How to Become an Elevator Mechanic in 2024 – A Complete Guide
Shlomik Silbiger

Shlomik, Mechanical Aptitude Tests Expert at JobTestPrep.

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What Does an Elevator Apprentice Do?

Elevator constructor apprentices are matched with an employer from the elevator and escalator industry and work under the supervision of a certified elevator technician in installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators and escalators. 

Completing an apprenticeship is a prerequisite to becoming an elevator mechanic, and this is the stage where you will gain the technical instruction, experience that you need to have before beginning your work independently.

4 Steps for Landing an Elevator Mechanic Apprenticeship in 2024


Becoming an Elevator Mechanic Step #1 – Preliminary Conditions

The NEIEP Apprenticeship Standards require applicants for an elevator apprenticeship to meet the following qualifications:


Candidates must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for a NEIEP apprenticeship.


A high school diploma or a state-approved GED equivalent is required to apply for an elevator technician apprenticeship.

Work Authorization

You must be authorized to work in the United States to apply for an elevator technician apprenticeship.


You will need to provide the following documents when applying to an elevator mechanic apprenticeship:

  • Verification of Diploma or GED test results or Equivalent
  • DD-214 copy 4 (for veterans)

Drug Test

Applicants for a NEIEP apprenticeship will need to go through a drug screening test as a condition for acceptance to the program. This stage will only be done once you are matched with an employer to start your apprenticeship.


Becoming an Elevator Mechanic Step #2 – Apply to an Apprenticeship

The initial application for an apprenticeship is done via NEIEP's career page. On this page, you will find open and upcoming elevator contracters recruitments for elevator mechanic apprenticeships by locals.

Once you apply, you will be redirected to a system named iCims, an ATS (applicant tracking system) which gathers and manages all of NEIEP's applicants' data.

Note that applications for an apprenticeship in the state of New York are done through a different system.

During the application process, you will be requested to fill in your personal details and provide GED or equivalent. If your application and documents are complete, you will be given a date and time for taking the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT).

Ace the EIAT and Secure Your Apprenticeship!

The difficulty of getting a high score on the EIAT test stems from the complexity of the questions and the relatively short time to answer them (especially the math section).

Simply passing the EIAT won't cut it. Aim for a top score to enhance your chances of securing an apprenticeship. On the flip side, scoring below 70% could mean you'll need to retake the test.

Avoid that setback by honing your mechanical, reading, and math skills with our tailored practice tests and study guides.

Remember, passing the EIAT is just your first step; excelling in all evaluations, including tool assessments and interviews, is key. Equip yourself with our JobTestPrep pack and master each component.

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Tips for a Successful Application

  • Make sure to check the NEIEP career page frequently, as new recruitments are constantly opened.
  • Apply to the apprenticeship as soon as it opens. Oftentimes (and especially in popular locations such as NY, Chicago, and LA), there will be a predetermined number of applicants, and the application will close once the allotment is filled. (The NY IUEC Local 1 application in December 2021 allotted 1,500 openings and was filled in 4 days).
  • Make sure you have all the documents and information you need in advance. Documents must be in English, and in .doc, .pdf or .jpeg format only.
  • A premade resume can make things quicker and easier for you, as you can upload it to the application system and autofill the application form. This resume may include:
    • Personal details (mandatory)
    • Last 4 digits of your social security number (mandatory)
    • Professional licenses, registrations, and certifications
    • Educational information such as your high school diploma
    • Up to 3 professional references, at least one of which a former supervisor
    • Employment experience

Becoming an Elevator Mechanic Step #3 – Complete the Elevator Aptitude Test (EIAT)

If you have passed the initial application stage, you will be contacted via email through the iCims system by your Local Area Coordinator inviting you to take the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT). The EIAT measures elements of knowledge that predict how well you will be able to gain the mechanical knowledge elevator technicians need. 

The EIAT test covers 3 sections:

  • Basic numeracy (math)
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Mechanical aptitude

In addition, a Tool Assessment will follow the EIAT, in which you will be required to identify common working tools, as well as showing basic measurement reading skills.

To pass the EIAT, you will need to get a score of 70%. However, it is recommended to score as high as you can, as applicants are divided into tiers based on their test performance, and candidates with higher EIAT scores will have precedence.

Our EIAT Test Preparation Package is loaded with strategies for quick calculations and shortcuts for problem-solving, tailored to conquer the math section of the exam. It's crafted to sharpen all skills essential for an elevator mechanic, and includes practice tests that covers tool use and measurement techniques. 

Want to get a feeling for the EIAT test? Take a free EIAT sample test.


Becoming an Elevator Mechanic Step #4 – Pass an Interview

If you have passed the 70% score on your Elevator Aptitude Test, you will be scheduled for an interview. The interview will take 15-20 minutes and will be conducted by two interviewers – one from your prospective employer, and one from the IUEC.

As per NEIEP standards, all candidates are asked the exact same questions.

The NEIEP Apprenticeship

During the NEIEP apprenticeship program, you will go through 8,000 hours of on-the-job learning (OJL) and 576 hours of Related Instruction (additional theoretical and practical courses).


On-the-Job Learning (OJL)

The on-the-job training constitutes most of the apprenticeship’s time and content.

To complete the apprenticeship, you need to complete at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year to a total of 8,000 hours.

During the OJL you will learn and practice things like:

  • Construction safety - working in elevator shafts and crawl spaces safely, responsible use of power tools, crucial safety regulations when working with electrical wiring and more. 
  • Blueprint reading - how to interpret blueprints accurately, an essential aspect of the work of an elevator mechanic.
  • Rigging & hoisting - 
  • Machine room installation

For a complete list of the mechanical knowledge and other topics covered on the apprenticeship, you may refer to the Elevator Constructor Industry Training Criteria (Section B).


Related Instruction

According to the NEIEP, the purpose of Related Instruction is to “teach apprentices those applied academics critical to job performance that are not adequately or effectively taught on the job.”

To complete the apprenticeship, you need to complete at least 144 hours of Related Instruction per year to a total of 576 hours.

Related Instruction covers areas such as:

  • Electrical theory
  • Solid-state
  • Power & logic
  • Hydraulic theory

For a complete list of Related Instruction topics, you may refer to the Elevator Constructor Industry Training Criteria (Section A).


Elevator Apprenticeship Probationary Period

As soon as you land an elevator mechanic apprenticeship, you will start a 1-year probationary period. After the first six months of this period, you will be eligible for a wage increase (see wage progression below).


How Much Do Elevator Apprentices Make?

The IUEC defines a progressively increasing pay scale for apprentices, as follows:

  • Probationary Apprentice (0-6 months) – 50% of a mechanic’s rate.
  • First-Year Apprentice (7-12 months) – 55% of a mechanic’s rate.
  • Second-Year Apprentice (1-2 years) – 65% of a mechanic’s rate + fringe benefits.
  • Third-Year Apprentice (2-3 years) – 70% of a mechanic’s rate + fringe benefits.
  • Fourth-Year Apprentice (3-4 years) – 80% of a mechanic’s rate + fringe benefits.

Note that mechanic rates vary between states. To find your estimated salary during the apprenticeship, get a free Elevator Apprentice Salary by State PDF.


When Do I Get Fringe Benefits?

As an elevator apprentice, you will begin getting the fringe benefits covered in the collective bargaining agreement upon completion of the first 2,000 hours of the apprenticeship (usually 1 year). Hours of the probationary period are included in this calculation.


The Elevator Constructor Mechanic Exam

The completion of the elevator technician apprenticeship and certification as an elevator mechanic requires the completion of a Mechanic Exam conducted by the IUEC. This test is not the same as the Elevator Industry Aptitude Test required to start an elevator technician apprenticeship.

Elevator Mechanic FAQs


How Long Does It Take to Become an Elevator Mechanic?

The elevator mechanics apprenticeship program normally takes 4 years to complete. During the apprenticeship, future elevator technicians learn the mechanical skills and other unique skills that are needed to work as elevator installers.  


How Many Hours Do Elevator Apprentices Work?

Elevator mechanic apprentices generally work the same hours as elevator mechanics – 40 hours a week. However, attendance in instructions classes where you learn mechanical skills and other vital knowledge will take precedence over an elevator technician apprentice’s working hours.


How Do I Become an Elevator Mechanic?

Elevator technicians are generally certified through the apprenticeship program of the IUEC (International Union of Elevator Constructors).

To complete the elevator mechanic apprenticeship, you must complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of related instruction. Here you will learn the mechanical skills that elevator contractors look for in their future elevator installers. 


What Other Abilities Do Elevator Technicians Need?

Apart from the mechanical skills and that you will learn in order to safely work on elevator cars and the prerequisites such as a high school diploma, there are a number of additional capabilities required from elevator mechanics. Work as elevator technicians can be very physically demanding, so a certain level of physical strength will be required (though this is not tested). Other than this, a good working knowledge of power tools is a plus, although you will be able to learn these things during your elevator mechanic apprenticeship. 


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