Elevator and escalator training is usually a combined program and is provided primarily through apprenticeship programs, either by the state or local union. A state apprenticeship program or local union partners with different schools to accomplish the classroom training required by the apprenticeship program. The National Elevator Industry Education Program designs elevator and escalator courses for qualified electricians and mechanics. The NEIEP has 21 regions across the United States for this elevator and escalator training program.
Qualifications for an elevator and escalator technician apprenticeship program depends upon the state, but all have basic requirements. The student has to be a high school graduate or have a general education diploma. The international student can have the equivalent of a high school diploma to be accepted into the apprenticeship program. Most state apprenticeship programs require the student to pass the NEIEP aptitude test. The score on the aptitude test determines the ranking of the student. The higher the score on the test, the better the chances of being accepted into an apprenticeship program.
Elevator Mechanical Training
Mechanical training is part of any elevator and escalator apprenticeship program in the United States. All elevators and escalators utilize mechanical components to operate. The schools that train elevator technicians spend a lot of course time on the types of mechanics used in escalators and elevators. The emergency stop brake, pulleys and bearings maintenance and wire rope design and inspection are all part of the mechanical training of elevator and escalator technicians. Extensive training is done on the job and accounts for most of the apprenticeship program. For example, Oregon's elevator and escalator apprenticeship program requires a minimum of 8,000 work hours in the occupation.
Elevator Electrical Training
All elevators and escalators utilize electrical components to operate, and like the mechanical side of the apprenticeship program, a technician requires electrical training. The apprenticeship program offers courses in electrical blueprints, wiring diagrams, electrical troubleshooting and other electrical components used on the elevator and escalator. An electrical certification isn't always required by an employer, but it does provide the candidate with a better chance at getting the job. Graduates of the apprenticeship program receive an elevator technician certificate, which includes mechanical and electrical training.
Elevator Technician Licensing
Many states require elevator and escalator technicians to pass a state licensing examination to become a qualified elevator technician -- also called a conveyance mechanic. The best way to qualify for a state licensing examination is to complete an apprenticeship program, but experience can qualify individuals for state licensing. For example, California requires a candidate to have a minimum of three years experience working on elevators or escalators before qualifying for the state certification examination. Florida, on the other hand, requires four years of work experience before being eligible for the elevator certificate examination.