How to Become
an Elevator Mechanic
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
As long as there are multiple-story buildings, there will be elevators and the need for elevator repair professionals. If you’re interested in learning more about these machines and you are good at working with your hands, our guide can help you learn how to become an elevator mechanic.
This comprehensive guide includes key information including educational pathways, job advice, and more.
What Is an Elevator Mechanic?
An elevator mechanic is a professional responsible for the overall maintenance and sometimes construction of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, and machines. Many in the industry also refer to elevator mechanics as elevator technicians, elevator repairers, or elevator installers.
You can choose to specialize in one subset of the profession depending on your interests. The areas include maintenance, installation, and repair. Because working as an elevator mechanic is considered a high-risk job, you’ll need to undergo in-depth hands-on training via trade school or apprenticeship programs.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become an Elevator Mechanic?
To become an elevator mechanic, you will at least need a high school diploma or GED. This profession is heavily dependent on craftsmanship and trades, so the field does not require any formal higher education. However, you can pursue higher education to learn more.
Best Elevator Mechanic Education Tracks
If you want to learn elevator mechanics in a classroom environment, you should pursue one of these education tracks. These schools can all help you enter the workforce.
Vocational schools or trade schools are technical institutions that provide you with the hands-on skills you need to pursue a trade career. Attending one is one of the best ways to become an elevator mechanic. You can earn a diploma or a certification, which will take you around two years.
You can also choose to get an Associate Degree in Electronics or Electrical Engineering to become an elevator mechanic. These fields will teach you the skills and concepts used to design, test, and develop electrical systems and machines, which are essential in elevator maintenance.
An associate degree usually takes two years, and you can transfer its credits into a bachelor’s degree program if you want to pursue further education. This degree will provide you with a theoretical foundation that will help you stand out in the job hunt.
Elevator Mechanic Degrees
A great way to boost your job prospects, ace your job interview, and impress your hiring manager in this field is to showcase your electrical and mechanical skills. You can achieve that by pursuing an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in the field.
Some common majors include electrical engineering, engineering mechanics, electrical technology, and more. Getting a formal degree isn’t a necessity for this profession, but it can be a good resume item. A degree can also help you pursue higher-level engineering jobs.
Elevator Mechanic Apprenticeship
Whether you pursue any of the above or not, you will have to complete an apprenticeship program to become an elevator mechanic. One usually lasts four or five years of training.
You are eligible for this apprenticeship with a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. This means you do not necessarily have to complete an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree to become an elevator mechanic.
An elevator mechanic apprenticeship provides in-field training and education. Depending on the program, you will learn to maintain, repair, and install elevators while being in a paid training position.
You will also learn mathematics, physics, how to read a blueprint, electrical theory, and the other educational background necessary for the field. In addition, the apprenticeship will also get you ready for mandatory licensing and certification exams.
How to Become an Elevator Mechanic A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know which education tracks to follow, you should complete these basic steps to become an elevator mechanic. Below is a step-by-step guide that includes the education, training, and certifications needed for the field.
Complete your high school diploma
The only educational requirement is to get your high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. You can also complete a vocational program or degree if you want extra education.
Research different areas of elevator mechanics
Determine which area of elevator mechanics you would like to specialize in. Research more about repair, installation, and maintenance fields, and look up the apprenticeship programs available in those fields.
Complete an elevator mechanic apprenticeship
Contractors, unions, and industry associations offer elevator mechanic apprenticeships. So, look into those institutions and enroll in an apprenticeship program. You must be 18 years or older and have basic mathematics and mechanical aptitude skills.
Take a certification exam
The next step is to pass the industry certification exam. Look into your state’s licensing requirements for an elevator mechanic and attain those licenses.
Apply for an elevator mechanic job
Equipped with apprenticeship training and certificates, you are now ready to apply for an elevator mechanic job. You can either freelance or apply for a full-time position.
Key Elevator Mechanic Skills
Elevator mechanics is a skill-driven profession, and it includes an element of danger. To be a successful elevator mechanic and avoid any life-threatening situations, you must have certain skills.
Elevator mechanics repair electrical components of elevators and escalators. Therefore, you must have an understanding of electrical systems and have the skills to handle them. You must also know how to troubleshoot electrical issues and perform diagnostic tests and repairs on the equipment.
These mechanics also need to have excellent mechanical skills. They include understanding the overall mechanics of the elevator and troubleshooting for any mechanical malfunctions. You should know how to use power tools to repair elevators.
A huge part of the job demands physical skills. You will have to deal with heavy equipment, machinery parts, and more on a daily basis. So, you must be able to lift up to 100 pounds of equipment. You also need to be able to work for long hours, which sometimes includes working overtime.
Elevator Mechanic Salary and Job Outlook
The demand for elevator mechanics continues to grow as more buildings are being constructed. By investing in this field you can relax and expect a future-proof career.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for elevator installers and repairers are projected to increase by seven percent between 2019 to 2029. This is much faster growth than the national average.
In addition to a promising career, the profession comes with a competitive salary. BLS reports that the average salary of an elevator mechanic is $88,540 per year. This figure is subject to change depending on your experience, company size, and state of work. Most mechanics work six to eight hours a day.
Entry-Level Elevator Mechanic Job Requirements
The entry-level job requirements for an elevator mechanic are a high school degree and the completion of an apprenticeship program. You can stand out and impress your recruiter with additional industry certifications.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of an entry-level elevator mechanic is $23 per hour or $47,211 per year.
What Does an Elevator Mechanic Do?
The job duties of an elevator mechanic vary depending on their specialization. However, the responsibilities mostly surround repairing escalators and elevators. Below are the common job duties of an elevator mechanic.
As an elevator mechanic, you are responsible for reading blueprints and interpreting them to create a repair or installation plan for the machine. This includes studying the layout of the elevator and coming up with a list of tools needed for the job completion.
Conducts Preventive Maintenance
The job also includes performing preventative maintenance to determine any possible faults in the machine. The inspections are done on a regular basis to avoid any dangers and make sure the system adheres to safety protocols.
Repairs, Installs, and Maintains Machines
Depending on your specialization, you may find yourself assembling elevator parts and installing the machine. You may also perform daily maintenance and repair of the system to meet the industry standards. These duties involve using many electrical tools and troubleshooting control systems.
Elevator Mechanic Certifications
To become an elevator mechanic, you must showcase your experience and industry understanding through your apprenticeship program. In addition to an apprenticeship, most places in the United States require a professional license. Below are some of the license certifications that you should get.
Certified Elevator Technician (CET)
You can get this certification from the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC). The CET certification is a license that most states require for their elevator mechanics. This certification is perfect for those with a minimum of 10,000 hours of on-the-job training or apprenticeship experience.
You can also complete an NAEC training program to be eligible for this certification. CET will prove your knowledge of elevator technical understanding and professional competency.
Certified Competent Conveyance (Elevator) Mechanic (CCCM)
This certification is a good choice for those who have worked for the California Department of Industrial Relations in the conveyance sector for three years or more. The CCCM certification showcases your competency in elevator conveyance mechanics.
This certification checks if you meet the California Labor Code and requires you to also submit proof of completion of an apprenticeship program.
How to Prepare for Your Elevator Mechanic Job Interview
To have a successful job interview, you should prove your knowledge and skills in elevator mechanics. Before your interview, make sure to go over your apprenticeship experiences and common elevator mechanic interview questions.
Elevator Mechanic Job Interview Practice Questions
- What area of elevator mechanics are you strongest in?
- How much experience do you have working with electrical systems of moving walkways? Give us some examples of projects you’ve done.
- Do you have any professional licenses or certifications to showcase your background?
- List some skills that are essential to succeed in the profession of elevator mechanics.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Elevator Mechanic?
The time it takes to become an elevator mechanic is largely dependent on the education route you take. For instance, if you get into an apprenticeship program right after high school, it will take you four to five years to become a professional elevator mechanic.
However, if you get an associate degree, it will take you an additional two years. A bachelor’s degree will take you four more years to complete.
Should You Become an Elevator Mechanic in 2021?
If you love working with your hands in physically demanding jobs, becoming an elevator mechanic is a good career choice for you. In addition, you don’t have to finish a four-year degree to be eligible for this profession. All you need is extensive industry training in an apprenticeship.
Elevator Mechanic FAQ
What is the minimum education required to become an elevator mechanic?
You can apply for an apprenticeship with just a high school diploma or an equivalent degree.
Is elevator mechanics a dangerous job?
Yes, it can be a dangerous position because you work with heavy equipment and tall heights. To be a skilled elevator mechanic, you must follow the safety guidelines and possess industry-standard skills.
What are the job duties of an elevator mechanic?
As an elevator mechanic, you will work to repair, install, and construct elevators, escalators, and other moving walkways. You can also choose to specialize in any of these areas.
What are some requirements of an elevator mechanic apprenticeship program?
Elevator mechanic apprenticeship program requirements will vary depending on the institution, but there are certain common requirements. They include physical strength and stamina, a high school diploma or equivalent, and good mechanical aptitude.