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Elevator installers install rails, car enclosures, motors, pumps, cylinders, and plunger foundations. They also install electrical wires and components on each floor and the main control room. They bolt or weld the elevator's steel frame, install the platform, walls, and door of the car, and attach guide shoes and rollers. In addition to elevators, some installers also install escalators, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, stair lifts, and wheelchair lifts.
Elevator maintenance is of the utmost importance, and elevator repairers, also known as elevator mechanics, make sure that elevators are in safe working condition by making any necessary minor repairs. Service crews usually handle major repairs such as cable, elevator door, or machine bearing replacement, as these jobs require tools that a typical elevator repairman does not have on hand.
Elevator installers and repairers lift and carry heavy equipment, and often work in cramped spaces. They may be required to wear hard hats, harnesses, ear plugs, safety glasses, and protective clothing and shoes. Most work a 40 hour week, but some are on 24 hour call. Due to the indoor nature of the job, elevator installers and repairers lose less time to inclement weather than workers in other construction trades.
Apprenticeship programs are the most common way that elevator installers receive their education. Most apprenticeship programs last four years and combine paid on the job training with classes on blueprint reading, electronic theory, math, physics, and safety. Many states also require elevator installers to pass a licensing exam. Ongoing training is critical as technology advances, and installers with additional specialized training may advance to adjuster, supervisor, or elevator inspector.
Workers seeking to enter elevator contractor positions are expected to have excellent opportunities, especially if they are certified and have some specialized training. Elevators need to be kept in good working condition at all times, so this profession is expected to be less effected by economic downturns than other construction trades. Please visit the International Union of Elevator Constructors website for more information on employment opportunities for elevator workers, and the National Association of Elevator Contractors website for information about specialized certification programs.
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About Elevator Contractors