Home page

Elevator Installers and Repairers

At a Glance

  • Use cables or hydraulics to lift elevators
  • Read and interpret blueprints
  • Usually work alone
  • May work nights or weekends
  • Most train through apprenticeship programs
  • May need a license

Career summary

Elevator installers and repairers install, maintain, and repair elevators.

#new to wois, check 3/13/19 lh

Elevator installers put in new elevators. They read blueprints to plan each step of the installation process. Elevator installers put in guide rails to guide the elevator as it moves up and down. If the rails are not the right length, installers cut them to fit. Installers weld or bolt the rails to the walls of the elevator shaft. Elevator installers put in the electrical wiring. They also put together the elevator cars, platforms, walls, and doors. Finally, installers put in the equipment that moves the cars. This type of equipment varies. Some elevators use cables to raise the cars and some use hydraulics.

Once the elevator is running, installers test it to make sure the elevator is working correctly. Installers make adjustments to the elevator so that it is working properly and can pass inspection.

Sometimes elevator installers put in dumbwaiters, which are similar to small elevators. Other installers put in escalators. Occasionally they replace old elevators with new systems.

Elevator installers also maintain elevators or fix those that are broken. They may run tests to find out what is wrong. Repairers oil or clean the moving parts and replace worn parts. Repairers fill out service reports with the details of their work.

Elevator installers and repairers must keep their skills up to date. They may take courses from elevator manufacturers to learn about new technology. Installers and repairers need some knowledge about how to repair computers because computers are used to control some elevators.

Related careers

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to elevator installers and repairers.

Common work activities

Elevator installers and repairers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, elevator installers and repairers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Elevator installers and repairers frequently:

It is important for elevator installers and repairers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for elevator installers and repairers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Elevator installers and repairers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an elevator installer and repairer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most elevator installers and repairers learn their skills through apprenticeship training programs. Admission to apprenticeship programs is competitive. To apply for an apprenticeship, you must:

Apprenticeship programs usually consist of four years of on-the-job training. You are paid for the time you spend on the job. In addition, each year you receive at least 144 hours of classroom training.

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities in your area, consult the US Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information (external link) website.

You can prepare for an apprenticeship by taking courses at a professional-technical or two-year school. Courses in electronics, electricity, general math, and drafting prepare students to enter apprenticeship programs. However, these courses are not required to qualify for an apprenticeship.

On-the-job training

Some elevator installers and repairers receive informal on-the-job training from an experienced worker. Trainees must complete a six-month probationary period. It takes four to five years to become fully trained.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be mechanics and repairers. They offer training in several types of engines, such as boat, auto, and heavy equipment. They don't offer training in elevators though. However, some of the training you receive will transfer over to repairing elevators. Training lasts eight to 29 weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.

Washington apprenticeships

In Washington, applicants for elevator installers or mechanics apprenticeships must:

Applicants must have a social security card and their own transportation to get to job sites.

For further information on apprenticeships in Washington, contact:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Apprenticeship Program (external link)

PO Box 44530
Olympia, WA 98504-4530

#checked 3/26/18 cj. 3/13/19 lh

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most elevator installers and repairers apply for jobs through a local of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. Although most elevator installers belong to a union, employers do not require union membership. Helpers may be hired for summer or part-time work.

Most employers require elevator installers and repairers to have passed the mechanics exam given by the National Elevator Industry Educational Program.

Sometimes workers are hired for certain jobs because they have special skills. For example, applicants may be hired as elevator repairers because they have strong skills in electronics.

Costs to workers

Workers may need to pay for their own tools. Those who belong to a union must pay dues and an initiation fee.


In Washington, there are nine categories of elevator licenses. The general license, which allows mechanics to work on any type of equipment, requires meeting one of the following:

Workers need to pay a application fee, a state licensing fee, and if necessary, a examination fee. There is a renewal fee every two years.

Workers must also complete at least eight hours of continuing education every two years for license renewal.

For more information, contact:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Elevator Section Program (external link)

PO Box 44480
Olympia, WA 98504-4480

#no change 3/9/17 lh. Minor change to ph # rest ok, 3/26/18 cj. 3/13/19 lh

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Elevator installers and repairers (SOC 47-4021)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $35.34 $50.97 $55.16 $59.40 $61.95
Monthly $6,124 $8,833 $9,559 $10,294 $10,736
Yearly $73,500 $106,010 $114,740 $123,560 $128,850
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $39.58 $52.47 $56.56 $60.67 $63.13
Monthly $6,859 $9,093 $9,802 $10,514 $10,940
Yearly $82,308 $109,126 $117,647 $126,186 $131,317
    Vancouver Hourly $28.87 $36.40 $50.12 $58.02 $62.49
Monthly $5,003 $6,308 $8,686 $10,055 $10,830
Yearly $60,049 $75,725 $104,239 $120,692 $129,980
United States Hourly $19.64 $27.54 $38.36 $48.40 $58.27
Monthly $3,404 $4,773 $6,648 $8,388 $10,098
Yearly $40,850 $57,290 $79,780 $100,680 $121,200

Wages vary by the installer's level of experience. Wages also vary by area of the country and employer. In general, union workers receive higher wages.

Elevator installers and repairers generally receive health insurance, paid vacation, and retirement benefits.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Elevator Installers and Repairers (SOC 47-4021)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 924 16.1% 16.1% 146
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 53 -43.4% 15.2% 2
    King County 889 15.0% 19.6% 137
    Spokane County 21 14.3% 13.9% 3
United States 27,000 10.4% 5.2% 3,500

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand will be strong for elevator installers and repairers, however this is a small occupation and few new jobs will be created. Demand will increase as existing equipment needs repair and new buildings need elevators. The aging population contributes to growth as people need elevators and lifts to access their homes.

Elevator installers and repairers generally are not affected by the state of the economy. This is because elevators must always be kept in good working condition.

Some job openings will occur as current workers leave this occupation. Job prospects are good for entry-level workers who have formal training or a post-secondary degree in electronics.

Other resources

International Union of Elevator Constructors (external link)
7154 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
National Association of Elevator Contractors (external link)
1298 Wellbrook Circle
Conyers, GA 30012
National Elevator Industry (external link)
PO Box 231137
Centreville, VA 20120
North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) (external link)
815 16th ST, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20006


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster