How Do I Become an Elevator Inspector?

Marlene Garcia

Someone who wants to become an elevator inspector might explore schools that specialize in the field. As an alternative, some companies offer internships to a person who hopes to work as an elevator inspector to help him or her gain on-the-job training working alongside experienced inspectors. In many places, certification as an elevator inspector is required, especially when working for government agencies that oversee the safety of vertical transportation devices.

An elevator inspector ensures the safety of the device.
An elevator inspector ensures the safety of the device.

Elevator inspectors might work for public agencies or private companies to ensure the operation of these devices are up to code, properly maintained, and meet safety regulations. Once a person becomes an elevator inspector, he or she might be called to examine installation of elevators at new construction sites. The inspector might also work for a firm that provides inspections and consultations to building owners. Some companies also provide legal advice to reduce the risk of lawsuits from an elevator accident.

Elevator inspectors also ensures the safety of escalators.
Elevator inspectors also ensures the safety of escalators.

A student studying to become an elevator inspector should possess mechanical aptitude and an interest in solving problems. The job requires attention to detail and physical stamina to examine all components of an elevator, including the shaft. Some writing skills might be helpful because inspection reports typically go to agencies that oversee safety. Review of maintenance records, especially in areas where extreme heat, humidity, or wind exists, represents another important part of the job.

After a person meets requirements to become an elevator inspector, he or she commonly attends continuing education courses. This education might include training in modern advances in the vertical transportation industry. Additional education and training are necessary in some areas to retain certification.

Elevator inspectors commonly examine every part of a working elevator, including the emergency telephone located inside the car. They check for leaking hydraulic fluid and whether the power doors close properly. The entrance to the elevator might be checked to make sure it meets access regulations for people in wheelchairs, and to identify any risks that might cause someone to trip. Electrical components must also meet industry standards to ensure the safety of passengers.

Any kind of lift equipment, including escalators, falls under the duties of elevator inspectors. They might also examine moving walkways, sometimes called people movers, and amusement park rides. In most regions, chair lifts on stairways and wheelchair lifts in private homes do not require inspections.

Laws in many areas require elevator inspections once a year. These regulations might not apply to buildings with only two floors when the owner employs a maintenance company to service the equipment. Most inspection reports are posted inside the elevator, noting the date of the inspection, any deficiencies, and when they were corrected.

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