Elevator Installers and Repairers

Career, Salary and Education Information

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Top 3 Elevator Repair Jobs

  • Electrical Maintenance Tech - Steel Warehouse - South Bend, IN

    Must be able to make complex repairs to steel processing equipment and the ability to lead others to completion of said repairs

  • Repair Superintendent - Thyssenkrupp Elevator - Long Island City, NY

    Ensures that the branch’s daily repair operations run efficiently and cost effectively Includes reviewing and performing repair survey requests

  • Consumer Affairs Liaison - THOR Motor Coach - Wakarusa, IN

    Review, analyze and respond to any pre-legal MVDN, state agency or Lemon Law complaint • Seek input from Consumer Affairs Manage rand Corporate

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Top 3 Elevator Mechanic Jobs

  • Engineer - Rosendin Electric - McKinney, TX

    Prepare designs, check, and specify power, lighting and auxiliary systems. • Prepare power system single line diagrams, to include feeder and over

  • Designer/Assistant Project Manager - Sleeping Dog Properties - Boston, MA

    Answer all RFI’s with ASI’s to each project to keep the project up to date. • Daily phone contact with the field to confirm they have all the

  • Elevator Mechanic - ALQIMI - Washington, DC

    Maintains accurate records of buildings systems and equipment and ensures

See all Elevator Mechanic jobs

What Elevator Installers and Repairers Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Read and interpret blueprints to determine the layout of system components and to select the equipment needed for installation or repair
  • Assemble elevator cars, installing each car's platform, walls, and doors
  • Connect electrical wiring to control panels and electric motors
  • Test newly installed equipment to ensure that it meets specifications
  • Troubleshoot malfunctions in brakes, motors, switches, and control systems
  • Dismantle elevator or escalator units in order to gain access to remove and replace defective parts, using hoists, ladders, and hand/power tools
  • Repair and/or replace faulty components in order to return elevator to fully operational status
  • Conduct preventive maintenance and inspections of elevators and escalators on a scheduled basis to ensure 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. Most elevators have computerized control systems, resulting in more complex systems and troubleshooting than in the past.

After an elevator is installed, workers must regularly maintain and service it to keep the elevator working properly. They 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.

Work Environment for Elevator Installers and Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Elevator installers and repairers hold about 22,100 jobs. The largest employers of elevator installers and repairers are as follows:

Building equipment contractors 90%
Government 3
Educational services; state, local, and private 1

Elevator installers and repairers have a physically demanding job. They sit or stand for extensive periods, lift items that can weigh 50–200 pounds, work in cramped quarters inside crawl spaces and machine rooms, and may be exposed to heights in elevator shafts. They also work in dusty and dirty places with oily and greasy equipment in hot or cold environments.

Although installation and major repairs require mechanics to work in teams, workers often work alone when troubleshooting minor problems.

Injuries and Illnesses for Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers may suffer falls from ladders, burns due to electrical shocks, and muscle strains from lifting and carrying heavy equipment. As a result, workers must take precaution and wear protective equipment such as hardhats, harnesses, and safety glasses.

Elevator Installer and Repairer Work Schedules

Almost all elevator installers and repairers work full time. They may work overtime when emergency repairs need to be made or construction deadlines need to be met. Workers may sometimes be on call 24 hours a day.

How to Become an Elevator Installer or Repairer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Elevator Installers and Repairers near you!

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

Education for Elevator Installers and Repairers

High school classes in math, mechanical drawing, and shop may help applicants compete for apprenticeship openings.

Elevator Installer and Repairer Training

A career in elevator installation and repair typically begins with a 4-year apprenticeship program sponsored by a union, industry association, or individual contractor. For each year of the program, apprentices typically receive at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. During training, apprentices learn about safety, blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics, elevator and escalator parts, electrical and digital theory, and electronics.

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 for Elevator Installers and Repairers

Currently, 35 states require elevator installers and repairers to be licensed. Check with your state for more information.

Although not required, certification can show competence and proficiency in the field.

Elevator installers and repairers can become certified as Certified Elevator Technicians (CET) or Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technicians (CAT) through the National Association of Elevator Contractors. They can also be certified as Qualified Elevator Inspectors (QEI) through the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities.

Advancement for Elevator Installers and Repairers

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

Important Qualities for Elevator Installers and Repairers

Detail oriented. Elevator installers must keep accurate records of their service schedules. These records are used to schedule future maintenance, which 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 in order to participate in a training 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.

Elevator Installer and Repairer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for elevator installers and repairers is $78,890. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,890, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $114,980.

The median annual wages for elevator installers and repairers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Government $88,020
Building equipment contractors 78,620
Educational services; state, local, and private 62,150

The starting pay for apprentices is usually 50 percent of what fully trained elevator installers and repairers make. They earn pay increases as they progress in their apprenticeship. Apprentices who are also certified welders usually receive higher wages while welding. Assistant mechanics, by contract, receive 80 percent of the rate paid to journeyman elevator installers and repairers.

Almost all elevator installers and repairers work full time. They may work overtime when emergency repairs need to be made or construction deadlines need to be met. Workers may sometimes be on call 24 hours a day.

Union Membership for Elevator Installers and Repairers

Most elevator installers and repairers belong to a union. Although no single union covers all elevator installers and repairers, the largest organizer of these workers is the International Union of Elevator Constructors.

Job Outlook for Elevator Installers and Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of elevator installers and repairers is projected to grow 12 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

Demand for these workers is closely tied to nonresidential construction, such as office buildings and stores that have elevators and escalators, and this type of construction is expected to increase during the next decade.

In addition, the need to regularly maintain, update, and repair old equipment; provide access for the disabled; and install increasingly sophisticated equipment and controls will maintain demand for elevator installers and repairers.

Job Prospects for Elevator Installers and Repairers

The high wages of elevator installers and repairers will attract many applicants, and jobseekers may face strong competition.

Job opportunities for entry-level workers should be best for those who have postsecondary education in electronics.

Elevators, escalators, lifts, moving walkways, and related equipment need to work year round, so employment of elevator repairers is less affected by economic downturns and seasonality than employment in other construction occupations.

Employment projections data for Elevator Installers and Repairers, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Elevator installers and repairers 22,100 24,800 12 2,700


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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