Skilled Trade

Elevator Mechanic

 Average Hourly Wage


What You Need

  • 18 years old
  • High school Diploma or GED
  • 144 classroom hours per year
  • 9,250 hours on-the-job training

Job description

Elevator installers and repairers—also called elevator constructors or elevator mechanics—assemble, install, maintain, and replace elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and similar equipment in new and old buildings. They also are responsible for modernizing older equipment. Elevator installers and repairers must have a thorough knowledge of electronics, electricity, and hydraulics. Elevator installers put in electrical wires and controls, and install electrical components and related devices required at each floor and at the main control panel in the machine room. Installers bolt or weld together the steel frame of an elevator car at the bottom of the shaft; install the car´s platform, walls, and doors; and attach guide shoes and rollers and install the outer doors and door frames at the elevator entrances on each floor.

Installers and repairers also install escalators, devices such as dumbwaiters and material lifts—which are similar to elevators in design—as well as moving walkways, stair lifts, and wheelchair lifts. Once an elevator is operating properly, it must be maintained and serviced regularly to keep it in safe working condition. Elevator installers and repairers generally do preventive maintenance, such as oiling and greasing moving parts, replacing worn parts, testing equipment with meters and gauges, and adjusting equipment for optimal performance. They also troubleshoot and may be called in to do emergency repairs.

Working conditions

Most elevator installers and repairers work a 40-hour week. However, overtime is required when essential elevator equipment must be repaired, and some workers are on 24-hour call. Workers who specialize in elevator maintenance are on their own most of the day and typically service the same elevators periodically.

Elevator installers lift and carry heavy equipment and parts, and may work in cramped spaces or awkward positions. Potential hazards include falls, electrical shock, muscle strains, and other injuries related to handling heavy equipment. Most work is performed indoors in buildings under construction or in existing buildings.

Length of apprenticeship

The apprenticeship is a four to five-year program. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 related classroom hours per year and 9,250 on-the-job training hours.

Minimum qualifications

Applicants must be 18 years of age, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED or equivalent certificate, have completed one year of high school algebra or equivalent post-high school algebra course(s) with a grade of C or better, or submit equivalent math placement test scores.


Beginning apprentices start at approximately 50 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required related class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase periodically until the journey-level rate is reached.

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