Job Description of an Elevator Repair or Service Technician

Sep 26, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an elevator repair or service technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, and licensing to find out if this is the career for you.

Training for elevator repair or service technicians is usually acquired through apprenticeship programs following completion of high school. Technicians generally need to be licensed by the state, which usually includes meeting education requirements and passing an exam.

Essential Information

Elevator repair or service technicians install and perform regular maintenance on elevators, escalators, chairlifts and moving sidewalks. They learn their trade in union-approved apprenticeships and may earn certification to enhance their credentials. Technicians must also comply with licensing requirements that can vary by city and by state.

Required Education On-the-job, union-approved apprenticeships
Other Requirements Licensing as required by local city and state; certification is recommended
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 10% (elevator installers and repairers)*
Median Salary (2018) $79,370 annually (elevator installers and repairers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for an Elevator Repair or Service Technician

Elevator service technicians are primarily responsible for all preventative maintenance and repair work on elevators and similar people-moving machinery. They also install various components of the elevator system, such as the railings on which the elevator car travels, its supporting motors and cables and the electrical wiring and microprocessors that power the equipment.

Elevator repair technicians respond to calls about malfunctioning equipment, often troubleshooting the machinery until the problem can be diagnosed and solved. These technicians check wiring and parts for signs of wear, replace parts as needed, oil gears and test electrical systems to make sure the elevator unit is running efficiently.


On-the-job apprenticeships are usually where elevator service technicians receive most of their training. Candidates must be 18 years old and hold a high school diploma. Apprenticeships generally last four years, during which time the apprentice learns the repair trade by assisting an elevator service technician and attending classes that include blueprint reading, electrical systems, mathematics and physics.

Many elevator service technicians continue to participate in training seminars and workshops throughout their careers. Such continuing education ensures these technicians are current on the latest machinery and prepares them for promotion to positions such as elevator inspector or mechanic-in-charge.

Licensing and Certification

Licensing requirements can vary by city and state, but most require technicians to pass a licensing exam. Certification is not required; however, the National Association of Elevator Contractors provides several certification options.

Certified Elevator Technician (CET)

To attain certification as a CET, candidates first complete four courses on elevator machinery and installation processes, which make up the Associate Elevator Technician (AET) certification. Candidates pass an exam for each course and a comprehensive exam that covers all four courses. To get the CET designation, candidates then complete an additional eight courses and exams and pass another final comprehensive exam. Both programs take a combined total of about four years to complete. Continuing education is required yearly to maintain certification.

Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician (CAT)

The CAT process consists of five courses on various types of lift machinery and safety, each of which ends with a final exam. This program takes approximately two years to complete and culminates with a comprehensive exam that covers information from all five courses. The CAT, CET and AET designations can benefit elevator service technicians by signifying their degree of professional knowledge and training.

Career Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that elevator installers and repairers would experience an increase in job opportunities which is faster than average from 2018-2028. This group of technical professionals earned a median annual salary of $79,780 in May 2018.

Elevator repair and service technicians install, inspect, maintain and repair elevators and other people-moving equipment. They can seek certification to help advance their careers, and continuing education may prepare them for promotion to positions of more responsibility.

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