Elevator Technician: Employment Info & Requirements

Learn what it takes to become an elevator technician. Get the details about training, job outlook and earning potential to decide if this career is right for you.

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Career Definition for an Elevator Technician

The elevator technician is responsible for the movement of individuals and products from one location to another, both quickly and safely. An elevator technician is responsible for installing, updating, and repairing elevators, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters, and chair lifts. A knowledge of hydraulics, electronics, and electricity is necessary to do the job successfully.

Education Apprenticeship, on-the-job training
Job Skills Problem solving, mechanical aptitude, knowledge of electronics
Median Salary (2015) $80,870 per year
Job Growth (2014-2024) 13% (faster than average)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

In most instances, an elevator technician will be a high school graduate and will participate in an apprenticeship program requiring three to four years of training; apprentices earn 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training during each year of training. Union membership is typical for employment as an elevator technician. Elevator technicians are currently required to be licensed in 35 states. Certification, however, is not required but can help show a technician's knowledge and capability in the field. Two certification programs are offered through the National Association of Elevator Contractors.

Skills Required

An elevator technician career requires skills in such areas as math and physics. An ability to perceive and solve problems is helpful to the elevator technician. Both patience and an ability to work with employers and with clients is important.

Career and Economic Outlook

The elevator technician career field is projected to grow about 13% over the course of the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, elevator technicians were among the highest paid of all construction trades in 2015; they earned a median hourly rate of $38.88 and annual salary of $80,870 in 2015, according to the BLS.

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Alternate Career Options

Other jobs similar to an Elevator Technician that might appeal to you include:

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairer

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers work in a variety of fields, such as telecommunications and utilities. They are responsible for keeping electronic components in good working order, identifying problems using tools like signal generators and multimeters, and repairing or replacing parts as needed. Areas of specialization may include power tools, industrial equipment, motor vehicle electronics, and mobile communication equipment in transportation settings. Workers in this field have a high school diploma and typically complete postsecondary vocational training. Voluntary professional certification is also available.

According to the BLS, the number of jobs in this field is projected to decline by 4% from 2014-2024 and the median annual salary for electrical and electronics installers and repairers in 2015 was $55,160. Pay can vary by area of expertise in this field. The BLS reports that those who worked in powerhouse, substation, and relay settings earned median pay of $73,810 in 2015, while motor vehicle electronics installers earned $31,360, those who worked in commercial and industrial equipment earned $55,690, and those who worked in transportation earned $58,990 in that same year.

Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring in homes and businesses, from new constructions to existing buildings. They use specialized tools, blueprints, and their knowledge of the National Electric Code and any applicable local and state regulations. Electricians must have a high school diploma; they often complete an apprenticeship, although vocational training may also be an option. State licensing requirements for electricians vary. Electricians can expect job growth of 14% (much faster than average) from 2014-2024, per the BLS. The median salary was $51,880 in 2015, according to the BLS, and building equipment contractors employed the greatest number of electricians.

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