- Do you like machines?
- Do you like doing detailed, precise work indoors and out?
- Are you physically fit?
- Are you comfortable working at heights?
- Do you like working as part of a team?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then a career as an Elevator Constructor/Mechanic could be right for you.
Elevator constructors and mechanics assemble, install, maintain and repair freight and passenger elevators, escalators, moving walkways and other related equipment. They are employed by elevator manufacturers, and elevator installation and maintenance companies.
Elevator constructors and mechanics may specialize in installation, maintenance or repair. Depending on your specialty, your duties may include the following:
- Installing elevators, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters and related equipment
- Connecting elevator car frames to counterweights and assembling elevator cars
- Installing and wiring electric and electronic control systems
- Installing, testing and adjusting safety control devices
- Troubleshooting electrical or mechanical system failures and repairing/replacing worn parts
- Carrying out preventive maintenance programs
- Reading and interpreting blueprints
The standard work week for elevator constructors and mechanics is 40 hours (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). As with many careers in construction, there are peak periods that will require you to work overtime. The number of additional hours you work each week depends on the construction sector and region you work in, and will vary from one job to the next. If you work in maintenance or repair, you may be asked to be on 24-hour call for set periods of time.
As an Elevator Constructor/Mechanic, you will usually work indoors and with a team of other construction professionals. Most elevator constructors and mechanics work in the city where multi-story buildings are common.
As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. Elevator constructors and mechanics are trained to work safely and wear special equipment to protect against injury.
Training and Certification
Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Elevator Constructor/Mechanic, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 55 per cent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship, until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for elevator constructor and mechanic apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. In most provinces and territories, you must be at least 18 years old and have a Grade 12 education or equivalent to enter an elevator constructor and mechanic apprenticeship program. It is recommended that you have Grade 12 math and physics courses. An entrance assessment and or pre-employment course are often required before on-the-job learning and apprenticeship courses.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as an Elevator Constructor/Mechanic.
Apprenticeship training programs for elevator constructors and mechanics vary across Canada, but generally last about three to four years, and include both on-the-job training and special industry training modules.
Related work experience or completion of an elevator constructor and mechanic program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in Alberta and Quebec, and is available but voluntary in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Where certification is not available, it may be possible to study as an apprentice through your local labour organization. Check out our Related links to find out who to contact. Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified by the Canadian Elevator Industry Education Program (CEIEP), you usually need to complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program, as well as technical training offered by the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC). Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than four years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in elevator constructing.
As an Elevator Constructor/Mechanic, it’s important to keep your skills current. Many elevators today are installed using computer controls. Elevator constructors have to keep up with new technology developments by reading and talking with other elevator constructors and mechanics.
Anticipated In-Demand Regions
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|From Maclean's Cool Jobs profile series: In this video, Malcolm DaCosta discusses the ups and downs of his career as an Elevator Mechanic.|