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Elevator Installers and Repairers

Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiKCeLiRZeE.
Quick Facts: Elevator Installers and Repairers
2019 Median Pay $84,990 per year
$40.86 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Apprenticeship
Number of Jobs, 2019 28,900
Job Outlook, 2019-29 7% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 1,900

What Elevator Installers and Repairers Do

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

Work Environment

Elevator installers and repairers often work in cramped areas inside crawl spaces and machine rooms, and they may work at heights in elevator shafts. Most elevator installers and repairers work full time. Repairers may be on call 24 hours a day or may need to work overtime.

How to Become an Elevator Installer and Repairer

Elevator installers and repairers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Nearly all learn how to do the work through an apprenticeship. Most states require workers to be licensed.

Pay

The median annual wage for elevator installers and repairers was $84,990 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of elevator installers and repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. New installation and maintenance of elevators and escalators in stores and residential and commercial buildings is expected to spur demand for workers.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for elevator installers and repairers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of elevator installers and repairers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about elevator installers and repairers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Elevator Installers and Repairers Do About this section

Elevator installers and repairers
Mechanics check many parts, including the rails of an escalator.

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

Duties

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 and components for similar systems
  • Connect electrical wiring to control panels and motors
  • Test newly installed equipment to ensure that it meets specifications
  • Troubleshoot malfunctions in brakes, motors, switches, and control systems
  • Dismantle elevator, escalator, or similar units to remove and replace defective parts, using hoists, ladders, and handtools or power tools
  • Repair or replace faulty components in order to return elevator to fully operational status
  • Conduct preventive maintenance and inspections of elevators, escalators, and similar equipment to comply 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.

Elevator installers and repairers usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work. Maintenance and repair workers generally need to know more about electronics, hydraulics, and electricity than do installers. Most elevators and similar mechanisms have computerized control systems, requiring maintenance and repair workers to do complex troubleshooting.

After an elevator, escalator, or other equipment is installed, workers must regularly maintain and repair it. Maintenance includes oiling and greasing moving parts, replacing worn parts, and adjusting equipment for optimal performance. Workers also troubleshoot and may be called for emergency repair.

A service crew usually handles major repairs—for example, replacing cables, doors and other components, or machine bearings. Service crews may need to use cutting torches or rigging equipment and also may need to do major modernization and alteration, such as replacing electric motors, hydraulic pumps, and control panels.

Work Environment About this section

Elevator installers and repairers
Elevator mechanics also work on chair lifts.

Elevator installers and repairers held about 28,900 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of elevator installers and repairers were as follows:

Building equipment contractors 86%
Government 2
Educational services; state, local, and private 1

Elevator installation and repair work is usually physically demanding. They may sit or stand for extensive periods, lift items that weigh up to 200 pounds, and work in cramped areas inside crawl spaces and machine rooms. They also may work at heights in elevator shafts, in dusty and dirty places with oily and greasy equipment, and in hot or cold environments.

Injuries and Illnesses

Elevator installers and repairers may suffer injuries from falls, burns from electrical shocks, and muscle strains from lifting and carrying heavy equipment. To reduce their risks and prevent injury, workers must wear protective equipment such as hardhats, harnesses, and safety glasses.

Work Schedules

Most elevator installers and repairers work full time. They may work overtime to make emergency repairs or to meet construction deadlines. They may be on call 24 hours a day.

How to Become an Elevator Installer and Repairer About this section

Elevator installers and repairers
The fine tuning of an elevator is done by an adjustor.

Elevator installers and repairers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Nearly all learn how to do the work through an apprenticeship. Most states require workers to be licensed.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required. High school classes in math, mechanical drawing, and physics may be helpful.

Training

A career in elevator installation and repair typically begins with a 4-year apprenticeship program sponsored by a union, industry association, or employer. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete a predetermined number of hours of technical instruction and 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.

When they finish the apprenticeship program, fully trained elevator installers and repairers become mechanics or assistant mechanics. Elevator installers and repairers need ongoing training in order to keep up with technological developments.

Workers with relevant experience who can document it and demonstrate their skill may qualify for a shorter apprenticeship. 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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

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

Elevator installers and repairers can become 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 International.

Employers may require elevator installers to have a driver’s license or reliable transportation to travel to jobsites.

Advancement

Installers may receive additional training to specialize and advance to become a mechanic-in-charge, adjuster, or supervisor.

Important Qualities

Ability to work at heights. Some elevator installers may have to work atop ladders, mechanical lifts, or in elevator shafts. 

Detail oriented. Elevator installers must keep accurate records of their service schedules. They need to carefully review complex blueprints and follow blueprint instructions exactly.

Mechanical skills. Elevator installers use a variety of power tools and handtools to install and repair lifts.

Physical stamina. Elevators installers must be able to do strenuous work, including 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. They may be required to lift equipment weighing up to 200 pounds.

Troubleshooting skills. Elevator installers must be able to diagnose problems, especially when making repairs.

Pay About this section

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

$84,990

Other construction and related workers

$46,510

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

The median annual wage for elevator installers and repairers was $84,990 in May 2019. 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 $44,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,150.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for elevator installers and repairers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Government $93,110
Building equipment contractors 84,140
Educational services; state, local, and private 74,820

The starting pay for apprentices is usually about 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.

Most elevator installers and repairers work full time. They may work overtime to make emergency repairs or to meet construction deadlines. Workers may be on call 24 hours a day.

Job Outlook About this section

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

7%

Other construction and related workers

5%

Total, all occupations

4%

 

Employment of elevator installers and repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, 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

About 3,000 openings for elevator installers and repairers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

47-4021 28,900 30,800 7 1,900 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of elevator installers and repairers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2019 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Boilermakers

Boilermakers

Boilermakers assemble, install, maintain, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases.

High school diploma or equivalent $63,100
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

See How to Become One $59,080
Electricians

Electricians

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $56,180
Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights install, maintain, and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery.

High school diploma or equivalent $52,860
Structural iron and steel workers

Ironworkers

Ironworkers install structural and reinforcing iron and steel to form and support buildings, bridges, and roads.

High school diploma or equivalent $53,650
Sheet metal workers

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets.

High school diploma or equivalent $50,400
wind turbine technicians image

Wind Turbine Technicians

Wind turbine service technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.

Postsecondary nondegree award $52,910

Contacts for More Information About this section

For information about apprenticeships or job opportunities as an elevator installer or repairer, contact local elevator contractors, a local chapter of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, a local joint union–management apprenticeship committee, or the nearest office of your state employment service or apprenticeship agency. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program online or by phone at 877-872-5627. Visit Apprenticeship.gov to search for apprenticeship opportunities.

For more information about elevator installers and repairers, visit

International Union of Elevator Constructors

National Elevator Industry Educational Program

For more information about the NAEC Apprenticeship Program, the Certified Elevator Technician program, or the Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician program, visit

National Association of Elevator Contractors 

For more information about certification as a Qualified Elevator Inspector, visit

National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International

For information about opportunities for military veterans, visit:

Helmets to Hard Hats

O*NET

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Elevator Installers and Repairers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/elevator-installers-and-repairers.htm (visited September 24, 2020).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2019 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2019, the median annual wage for all workers was $39,810.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2019

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2019, which is the base year of the 2019-29 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2019-29

The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029. The average growth rate for all occupations is 4 percent.

Employment Change, 2019-29

The projected numeric change in employment from 2019 to 2029.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2019-29

The projected numeric change in employment from 2019 to 2029.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2019 to 2029.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2019 to 2029.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029.

2019 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2019, the median annual wage for all workers was $39,810.