About the Job
Elevator installers and repairers—also known as elevator mechanics—work to install, repair, and maintain elevator, escalator, moving walkway, and lift systems.
What You’ll Do
Elevator installers and repairers need be able to read construction documents, plans, and specifications, which allows them to properly determine equipment needed to complete a project. After reading the plans, elevator mechanics begin their projects, whether those projects involve installing doors, repairing cables, or performing the overall daily maintenance of a system. Mechanics also need to ensure that these systems comply with all safety regulations and building codes. Given the importance of these systems for the public, elevator mechanics have to be able to locate malfunctions and repair them quickly, for any delays can significantly affect the building occupants.
Both repairing and installing elevators require knowledge of electrical systems. Elevator mechanics may install control panels and electric motors by using testing equipment such as ammeters and voltmeters to diagnose electrical problems.
Mechanics also need to adjust counterweights, safety controls, and door mechanisms once repairs and installations are complete. Then, they must test the system to ensure it works properly.
To make sure that systems are properly updated and evaluated, elevator mechanics need to complete service records, which list all repairs.
Most elevator mechanics specialize in a certain area—for example, maintenance and installations. Mechanics specializing in maintenance usually work on the same systems for extended periods. Other specialists include the following:
- Adjusters focus on fine-tuning all equipment after installation and ensure that the system works properly and, in the case of elevators, stops on each floor in a specified amount of time. Adjusters need thorough knowledge of electronics, electricity, and computers to ensure that newly installed elevators operate properly.
- Assistant mechanics have completed 4 years of their 5-year apprenticeships. They are fully trained, however, and work with someone who has completed the apprenticeship and earned a journeyman’s license.
Qualities and Skills Needed
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an elevator mechanic. High school coursework that includes mathematics, mechanical drawing, and the industrial arts may help applicants prepare for apprenticeship positions.
Being an elevator mechanic is considered a trade career that generally requires an apprenticeship. The chief requirement to commence an apprenticeship is a high-school diploma or equivalent. Elevator apprenticeships are unique and last 5 years before a journeyman’s license is earned.
However, elevator mechanics are some of the highest paid tradespeople, and many elevator mechanics go on to become master certified, which requires continued education and professional experience. Ongoing training is important for elevator installers and repairers in order to keep apprised of new technology.
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The average starting salary is $68,660. With experience, they can possibly earn up to or over $88,295.