Elevator Inspector: Job Description, Outlook, Duties and Requirements

Elevator inspector requires little formal education. Learn about the training, certification, job duties and continuing education courses to see if this is the right career for you.

Elevator inspectors ensure the safe operation of elevators and escalators by performing inspections of new and existing installations. This position usually only requires a high school diploma, but earning a certificate or an associate's degree may increase career opportunities. Licensing or certification is required in some states.

Essential Information

Elevator inspectors are responsible for performing inspections of elevators, escalators, and various other lift equipment to make sure it is safe for people to use. Elevator inspectors are required to have a high school diploma and they typically receive on-the-job training.

Required Education High school diploma
Other Requirements On-the-job training and Qualified Elevator Inspector certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for construction and building inspectors*
Average Salary (2015) $60,030 for construction and building inspectors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description of an Elevator Inspector

Elevator inspectors ensure that elevators and escalators are safe for use. Inspectors verify that lift equipment meets standard building and safety codes, issuing certificates of compliance or non-compliance based on their findings.

Job Outlook for Elevator Inspectors

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports construction and building inspectors should see a job growth of 8% (as fast as average) between 2014 and 2024. Increasing concern for public safety and a growing desire for high-quality construction and equipment should fuel growth in the inspection field. The average salary for a construction and building inspector was $60,030 in May 2015, according to BLS figures.

Job prospects for elevator inspectors depend on the number of existing lift systems in a geographic area and the construction of new lift systems, particularly in commercial office buildings and stores. Another factor in employment for elevator inspectors comes from the aging population, which will spur the demand for personal lift systems. Elevators, escalators and other lift equipment must be kept in working order year-round; therefore elevator inspectors are not as vulnerable to seasonal or economic downturns as other building inspectors. Elevator inspectors can find employment nationwide; however, the BLS reports that many jobs for construction and building inspectors were in California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania in May 2015.

Duties of an Elevator Inspector

Elevator inspectors perform complex inspections of new and existing lift equipment, including elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks and wheelchair lift systems to ensure compliance with standard building and safety codes. They are responsible for enforcing compliance with codes to ensure public safety. Inspectors investigate complaints concerning lift equipment, recommend repairs and follow up to ensure compliance. Elevator inspectors can stop operations of unsafe lift equipment, issue summons or cancel permits, depending on their findings. Inspectors maintain accurate records and reports of each inspection. In addition, elevator inspectors interpret and explain building and safety codes to contractors, property owners and the general public.

Requirements for Elevator Inspectors

Entry into the field requires a high school diploma and most jobs require some formal training and certification from a local, state or national entity. Most elevator inspectors are trained by employers. Some of these training programs are accredited by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers to award the designation Qualified Elevator Inspector (QEI). Achieving QEI certification requires candidates to comply with stringent qualifications, including completion of a formal program, five years of on-the-job experience and demonstration of in-depth knowledge of lift systems, safety codes and mechanical equipment. Formal apprenticeship programs can also prepare candidates for certification.

A certificate or associate degree program in a related field such as industrial maintenance or electronic technology can be beneficial to elevator inspectors. Knowledge of building and safety codes and mechanical equipment is essential. The level of training required for elevator inspectors varies by state. Certain states have individual licensing requirements for inspectors while others require certification from a professional organization. Continuing education for elevator inspectors is important because of changing technologies used in modern lift systems.

Elevator inspectors usually receive training by their employers. Certification requirements include completion of a training program, on-the-job experience and demonstrable knowledge of the field. Average annual salaries are around $60,000 for this profession.

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