Elevator Mechanic: What Is It and How to Become

Elevator Mechanic: What Is It and How to Become

Every building with multiple floors relies on elevators to transport people and goods efficiently. And behind the smooth operation of these mechanical wonders stands a crucial figure – the elevator mechanic. These skilled professionals are responsible for installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting elevators and escalators.

So, how does one become an elevator mechanic? The path to becoming one involves educational requirements, on-the-job training, and obtaining necessary certifications. While the specific steps may vary depending on the state, here’s a general guide to help aspiring elevator mechanics navigate through the process:

Step 1: Obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. Most states require a minimum education level to become an elevator mechanic. Having a high school diploma or GED is generally a must-have, as it demonstrates basic knowledge in math, physics, and electronics.

Step 2: Complete an elevator mechanic trainee’s program. To gain practical experience and knowledge of elevator installation and repair, aspiring elevator mechanics can complete a trainee program. These programs include classroom instruction and hands-on training, covering topics such as electrical systems, safety regulations, and equipment maintenance.

Step 3: Obtain necessary certifications. After completing a trainee program, aspiring elevator mechanics need to pass the necessary examinations to become licensed. The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) offers certification exams in various categories, including elevator and escalator installation, repair, and service. These certifications are recognized both nationally and internationally and are highly valuable for career advancement.

To apply for these exams, aspiring elevator mechanics can contact their state agency responsible for elevator safety. They will provide the required applications and documents, such as proof of completed training and work experience. Once the application is submitted and all necessary documents are in compliance, aspiring mechanics can look forward to taking the certification exam.

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Elevator Mechanic

Becoming an elevator mechanic involves a series of steps that include education, training, and certification. Follow these steps to start your career as an elevator mechanic:

  1. Complete your high school education or equivalent. Most elevator mechanic positions require a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Research and contact local trade schools or community colleges that offer elevator mechanic programs. These programs provide classroom instruction and hands-on training in elevator maintenance and repair.
  3. Apply to an elevator mechanic apprenticeship program. These programs provide on-the-job training and allow you to earn money while learning the trade. Contact your local labor union or elevator contractors association for information on available apprenticeships.
  4. Complete your apprenticeship program. This typically involves working under the supervision of an experienced elevator mechanic, learning how to install, repair, and troubleshoot elevators.
  5. Obtain your elevator mechanic license or certification. Some states require elevator mechanics to be licensed, while others may have certification requirements. Contact your local licensing board or the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) for information on the specific requirements in your state.
  6. Get employed as an elevator mechanic. Once you have completed your apprenticeship and obtained the necessary license or certification, you can start applying for elevator mechanic positions.
  7. Continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Elevator technology is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest advancements and industry trends. Attend workshops, seminars, and training programs to expand your knowledge and expertise.
  8. Consider becoming a certified elevator technician (CET). The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) offers a CET certification, which demonstrates your competence in the field and can enhance your career prospects.
  9. Explore career advancement opportunities. With experience and additional certifications, you can qualify for higher-level positions such as elevator supervisor or manager.

Becoming an elevator mechanic can lead to a rewarding career with a competitive salary. Elevator mechanics and installers generally earn a median salary of $84,990 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, if you enjoy working with mechanical systems and have a knack for troubleshooting, consider becoming an elevator mechanic!

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If you’re interested in becoming an elevator mechanic, make sure to follow these steps and take advantage of the resources available to you. Contact local trade schools, labor unions, or the NAEC for more information on apprenticeships, courses, and certifications. Start your journey towards a successful career in elevator mechanics today!

Research the Role of an Elevator Mechanic

Becoming an elevator mechanic typically requires a combination of education, training, and experience. The first step is to research the educational and training requirements in your state or region. The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) is a nationally recognized agency that provides education and training for aspiring elevator mechanics. NEIEP offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers mechanical and electrical systems, elevator installations, wiring, and more.

It is recommended to contact NEIEP or your local elevator mechanic union for more information on the specific requirements and available programs in your area. They can provide guidance on the steps to take in order to become licensed or certified as an elevator mechanic.

When researching the role, it is also helpful to seek out informational interviews or job shadowing opportunities with experienced elevator mechanics. This will give you a firsthand understanding of the day-to-day tasks and challenges of the job. You can also ask them questions about their career path, any certifications or licenses they obtained, and the different types of elevators and systems they have worked on.

Furthermore, exploring the elevator mechanic career path online can provide additional resources and information. There are websites and forums dedicated to elevator mechanics where you can find articles, tips, and discussions related to the profession. These platforms can be a valuable source of information for aspiring elevator mechanics.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and feel confident in your decision to become an elevator mechanic, it is time to start the application process. This typically involves submitting an application form, along with any required documents, such as proof of education or apprenticeship completion. It may also be necessary to provide a resume, cover letter, and any relevant work experience or certifications.

Some states or employers may require applicants to pass a written test or provide additional data, such as a background check or drug test. It is important to be aware of these requirements and prepare accordingly.

In summary, researching the role of an elevator mechanic is an essential step in the journey to becoming one. By familiarizing yourself with the educational and training requirements, contacting relevant agencies and organizations, and seeking out firsthand experiences, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of what is required to pursue a career in elevator mechanics.

Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent

Having a high school diploma or equivalent also shows potential employers that you have the discipline and commitment to complete a formal education program. It demonstrates that you have acquired some of the fundamental skills necessary for success in the field.

If you haven’t earned your high school diploma or equivalent, you should consider obtaining one before pursuing a career as an elevator mechanic. There are several options available to help you obtain your diploma, including traditional high schools, online programs, and adult education programs.

Once you have your high school diploma or equivalent, you can begin your journey towards becoming an elevator mechanic by taking the necessary steps to gain the required knowledge and experience.

The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) offers a comprehensive training program for aspiring elevator mechanics. The NEIEP provides both classroom instruction and on-the-job training, allowing trainees to learn the theory and practice necessary to troubleshoot, install, and maintain elevators and escalators.

NEIEP also offers certifications for elevator mechanics, which can enhance your job prospects and open up opportunities for further career advancement. These certifications test your knowledge and skills in areas such as electronics, mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, and more.

If you are an experienced elevator mechanic or have a background in a related field, you may be able to become a licensed elevator mechanic by submitting proof of your experience and passing the required exams. The licensing requirements vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with your local licensing board for specific information.

In summary, obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent is the first step towards becoming an elevator mechanic. It provides the necessary foundation in basic education and demonstrates your commitment to the field. Whether you choose to pursue further education and training through the NEIEP or become licensed through your experience, a high school diploma or equivalent is essential for every aspiring elevator mechanic.

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Complete an Elevator Mechanic Apprenticeship Program

Becoming an elevator mechanic typically involves completing an apprenticeship program, which provides both classroom instruction and hands-on training. These programs are designed to help individuals become skilled in elevator and escalator installation, maintenance, and repair.

Apprenticeship programs for elevator mechanics are available through organizations such as the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) and the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). These programs typically require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old.

During the apprenticeship, trainees work under the supervision of experienced elevator mechanics. They learn how to install, maintain, and repair various types of elevators and escalators, including hydraulic, traction, and pneumatic systems. Trainees also learn about electrical and electronics systems, as well as safety procedures and compliance requirements.

Apprenticeship programs generally consist of a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction, which can be completed over the course of 4-5 years. Trainees are scheduled to attend classes to learn the theory behind elevator mechanics and to receive further instruction in electrical and mechanical systems.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, aspiring elevator mechanics usually need to pass a certification or licensure test to become fully licensed. This test typically includes both written and practical components, ensuring that the individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to work as an elevator mechanic. Some states may have additional requirements beyond the apprenticeship program, so it is important to check the specific requirements in the state where you plan to work.

For those who don’t have access to apprenticeship programs in their area, there are also online programs and resources available that can provide educational information and training for aspiring elevator mechanics. While these programs may not replace the hands-on experience gained through an apprenticeship, they can still be a valuable resource for learning the necessary skills and theory.

If you’re interested in becoming an elevator mechanic, it is important to contact local apprenticeship programs, industry organizations, or elevator installation companies to inquire about any available apprenticeship opportunities. They can provide you with the necessary information and help you through the application process.

Earn a Certification or License

There are several certifications and licenses that can be earned to demonstrate your competence in the field. One nationally recognized certification is offered by the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC). This certification is obtained by passing an exam that tests your knowledge and skills in various areas related to elevator and escalator installation, repair, and maintenance.

Another option is to become a licensed elevator mechanic through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). This program offers a four-year apprenticeship, during which you will receive on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, you will be eligible to apply for a license. This license serves as proof that you have met the requirements and are qualified to work as a licensed elevator mechanic.

When applying for a certification or license, you may be required to submit certain documents and proof of your training and experience. This can include letters of recommendation from experienced elevator technicians, proof of completed training programs or apprenticeships, and any other relevant resources that demonstrate your competency in the field.

It is also important to note that some states or regions may have their own specific licensing requirements. Therefore, it is recommended to check with your local regulatory agency to ensure compliance with any additional requirements.

In addition to obtaining a certification or license, further career advancement can be achieved by pursuing additional training and specialization. For example, you can become a certified elevator technician by completing the Certified Elevator Technician program offered by the NAEC. This program focuses on specific tasks and skills related to elevator maintenance and repair.

Overall, earning a certification or license is a major step towards becoming a qualified elevator mechanic. It not only provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job effectively, but also enhances your career opportunities and salary potential in the field.

Gain Experience and Advance in your Career

1. Gain On-the-Job Experience

Look for employment opportunities at elevator and escalator repair companies or other relevant organizations. Aspiring mechanics can start as trainees or apprentices, working under the supervision of experienced technicians. This on-the-job training provides valuable hands-on experience and allows you to apply what you have learned in your training program to real-life situations.

2. Take Additional Certification Examinations

As you gain experience, you may consider further certifications to expand your skill set and improve your career prospects. The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) offers additional certification programs for elevator mechanics, such as certified elevator technician (CET) and certified accessibility and private residence lift technician (CAT). These certifications are nationally recognized and can open doors to new opportunities within the industry.

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3. Seek Opportunities for Advancement

Once you have gained sufficient experience and certifications, you can pursue advancement within your career as an elevator mechanic. This may include taking on more complex tasks, supervising other workers, or specializing in a specific area, such as electronics or mechanical repair. Stay updated with advancements in elevator technology and seek opportunities for professional growth.

For further information, resources, and links to apprenticeship programs and employment opportunities, you can visit the elevator mechanic section on the website of the U.S. Department of Labor (elevatorsect.lni.wa.gov). They provide valuable information on becoming a licensed elevator mechanic, including application and examination requirements, available apprenticeships, and links to online resources.

If you need help or have any questions along your career path, the NEIEP and other industry organizations can provide guidance and support. Consider contacting them for additional information and assistance in advancing your career as an elevator mechanic.

Careers for Elevator Installers and Repairers

To become an elevator mechanic, a person must usually complete a formal training program. These programs are generally available through trade schools, vocational schools, or community colleges. The curriculum often includes courses in electronics, electrical wiring, mechanical systems, and elevator maintenance.

After completing the required training, candidates can apply for certification through the National Elevator Industry Education Program (NEIEP). The NEIEP offers a certification exam that assesses an individual’s knowledge and competency in elevator installation and repair. Obtaining this certification can enhance job prospects and potentially lead to higher salary opportunities.

Applicants for NEIEP certification must meet certain requirements, including a minimum amount of work experience and the submission of all necessary documents and applications. The certification examination tests candidates on their ability to understand and apply data related to elevator mechanics, as well as their knowledge of compliance with national safety regulations.

In addition to NEIEP certification, some states may require elevator mechanics to obtain a license. The specific requirements for obtaining a license may vary, but typically include passing an examination and providing proof of experience or completing a certain number of training hours.

When applying for jobs as an elevator installer or repairer, it is important to submit a well-written cover letter and application form. These documents should highlight the applicant’s relevant experience, skills, and certifications. Social and communication skills are also important in this profession, as elevator installers and repairers often interact with clients and provide updates on the status of repairs or installations.

Overall, a career as an elevator installer or repairer can offer stable employment and competitive wages. With the right education, experience, and certifications, individuals in this field have the opportunity to work in a specialized and in-demand profession.


What are the requirements to become an elevator mechanic?

To become an elevator mechanic, one must typically have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may also require completion of a formal apprenticeship program, while others may provide on-the-job training. It is also important to have good mechanical and problem-solving skills.

How long does it take to become an elevator mechanic?

The time it takes to become an elevator mechanic can vary. Generally, it can take around 4 to 5 years to complete an apprenticeship program. However, some individuals may be able to gain the necessary skills and knowledge through on-the-job training in a shorter amount of time.

What does an elevator mechanic do?

An elevator mechanic is responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators, escalators, and other types of vertical transportation systems. They are skilled in troubleshooting various mechanical and electrical issues, as well as ensuring the safety and functionality of these systems.

Are there any certifications or licenses required to become an elevator mechanic?

While not always required, many elevator mechanics choose to obtain certifications or licenses to enhance their skills and job prospects. The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) offers various certifications, such as the Certified Elevator Technician (CET) designation, which can demonstrate a higher level of expertise in the field.

What is the job outlook for elevator mechanics?

The job outlook for elevator mechanics is generally positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for elevator mechanics is expected to be driven by the construction of new buildings and the need for maintenance and repair of existing elevator systems.

What is the first step to becoming an elevator mechanic?

The first step to becoming an elevator mechanic is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. This is the basic educational requirement for most entry-level positions in this field.

What are the requirements to become an elevator mechanic?

To become an elevator mechanic, you will typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may also require completion of a formal training program or an apprenticeship. Additionally, obtaining a license or certification may be required in some states or localities.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.