Lift Mechanic
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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

Lift Mechanics design, install, maintain, service and repair electric and hydraulic passenger and freight lifts  (elevators), escalators, moving walkways and other lift equipment. They may perform functions such as adjusting and tuning lifts to ensure they work properly and safely. They work with both electrical and mechanical components of lift equipment.

Lift mechanics working on installation and modernisation projects generally work in teams on building construction sites. In these instances they work closely with building and other specialist tradespeople. An experienced lift mechanic is able to perform more complex work functions and tasks, such as adjusting and tuning lifts to make sure they work safely and efficiently. FutureGrowthModerate

ANZSCO ID: 341113

Alternative names: Lift Technician, Lift Electrician, Lift Engineer

Knowledge, skills and attributes

As a lift mechanic, you would:

  • good technical skills
  • have an aptitude in mechanical and electrical reasoning
  • be able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • normal colour vision
  • good interpersonal skills
  • the ability to read blueprints and engineering drawings
  • an ability to work at heights and in confined spaces
  • communication skills
  • good health and safety awareness.

Within Lift
(Source: The Good Universities Guide)

Duties and Tasks

Lift Mechanics may perform the following tasks:

  • Examines blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequence and methods of operation.
  • study drawings and lay out the position of steelwork, guide rails, motors, pumps and cylinders
  • Measures and lays out insulation reference points.
  • Selects, cuts and connects wire and cable to terminals and connectors.
  • Uses instruments to trace and diagnose faults.
  • Repairs and replaces faulty wiring and defective parts.
  • Positions and installs electrical switchboards.
  • Connects electrical systems to power supply.
  • Tests continuity of circuit.
  • Installs, tests and adjusts electric and mechanical parts of lifts.
  • study blueprints and drawings to determine the position of building structures and services
  • install lift guide rails and check that they are correctly aligned
  • install and repair lift doors, guide rails, cables, counterweights and drives
  • determine the cause of malfunctions in brakes, motors, switches, and control systems
  • adjust counterweights, door mechanisms, and safety controls
  • connect all wiring and motors
  • install cables, counterweights, pumps, motor foundations, escalator drives, lift cars, doors, entrance frames, and safety and control devices
  • connect electrical wiring to control panels and electric motors
  • test and adjust assemblies, including cables, wiring and electric controls, and adjust safety devices such as brakes and speed governors
  • carry out regular maintenance programmes on lifts and escalators
  • use laptop computers in the field for tuning and diagnostic work in fault finding
  • find the causes of faults in motors, brakes, switches and electrical and electronic control systems
  • repair hydraulic or mechanical brakes by adjusting or replacing valves, ratchets, seals and brake linings
  • conduct tests on the finished lift
  • ensure installations or repairs comply with all safety regulations and building codes
  • carry out regular maintenance programs on lifts and escalators.
  • keep detailed records of all maintenance and repair tasks.

Fixing a lift
(Source: SkillsRoad)


Working conditions

As a lift mechanic you would work a standard number of hours per week. You may need to work on a roster to cover on-call emergencies. Lift mechanics work for specialist lift maintenance companies, building services contractors, and government authorities. Lift mechanics may need to work weekends, on call or after hours to perform emergency repairs.

They may also spend a great deal of time traveling to various locations.

At times they may be required to work at heights or in confined spaces, and so need to take appropriate health and safety precautions. Lift mechanics may be required to install systems in buildings that are still under construction. They need to ensure they have completed the necessary safety training required to enter an active building site.

Lift mechanics are required by state and territory government regulations to wear protective clothing, including a safety helmet, goggles, gloves, shield, spats and safety shoes or boots.

Tools and technologies

Lift mechanics work with blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to plan the installation of lifting equipment and ensure client needs are met. They use specialist electronic equipment to test systems and diagnose faults. When working with electricity and on construction sites lift mechanics wear and use appropriate personal protective equipment to minimise health and safety risks. Because they are required to travel between sites, most lift mechanics need a driver’s licence and use smart phones and tablet devices to remain in contact with the company’s office

Snowlifts Maintenance
(Source: SnowBrains)

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a lift mechanic, you must first become a licensed electrical trades worker. To become an electrician, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. You usually need a certificate III in electrotechnology (electrician or systems electrician) to work as a Lift Mechanic. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship. After completing your apprenticeship, you would need to apply for a licence to perform electrical work.

The electrical mechanics apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship. Most employers will provide on-the-job training in the specific technologies and systems they use once you are employed.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

To work as a lift mechanic in Australia, you will need to obtain an Electrical Licence. To work as a lift mechanic within the construction industry, you will need to obtain a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”) from a registered training organisation authorised by the WorkSafe.

Car repair servicing
Hydraulic Lift
(Source: Automotive Training Centres)

Additional Information

Modern lifts are controlled by computers and complex electronic systems. As a result, there is an increasing need for lift mechanics to have a knowledge of electronics. After completing your apprenticeship, you will need to apply for a licence to perform electrical work.

Employment Opportunities

Lift mechanics are employed by companies that require specialised electrical and mechanical work to install, maintain, modernise, service and repair lifts, escalators and moving walkway systems. Maintenance and repair is an ongoing source of work. Installation jobs depend on the construction of new buildings.

Job opportunities depend on the level of multistorey construction activity, changes to building regulations and replacement or repair requirements.


Did You Know?

When the Australian Building opened 1893, many Melburnians visited it just to ride in the lifts, which were made of a complex series of inner and outer doors that were operated by hand by professionals in uniforms.

The doors for many of these lifts or elevators were fiddly to operate.

These mostly male operators spent their days sitting on small stools and making sure passengers got off at the right floor.

Elevator Operator

BASIC JOB DESCRIPTION: Opening and closing lift or elevator doors by hand and pushing the right buttons or levers for the required floors.

Some wore formal uniforms and gloves, much like a butler or chauffer.

Elevator operators existed in public, private, commercial and retail buildings right up until around the 1970s, when newer buildings were created with more effective lifts that only required the push of a button.

Retailers such as Myer and David Jones held on to lift operators longer, with DJs stores retaining the position until the 1990s.
(Source: Herald Sun)

An elevator operator or liftman (in British English, usually lift attendant) is a person specifically employed to operate a manually operated elevator.
(Source: Wikipedia)


Elevator operator Is the icon for our section on "Going, going, gone - jobs of yesteryear"

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