Individuals working in this field are responsible for installing, assembly of, replacing and repair of elevators, escalators, moving walkways and related equipment. They work in both new construction and in buildings that are older. If equipment has been in place for a long period of time, these workers are responsible for upgrading the equipment to meet current building codes. When entering this field, many of these workers focus on one particular area, either repair, installation or maintenance. Those who help to maintain and/or fix problems need to have in-depth knowledge in electricity and electronics due to the focus on problem-solving that their work has.
Elevator Construction Job Responsibilities
Elevator construction requires the ability to read blueprints and to choose the necessary equipment for the motors, machinery and other necessary components for the elevator’s installation. When installing an elevator, workers are required to be on scaffolding while bolting and/or welding the elevator’s rails to the interior walls of the shaft. They also run tubing down the walls of the shaft for the electrical wires, install the electrical parts necessary to control the elevator at each level in the building as well as the doors and frames. If repairs have to be done after the installation is finished, a service team is sent in to do the work. Those with the most skills in elevator installation, or adjusters, do the precision work necessary to make sure the elevator works properly in stops in the correct position on each level of the building with the right timing. For any of these positions, the individual not only needs adequate technical skills, but also needs to have precision and physical strength to do the job.
Elevator Construction Training and Education Requirements
To prepare for this type of field, it is recommended that in high school the student take classes such as math, shop and science. This prepares them to enter and compete for an apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program is run by co-jointly by the union and the company employing the workers. If a worker happens to be employed in a non-union company, outside contractors can provide training programs. The apprenticeship lasts a minimum of four years and includes a mixture of hands-on training with academic instruction. Classroom learning include subjects such as physics and its application to elevators, electrical theory, math, safety procedures and how to read blueprints.
Apprentices may work as assistants to more experienced elevator workers by helping with installation of rails along with transporting materials and tools. Later on they will learn more advanced skills such as wiring. To enter a program, the student must have a high school diploma or GED, be at a minimum 18 years of age, pass a mandatory drug test and take an aptitude examination. With the increase in new technology associated with elevators, those coming into these programs will increasingly be required to have more advanced education.
Elevator Construction Salary and Wages
By the year 2018, job opportunities for elevator construction workers will go up by approximately 9%. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly pay is approximately $33.35. The lowest pay is at or below $19.38, while the highest is at or above $46.78. Due to the necessity of maintaining the various equipment already in use, job prospects are seen to be very good. These positions do not suffer from the seasonal downturns in construction as much as other workers in this area do. The Northeast is seen as one of the highest areas of future employment due to the proliferation of taller business buildings.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Elevator Construction Certifications
Elevator construction workers are legally required in some local areas and states to have a license. To obtain this, the worker will have to pass an established test to show their skill level and competency to do the work. Additional requirements in order to receive a license can occur but will very with location. When an individual completes and apprenticeship program, they are given a nationally recognized certificate as a journey worker. If the company is unionized, workers are required to take part in the apprenticeship program and successfully complete a test that is given by the National Elevator Industry Educational Program. Two additional certifications are offered by the National Association of Elevator Contractors, which are the CET, Certified Elevator Technician and a CAT, Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician.
Elevator Construction Professional Associations
One of the many professional organizations opened workers in this field is the National Association of Elevator Contractors, which is located in Conyers, Georgia. this organization was established in the 1940s and works to keep its members updated on the current trends in technology related to the field and provides educational opportunities. The International Union of Elevator Constructors is located in Columbia, Maryland and supports its members in securing quality pay and benefits.