How to Become an Elevator Mechanic

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Elevators are very important in many commercial and residential settings. They often need periodic maintenance and repair. Elevator mechanics are trained professionals who install, maintain, and repair elevators and related equipment.


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What does an elevator mechanic do?

Elevator mechanics (also called elevator installers and repairers) assemble, install, maintain, repair, and replace elevators, chairlifts, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters, and other similar equipment in a variety of settings. They also improve and update older equipment. They perform regular service to ensure the equipment is in safe operating condition. Elevator mechanics often perform preventative maintenance including testing equipment with meters and gauges, oiling and greasing moving parts, adjusting equipment for effective function, and replacing worn parts. They also make sure equipment is clean. Elevator mechanics often have to replace cables, machine bearings, and elevator doors using a variety of equipment and tools. Some elevator mechanics work on cabled elevators or elevators where the car sits on a pump driven hydraulic plunger. Many also work on escalators where they perform maintenance and repairs to the motors and electrical wiring.

What kind of training does an elevator mechanic need?

Elevator mechanics need at least a high school diploma or GED. Most usually learn their skills through apprenticeship programs. The programs usually take 4 years to complete and provide classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Classroom instruction includes blueprint reading, mathematics, safety procedures, physics applications, and electrical and electronic theory. Some elevator mechanics have an associate degree in electronics. Most states require elevator mechanics to pass a licensing examination. Many employers require elevator mechanics to be union members. Requirements to join the union include completing an approved apprenticeship program and passing a National Elevator Industry Educational Program examination.

What are the prospects for a career as an elevator mechanic?

Employment of elevator mechanics is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 9% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growth of commercial construction and the need to repair old equipment will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for elevator mechanics with advanced training and experience.

How much do elevator mechanics make?

As of November 2009, elevator mechanics with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $17.56 and $30.67. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $24.11 and $36.10 (2).

A career as an elevator mechanic is a great choice for people interested in providing maintenance and repairs to elevators and related equipment. Elevator mechanics must have great mechanical aptitude and a thorough knowledge of electrical components. They must have good physical stamina because their jobs include a variety of physical tasks while with a lot of standing, carrying, and lifting. Good problem solving skills, patience, and good judgment are essential to ensure elevators are working properly and safely. Elevator mechanics must also be able to work effectively independently.

Joshua T Osborne

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