Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become an Elevator or Escalator Technician in America

DateNovember 8, 2023
how to become an elevator technician or escalator technician

When you ride an elevator or escalator, do you think about how they work? If you're fascinated by these impressive machines and like working with your hands, you may want to become an elevator technician or escalator technician.

Becoming a vertical transportation technician is an interesting and stable career path. SkillHero's tools and resources can help you gain the necessary experience and certifications to excel in this field. Sign up for a free account now, and then finish reading this article to create a strategy to launch your career.

What is a vertical transportation technician?

These skilled trade specialists are primarily responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of elevators and escalators. Vertical transportation technology plays a crucial role in the daily lives of many people, providing convenient access to buildings without requiring the use of stairs.

Performing maintenance of elevators and escalators requires a unique set of skills and knowledge, allowing them to troubleshoot and resolve issues with complex systems.

Most of these workers are employed by elevator companies and escalator companies that sell the systems and provide ongoing maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Vertical transportation employment opportunities also exist in the construction industry for new buildings that require increased accessibility.

What do elevator and escalator technicians do?

Vertical transportation technicians are skilled professionals responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of elevators, escalators, and other related equipment. Their primary duties include ensuring the safe operation of vertical transportation systems and conducting regular safety inspections.

Safety is a top priority for elevator and escalator technicians. They conduct thorough inspections to ensure all safety features are functioning properly and comply with industry standards. They also stay up-to-date with building codes and regulations to ensure the systems they work on meet all required specifications.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to access opportunities, resources, and tools to help you start your journey in this rewarding trade.

What's the average salary?

The average salary for elevator and escalator technicians in America can vary based on factors such as experience, certifications, and location. According to the latest data, the median annual wage for elevator and escalator installers is $47,850 for apprentices, $99,000 for journeymen, and $135,130 for masters. This makes it one of the most lucrative skilled trades.

Elevator-Escalator-Technician average salary SkillHero

Location is an important factor in salary differences. Technicians working in metropolitan areas or regions with high demand for their services tend to earn higher salaries compared to those working in less populated areas.

Is becoming a vertical transportation technician difficult?

This skilled trade comes with some unique challenges and requirements, but with the right skills and qualifications it's an achievable goal.

Elevator and escalator systems are complex, and technicians must be able to troubleshoot and repair various components. Understanding what makes the controls work and ensuring that everything meets safety regulations requires a combination of traditional education and hands-on training.

Candidates need enough physical strength to work with power tools and heavy equipment, and they must be willing to work as a full time apprentice for at least 48 months in most cases.

While becoming a vertical transportation technician isn't easy, the opportunity for career growth is substantial due to the unique role they play in the construction industry.

How to become an escalator or elevator technician

This trade requires a combination of education, training, and practical experience. Here's a simple step-by-step process you can follow to maximize your chances of becoming an ideal applicant for the right employer.

Get a high school diploma or similar credential

Obtaining a high school diploma or similar credential is essential for any skilled trade career. This foundational education provides basic knowledge and skills necessary for success in fields where math and language skills are used daily.

You can take a variety of courses and additional training to improve your technical skills and overall knowledge. While higher education can help applicants gain an edge when applying for entry-level positions, in many cases a high school education is the only hard requirement.

Create a skilled trade resume

Creating a great skilled trade resume is essential for standing out in the competitive job market. Highlighting your work experience, certifications, and soft skills and technical skills can demonstrate your unique value as a candidate for businesses who need to actively find new employees.

To make the process easier, SkillHero offers a user-friendly resume builder that streamlines the creation of a polished and professional resume. With a database of industry-specific skills, you can easily create a curriculum vitae and export it as a PDF or share it directly with employers on the platform.

Find an apprenticeship

Finding an apprenticeship is an important step towards building a successful career in this skilled trade. One way to start is by exploring elevator technician apprenticeships offered by reputable companies and contractors.

The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) provides valuable apprenticeship programs for aspiring technicians. The application process typically involves submitting a written application, completing an aptitude test such as the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT), and attending an interview.

One way to increase your chances of getting accepted into an apprenticeship is by gaining relevant experience and qualifications. Consider acquiring mechanical skills and technical instruction through vocational or trade schools. Familiarize yourself with electrical wiring, control systems, and advance your math skills.

Physical strength is essential because technicians often work with heavy elevator cars, parts, and tools. Consider gaining experience in construction or other mechanical or electrical jobs to demonstrate your level of experience and commitment to the field.

SkillHero can provide access to resources, training opportunities, and apprenticeships to help you showcase you build a successful career. Sign up for a free SkillHero account to start looking for openings and opportunities today.

Gain new skills and update certifications

Having up-to-date certificates for the latest technical theory and safety protocols helps make you uniquely qualified for any open positions. Consider participating in training programs that provide comprehensive instruction on electrical theory, mechanical skills, and industry codes.

Developing critical thinking skills is also key for advancing in any skilled trade. While apprentices follow directions more often than not, journeymen and masters will need to demonstrate the ability to solve problems quickly and without personalized help.

It's crucial to obtain the necessary elevator mechanics licenses and certifications. Stay informed about the requirements and regulations set by local authorities and industry organizations. Regularly renew these certifications to ensure your skills are recognized and up to standard.

Who thrives as an elevator or escalator technician?

Becoming a successful escalator or elevator technician requires a unique set of qualities and characteristics. Individuals who thrive in this field often possess a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, physical stamina, and specific personal traits.

Technical knowledge is essential because understanding the intricate workings of elevators and escalators and working with mechanical equipment is constantly required. These proficiencies are gained through apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training, or and traditional education like online courses and certification exams.

Most elevator technician positions have standard physical requirements because of the demanding conditions that may involve lifting heavy equipment, climbing ladders, and working in confined spaces.

Individuals who are self-motivated, dependable, and adaptable tend to excel as vertical transportation technicians. Working independently and taking initiative while also collaborating and communicating with others are all relevant skills in this industry.

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