Elevator Mechanic Ranks High in Canada’s Top Jobs 2019

Technicians

The crowded skyline of Toronto is about to get even more crowded. Toronto is adding 31 skyscrapers by 2024 to accommodate the city’s housing shortage. This vertical building boom also means more elevators.  Are there enough technicians to service all these elevators? According to Canadian Business, this field has been on a growth tear, with 83% more people working as elevator mechanics than there were five years ago.Canadian Business magazine has ranked Canada’s top 100 jobs for 2019 and elevator mechanic came in at number 22.

According to the most updated statistics provided by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority in Ontario, there are 55,812 elevators regulated by the TSSA and 4,634 licensed registered technicians to fix them. That’s a 12:1 ratio. According to the president of the National Elevator and Escalator Association, Kelly Leitch, that is a reasonable
number.

“We do not see a shortage. We have 400 new apprentices coming into the system anywhere from the first to fourth year of (school). We see over the last 10-year period, we’ve seen a (30%) increase in the number of apprentices coming into the system. “said Leitch.

In Ontario, training to become an elevator mechanic takes four years. There’s a 720-hour apprenticeship program which includes one night a week of school for unionized workers at Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program (CEIEP) or at Durham College for non-unionized workers. According to Canadian Business, the median salary for elevator mechanics is $81,000.

It’s clear that working as an elevator mechanic is a promising career path in an industry that is continuing to grow. This upward trajectory signals a healthy future for anyone looking to enter the elevator business.

FIELDBOSS is a proud member of CECA, NAEC, and ECNY and a supporter of the elevator industry. Please contact us for a free demo or to learn more about our elevator contractor management software.

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Why Elevator Mechanics Had the Highest Employment Growth Rate in 2017

Automation may have made elevator operators obsolete, but it’s quite the opposite for those who install and repair elevators. Elevator Mechanic shot up the Canadian Business ranking of Canada’s Best Jobs in 2017. It had the highest growth rate and rose from No. 74 in 2016 to No. 10 in 2017.,

Median Salary: $83,844
Salary Growth (2010–2016): +16%
Total Employees: 7,000
Change in Employees (2010–2016): +94%

What fueled the tremendous growth in the need for elevator mechanics?

The booming construction market is fueling the demand for high-rises, and by extension, elevators. Adding to the construction boom is the Canadian Press investigation last year that revealed a ‘crisis’ in faulty elevators. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for elevator mechanics as landlords’ scramble for qualified contractors to maintain their systems. Although Canada’s construction boom has led to tremendous growth in the need for elevator technicians— the number of elevator mechanic jobs have grown 94% in Canada – the field is having serious growing pains.

Clearly, elevator mechanics are in short supply. Like other occupations in the skilled labour force, elevator technicians get overlooked when students graduating from high school start looking for careers. As well, there are more people retiring than those coming into the workforce to replace them leaving a huge void to fill.

 

Elevator mechanics face many challenges

Elevators are complex and becoming even more so. Elevator technology is moving so fast that it’s near impossible for technicians to keep pace. “Smart elevators” use algorithms to shuttle passengers more efficiently, and some technologies adjust the heat and air conditioning of office floors based on where people land. Meanwhile, technicians must also deal with elevators that date back to the 1930s, which can be unpredictable. With multiple cars that sometimes dispatch seemingly at their own will, a mix of old and new technologies that make them stubborn to fix, and new flight speeds of 100 floors per minute, being an elevator technician is a tough job.

Along with the challenge of keeping up with the technology is the challenge of keeping pace with maintenance calls. As property owners try to cut costs, technicians are reporting a dangerous lack of maintenance. As well, with the lack of skilled technicians and the increasing number of elevators to be serviced, some technicians rush through hundreds of maintenance jobs per month, reportedly with time limits as quick as seven minutes per visit. Politicians are pushing new policies, but still, increasing numbers of citizens are getting stuck inside elevators, stuck with dangerous ones, if not stuck with the stairs.

Moving forward

Politicians have initiated new legislation. Ontario introduced the Maintenance Control Program for Elevating Devices in 2014, telling mechanics exactly which tasks to perform each month, down to vacuuming the pit. Toronto Member of Parliament Han Dong has also introduced the Reliable Elevators Act, which mandates maintenance timelines and data collection on elevator traffic.

Elevator maintenance is a high-paying job, yet there’s still a mismatch of supply and demand. More mechanics need to be trained, if only to ease the demand on those already working in the field. There is obviously a great need for qualified technicians and an abundance of opportunity for a well-paying career.

FIELDBOSS is a proud member of NAEC, CECA & ECNY. We have studied elevator industry trends, participated in association meetings, and partnered with our elevator customers to develop and enhance our software to meet your unique business needs. Visit us here to request a free demo of our software.

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