Elevator technician classes

While a formal undergraduate degree is not required for an elevator technician, because of the level of technical skills and liability involved, students who are wishing to pursue a career in this field are required to undergo training as well as obtain a professional license before they can practice.
In most states, elevator technicians go through an apprenticeship program because it is considered to be a trade. The apprenticeship program is five years long, which consists of a combination of classroom learning with in-the-field training. Because the job requires the technician to be hands-on with installation and repairs, the number of classroom instruction is much shorter at 144 hours compared to the 2000 hours of field training required. However, unlike school internships, the training performed in an apprenticeship is paid (although it is at a lower rate compared to a licensed elevator technician).
The apprenticeship program is available in most states since licensing is required prior to practicing. Students must meet the pre-requisites in order to be admitted into the program. One, all participants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of admission. Two, they must have graduated from high school or equivalent. Three, they must be physically able to do the job. Elevator installation and repairs are physically demanding. Not only do you have to be able to handle heavy lifting, but you’ll also be required to be on your feet for long hours. Furthermore, you’ll also be required to work at heights. Four, you’ll be required to do basic math. There are some calculations involved, if you cannot do basic math, you will not be able to go through the program.
Because elevator technicians are considered tradespeople, they usually belong to a union. The content of the apprenticeship and continuing education is designed to meet the standards of the National Association of Elevator Contractors. As technology evolves in vertical lifts and elevators, it is no longer sufficient for elevator technicians to pass their apprenticeship, they are required to undergo a certain amount of training/continuing education in order to qualify for licensing renewal.
Below are some of the skills which are required in order to be successful in this field:
• Detail oriented: If you have ridden in an elevator, you’d know that these are sensitive equipment. People usually don’t know how sensitive when elevators are working properly. It is when issues arise when people notice the slightest jolt and this can be quite frightening when it the elevators in tall buildings. As a result, elevator technicians need to make sure that every bolt and every calibration is completed accordingly to make sure they are not causing any harm to the equipment or to the people using them.
• Physically fit: When you see the sign in the elevator which says that the holding capacity is several hundred pounds, you know that this piece of equipment isn’t light. Especially when you are required to be part of the team doing the installation, you’ll be required to do some heavy lifting of the equipment. If you are not able to be on your feet for long periods of time or be able to lift a certain weight, this is definitely not the job for you.
• Endurance: Elevator repairs are not always simply done by flicking a switch. Sometimes the repairs can take hours and outside of the elevator car if there are connecting parts which require repair.
For more information on the licensing requirements or the apprenticeship programs in this area, please contact your high school counsellor.
1. How to Become an Elevator Installer and Repairer. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. US Department of Labor. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/elevator-installers-and-repairers.htm#tab-4

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