Bureau of Labor Statistics

Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers

elevator installers and repairers image
Elevator mechanics often work in elevator machine rooms, which are at the top of some elevator hoistways.
Quick Facts: Elevator and Escalator 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

Summary

What Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers Do

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

Work Environment

Elevator and escalator 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 and escalator 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 or Escalator Installer and Repairer

Elevator and escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator installers and repairers.

Similar Occupations

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

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

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

What Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers Do

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

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

Duties

Elevator and escalator 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 or escalator 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 and escalator installers and repairers, also called elevator and escalator constructors or mechanics, assemble, install, maintain, and replace elevators, escalators, chairlifts, moving walkways, and similar equipment.

Elevator and escalator 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

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 and escalator installation and repair work is usually physically demanding. These workers 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 and escalator 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 and escalator 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 or Escalator Installer and Repairer

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

Elevator and escalator 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 or escalator 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 and escalator installers and repairers become mechanics or assistant mechanics. Elevator and escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator installers may have to work atop ladders, mechanical lifts, or in elevator shafts. 

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

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

Physical stamina. Elevators and escalator installers must be able to do strenuous work, including in cramped and confined spaces, for long periods.

Physical strength. Elevator and escalator 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 and escalator installers must be able to diagnose problems, especially when making repairs.

Pay

Elevator and Escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator 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

Elevator and Escalator 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 and escalator 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 and escalator installers and repairers.

Job Prospects

About 3,000 openings for elevator and escalator and escalator 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 and escalator repairers is less affected by economic downturns and seasonality than employment in other construction occupations.

Employment projections data for elevator and escalator installers and repairers, 2019-29

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

Occupational Title

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

SOC Code47-4021
Employment, 201928,900
Projected Employment, 202930,800
Percent Change, 2019-297
Numeric Change, 2019-291,900
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

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

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

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2019 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 Info

For information about apprenticeships or job opportunities as an elevator and escalator installer or repairer, contact local elevator and escalator 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

Last Modified Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/elevator-and-escalator-installers-and-repairers.htm (visited July 16, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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