How To Become an Elevator and Escalator Installer and Repairer

An Elevator and Escalator Installer and Repairer plays a vital role in transporting people within a building, such as an office, mall, or factory. In many capacities, using an elevator is crucial for disabled customers or employees. 

In addition, elevators and escalators must be safe and in perfect operating order to avoid catastrophic accidents resulting in death. This role is not to be taken lightly… It comes with significant responsibilities; however, the salary is good, and a college degree is unnecessary. Take a look! 

Related Article: The 40 Highest Paying Jobs With A Trade School Education

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What do Elevator and Escalator Installers do?

Elevator and Escalator Installers (also called mechanics) are responsible for the maintenance, repairs, and installation of elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and chairlifts. 

They often read blueprints and assemble the appropriate components for the application, wire them up correctly, and test them out. Repairs can include malfunctioning motors, brakes, control systems, or switches, and the like.

Also, they must comply with all regulations, keep detailed records, troubleshoot complex problems, and conduct inspections. Elevator and Escalator Installers must work with power tools and sometimes in very tight spaces. 

How do I become an Elevator/Escalator Installer and Repairer?

Generally, entering this field will require a high school or equivalent diploma and on-the-job training through an apprenticeship, usually lasting up to four years.

An apprenticeship program will teach you many valuable skills as you work with an experienced technician. An applicable number of technical hours and on-the-job training are required before becoming an assistant.

Going up? Becoming an Elevator and Escalator Installer takes patience, as you must start at the ground floor and work your way up… much like being in an elevator! 

What kind of salary should I expect as an Elevator/Escalator Installer and Repairer?

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, Elevator and Escalator Installer and Repairers earned $88,540 annually, with the highest 10% earning upwards of $128,500 per year. The top industry was employment within the government, followed by building equipment contractors. 

As you work as an apprentice, your salary will typically be half of the wages of thoroughly trained and licensed installers. 

What hours do Elevator/Escalator Installers and Repairers work?

Employees in this field work full-time; however, you can expect overtime pay to accommodate for looming deadlines or emergencies in which you may be on-call 24/7.

Are Elevator Installers and Repairers in demand?

With approximately 2,500 new openings per year, employment is expected to increase by 6% between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS. 

Do Elevator Installers and Repairers need to be licensed?

You will need to check with the state in which you will be working to see if they require a license, although most states do require licensure. 

In addition to your license, certifications are available to showcase your talents through the National Association of Elevator Contractors and the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International

Certifications include: 

  • Certified Elevator Technicians (CET)
  • Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technicians (CAT)
  • Qualified Elevator Inspectors (QEI)

Will I be a good Elevator/Escalator Installer and Repairer?

Sure you will; however, there are a few qualities and skills you will need besides your on-the-job training, such as:

  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work in tight spaces
  • Ability to work at heights
  • Mechanically-minded
  • Detail-oriented
  • Good time-management skills
  • Excellent driving record