Elevator technician jobs vary between installation and repair duties, based on the machine type. These technicians do not exclusively work on elevators, but also install and repair escalators and other lifting equipment as well. Additionally, a technician can also strictly work as an upgrade specialist, who is responsible for adding or altering older elevator technology to ensure it is compatible with current mechanical and electronic components.
Some elevator technician jobs are dedicated to installing new machines in buildings, from freight to passenger elevators. Their work is not confined to the physical elevator car installation, but also includes safely attaching railings, pulleys, and motor assemblies for moving the car up and down. Other job duties will include programming the elevator's computer system to communicate with the floor push buttons and ensuring that the emergency system works with normal electrical power, as well as auxiliary power from a generator.
Many elevator technician jobs involve repair work. Elevators combine mechanical, electronic, and electrical systems which can break down over time. The technician must be able to troubleshoot all systems in an efficient manner to bring the machine back into service. Multiple elevator failures at one location may require several technicians working together to solve the combined problem.
Unexpected repairs occur over time, but preventative maintenance is another key job duty for any elevator technician. Moving mechanical parts require lubrication and adjustment since they can become loose from everyday elevator vibration. In fact, some elevator companies employ technicians who specialize in preventative maintenance; the workers may contact customers at specific service periods to schedule needed work to prevent any unforeseen repair issues.
Escalators are an alternative form of moving people from one floor level to another. Elevator technician jobs usually encompass installing and repairing escalators as well, especially for buildings that house both machines. Troubleshooting the escalator is similar to the elevator, making the technician valuable for both transportation modes.
Technology is constantly changing, requiring upgrades to all of an elevator's systems. In response, some elevator repair businesses employ upgrade specialists. These specialized elevator technician jobs normally require the employee to stay abreast of current technology and apply it to customers' machine needs. Research abilities and mechanical aptitude are skills that this worker must have.
Elevator technician jobs normally require a four year apprenticeship with an experienced technician. Improperly repaired or installed elevators can easily cause death or injury. As a result, the apprentice must be able to duplicate the installation and troubleshooting techniques of the experienced worker before working on any elevator assembly as a sole technician.