Elevator Constructor and Mechanic

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Elevator Constructor and Mechanic


The first primitive elevators operated by human, animal power and water wheels were been in use as early as the 3rd century BC, but the modern power elevator is a product of the 19th century. In 1852 Elisha Graves Otis invented the world's first safety elevator with a device called a "safety" to stop the fall of the car if the hoisting rope broke. From there it was just a matter of time, until in 1857 the first passenger elevator in the US was installed in a New York store. This is how the job of elevator constructor and mechanic was created.

Elevator constructors and mechanics assemble, install, maintain and repair freight and passenger elevators, escalators, moving walkways and other related equipment. An elevator constructor and mechanic may perform many different tasks in a day. Reading blueprints, installing an elevator or performing routine maintenance duties are all typical tasks in the day of an elevator constructor and mechanic. These workers generally work an eight-hour day however; they may work shifts mornings, evenings or weekends or be on call for emergency situations.

Elevator constructor and mechanics enjoy working with their hands. These workers understand the importance of the safety and maintenance of elevators and their role in this process. They understand electrical and mechanical systems and enjoy troubleshooting by testing the mechanical and electrical systems of the elevators they work on.
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  Average Earnings  
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  Interests and Skills  
Elevator constructors and mechanics are skilled at interpreting blueprints to determine the layout of elevator components. They like to work with their hands and have an aptitude for mechanics and electronic troubleshooting. They are interested in building and maintaining elevator systems. Safety is a priority for these workers and they must be able to carefully assess and correct any potential problems that might arise. Elevator constructors and mechanics also need good communication skills written and verbal, in order to record any problems they may have had for other workers.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Interpret blueprints to determine layout of system components
  • Install elevators, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters and related equipment according to specifications
  • Install and wire electric control system devices
  • Install, test and adjust safety control devices
  • Troubleshoot electrical or mechanical systems failures
  • Test operation of newly installed equipment
  • Disassemble defective units and repair or replace worn or suspect parts
  • Adjust valves, ratchets, seals, brake linings and other components
  • Carry out preventative maintenance programs to ensure public safety
  • Elevator constructors and mechanics will most likely spend their days indoors. They generally work an eight-hour day, unless an emergency arises and they are on call. They may help in the construction of a new elevator or test the instruments and conduct routine maintenance. Each day will vary depending on where they are employed.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Elevator constructors and mechanics are employed by elevator construction and maintenance companies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
There is potential with experience for elevator constructor and mechanics to possibly move into supervisory positions within their field.

  Educational Paths  
Elevator constructors and mechanics receive their training either through informal, on-the-job training or through an apprenticeship program. Trade certification can be obtained either through an apprenticeship program or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all areas to become an elevator constructor and mechanic, it can be a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment.

Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. A pre-apprenticeship course may also be available which takes about five to six months to complete at a community college and is designed to help you get connected with a good company to apprentice with. It is important to apprentice with a reputable company as that is your education. While some apprenticeship programs may not require a high school diploma, it is important to note that employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates.

Apprenticeships can vary, however a typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. The apprenticeship is a paid position, however wages are about 50 percent of what an employer pays the journeyperson, with yearly increases. After successfully completing the apprenticeship requirements, their industry training and apprenticeship office awards the elevator constructor and mechanic a certificate of completion.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

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