to Become an Elevator Technician
Some skills that help with becoming an elevator technician include:
- Knowledge of mathematics and physics
- Physical endurance and strength
- Working knowledge of power tools and wiring
- Reading and interpreting diagrams and blueprints
- Troubleshooting and treating elevator malfunctions
- Detail-oriented when making records and following instructions
- Comfortable working on lifts, ladders, and harnesses
How Much Does an Elevator Technician Make?
Elevator technicians make approximately $88,540 each year. The highest 10% earn more than $128,500, while the lowest earners make under $45,950.
This job is one of a handful of jobs that earn over $50,000 without a college degree.
The most money comes from working with the government at $96,530, followed by building equipment contractors ($88,010) and educational services ($78,050).
Apprentices earn about half of what trained elevator installers make at first, but their pay increases throughout their apprenticeship. Becoming a certified welder can increase one’s wages as an apprentice.
Career Progressions for an Elevator Technician
All elevator technicians start as apprentices. Once they complete their apprenticeship, they can choose a specialization in maintenance, repairs, or installation.
Maintenance and repairs elevator mechanics require a better understanding of electricity, hydraulics, and electronics than installers. Since modern elevators have complex computerized systems, maintenance and repair workers need strong computer skills for troubleshooting.
Maintenance workers need to oil, grease, or replace moving parts and adjust equipment to improve performance. Contrarily, repair service crews will replace doors, hydraulic pumps, cables, electric motors, control panels, and machine bearings. They also update old elevators to meet current standards.
Elevator technicians do not usually progress after getting licensed. They will need to undergo continuous education to keep up with modern technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions concerning how to become an electrician.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Elevator Technician?
It takes about four years of apprenticeship to become an elevator technician. You may need to work longer to earn a license, depending on your state.
How Do I Become an Elevator Mechanic?
“Elevator mechanic” is another term for elevator technician, so you would follow the above steps to become one.
Is it Hard to Become an Elevator Installer?
Becoming an elevator installer takes years of training, both physically and mentally. You need to learn math and science, so the job becomes much more challenging if you do not have STEM inclinations.
Due to the knowledge and strength requirements, many may struggle to become an elevator technician. However, you can readily do it by applying yourself to your apprenticeship and forming a rigorous strength training routine.
Is an Elevator Mechanic a Dangerous Job?
Being an elevator mechanic does come with its dangers. They often work in tight places at odd hours, and they are susceptible to burns, muscle strains, and falls.
Interested In Pursuing A Career As An Elevator Technician?
You can find open elevator technician job listings right here at job.com. Below are just a few of the most recent jobs published on our site.