Elevator and Escalator Installer and Repairer Career Description


Elevator and escalator installers and repairers install, maintain, and fix elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

What they do

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Read and interpret blueprints to determine the layout of system components and to select the equipment needed for installation or repair
  • Assemble elevator cars and components for similar systems
  • Connect electrical wiring to control panels and motors
  • Test newly installed equipment to ensure that it meets specifications
  • Troubleshoot malfunctions in brakes, motors, switches, and control systems
  • Dismantle elevator, escalator, or similar units to remove and replace defective parts, using hoists, ladders, and handtools or power tools
  • Repair or replace faulty components in order to return elevator or escalator to fully operational status
  • Conduct preventive maintenance and inspections of elevators, escalators, and similar equipment to comply with safety regulations and building codes
  • Keep service records of all maintenance and repair tasks

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers, also called elevator and escalator constructors or mechanics, assemble, install, maintain, and replace elevators, escalators, chairlifts, moving walkways, and similar equipment.

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work. Maintenance and repair workers generally need to know more about electronics, hydraulics, and electricity than do installers. Most elevators and similar mechanisms have computerized control systems, requiring maintenance and repair workers to do complex troubleshooting.

After an elevator, escalator, or other equipment is installed, workers must regularly maintain and repair it. Maintenance includes oiling and greasing moving parts, replacing worn parts, and adjusting equipment for optimal performance. Workers also troubleshoot and may be called for emergency repair.

A service crew usually handles major repairs—for example, replacing cables, doors and other components, or machine bearings. Service crews may need to use cutting torches or rigging equipment and also may need to do major modernization and alteration, such as replacing electric motors, hydraulic pumps, and control panels.

Work Environment

Elevator and escalator installation and repair work is usually physically demanding. These workers may sit or stand for extensive periods, lift items that weigh up to 200 pounds, and work in cramped areas inside crawl spaces and machine rooms. They also may work at heights in elevator shafts, in dusty and dirty places with oily and greasy equipment, and in hot or cold environments.

How to become an Elevator and Escalator Installer and/or Repairer

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Nearly all learn how to do the work through an apprenticeship. Most states require workers to be licensed.

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required. High school classes in math, mechanical drawing, and physics may be helpful.

A career in elevator or escalator installation and repair typically begins with a 4-year apprenticeship program sponsored by a union, industry association, or employer. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete a predetermined number of hours of technical instruction and paid on-the-job training. During training, apprentices learn about safety, blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics, elevator and escalator parts, electrical and digital theory, and electronics.

When they finish the apprenticeship program, fully trained elevator and escalator installers and repairers become mechanics or assistant mechanics. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers need ongoing training in order to keep up with technological developments.

Workers with relevant experience who can document it and demonstrate their skill may qualify for a shorter apprenticeship.

Most states require elevator and escalator installers and repairers to be licensed. Check with your state for more information.

Although not required, certification shows competence and proficiency in the field.

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers can become Certified Elevator Technicians (CET) or Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technicians (CAT) through the National Association of Elevator Contractors. They can also be certified as Qualified Elevator Inspectors (QEI) through the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International


The median annual wage for elevator and escalator installers and repairers was $84,990 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,150.

Job Outlook

Employment of elevator and escalator installers and repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

Demand for these workers is closely tied to nonresidential construction, such as office buildings and stores that have elevators and escalators, and this type of construction is expected to increase during the next decade.

In addition, the need to regularly maintain, update, and repair old equipment; provide access for the disabled; and install increasingly sophisticated equipment and controls will maintain demand for elevator and escalator installers and repairers.

Similar Job Titles

Elevator Adjuster, Elevator Constructor, Elevator Mechanic, Elevator Repair and Maintenance Technician, Elevator Service Mechanic, Elevator Service Technician, Elevator Serviceman, Elevator Technician, Elevator Troubleshooter, Escalator Service Mechanic

Related Occupations

Electrician, Automotive Master Mechanic, Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanic and Installer, Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer, Maintenance and Repair Worker

More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.

Magazines and Publications

Video Transcript

From moving walkways and escalators at the airport… to skyscraper elevators… and even chair lifts at ski areas… elevator installers and repairers keep people moving to where they want to go. Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain lift equipment. Usually, they specialize in one phase of the work: installation, maintenance, or repairs. Elevators and lifts require maintenance such as oiling and greasing parts, replacing worn components and adjusting equipment, including computerized control systems. The work requires the ability to troubleshoot, based on a strong knowledge of electronics, hydraulics, and electricity. Elevator installers and repairers work in crews for major repairs such as replacing cables or bearings. They also ensure that equipment complies with safety regulations and building codes. Most elevator installers and repairers work for building equipment contractors. They often work in cramped crawl spaces and machine rooms… sometimes high up in elevator shafts. They often need protective equipment such as harnesses and safety glasses. Almost all work full time, and may be on call 24-hours a day when necessary. Nearly all elevator installers and repairers learn through a 4-year apprenticeship, which requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Classes in math, mechanical drawing, and shop can be helpful. Most states require licensure.

Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org