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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Elevator Constructors and Mechanics (7318)

Elevator constructors and mechanics assemble, install, maintain and repair freight and passenger elevators, escalators, moving walkways and other related equipment. They are employed by elevator construction and maintenance companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read operating instructions and precautions on the labels of power tools and other equipment. (1)
  • Read e-mail from head office and technical support about updated procedures for elevator installation. For example, they read about revised tolerances for guide rail installation. (2)
  • Read notes outlining tasks completed and instructions for work that needs to be done on maintenance forms and work orders. (2)
  • Read collective agreements and union handbooks to learn about the contractual rights and obligations of elevator mechanics, apprentices and employers. (2)
  • Read procedures in operating manuals when repairing or adjusting elevators. For example, they read procedures for adjusting the operation of elevator car doors. (2)
  • Read trade magazines, bulletins and newsletters from their unions. For example, they read Elevator World magazine to learn about new models and technologies, stay current with industry trends and locate products and suppliers. (3)
  • Read codebook descriptions of elevator malfunctions. The codebook descriptions are one to three sentences long and contain highly technical terminology. Interpretation is required when there is more than one diagnostic code. (3)
  • Read textbooks and manuals outlining requirements for installation, operation, maintenance and repair of elevating devices. They read about the mechanical, electrical, structural and operating requirements for different elevator models. (3)
  • Read municipal by-laws for sites of new elevator installations to ensure compliance with local regulations. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Enter dates, codes and other data on forms in elevator logbooks to document repair and maintenance work conducted. (1)
  • Scan lists of tasks prepared by supervisors. The lists are typically point-form notes about scheduled tasks. (2)
  • Enter information on elevator maintenance checklist forms describing work completed. For example, they conduct door closing tests and record the results on elevator maintenance checklists. (2)
  • Read elevator pre-deployment installation deficiency lists to learn about corrections or additional work that must be done prior to elevator certification. (2)
  • Review construction drawings when installing elevators. For example, they scan drawings to locate measurements required to attach rails to shaft walls when constructing elevator car support structures. (3)
  • Refer to electrical and electronic schematics and wiring diagrams to understand how to connect and troubleshoot electrical components. For example, they read schematics showing how to connect elevator control panels. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write comments on time sheets and in daily journals summarizing tasks completed at different job sites. (1)
  • Write about tasks performed, code procedures followed and results obtained in elevator maintenance records. For example, they note that an elevator's brakes were replaced and that the performance of new equipment was verified according to specific code procedures. (2)
  • Make notes on 'as-built' drawings and construction plans outlining modifications made to original designs. For example, they make notes on electrical schematics describing modifications required to add in-car televisions. (3)
  • Write notes about safety incidents. For example, they write about events preceding incidents, describe what occurred at the time of failures and outline the results of their inspections of machinery and circuitry afterward. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • Buy tools and equipment using company charge accounts or credit cards. (1)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Prepare detailed timelines of annual, monthly and weekly maintenance requirements for elevating devices. (2)
  • Establish budgets and schedules for installation, repair and maintenance projects. For example, elevator constructors and mechanics determine the cost of the elevator, as well as quantities and costs of parts and supplies required for an installation. They schedule the time required based on established production rates. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Use measuring tapes to determine dimensions of elevator shafts to position other components such as brackets, rail and car-cab parts precisely before proceeding with installations. (1)
  • Measure elevator operating performance characteristics. For example, they measure the speed at which motors rotate or doors open and close. (2)
  • Install shims to adjust rail positions in elevator shafts that are not straight. (2)
Data Analysis Math
  • Analyze the results of diagnostic tests to determine how to make correct adjustments. For example, they analyze acceleration and deceleration rates and adjust them to speeds that are comfortable for elevator riders. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times that elevators will be out of commission. (1)
  • Estimate the time required to complete new installations considering the number of floors, cars and rails that need to be installed. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Communicate with dispatchers to get concrete details about times, addresses, design changes and part numbers. (1)
  • Speak to building managers about the status of elevator repairs. For example, they may notify building managers that elevators will be inoperative for a number of days because of difficulties obtaining parts from suppliers. (2)
  • Communicate daily with co-workers while completing elevator installations or maintenance. They share information regarding site activities as a means to improving scheduling and completing installations successfully. (2)
  • Discuss problems with company engineers and technical support. For example, they may describe problems with mechanical components such as motors that keep burning out and ask for troubleshooting and repair instructions. (2)
  • Assign job tasks and instruct partners or helpers, especially when training apprentices. They demonstrate the tasks involved in maintaining and repairing mechanical and electrical systems and provide feedback on task performance. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Encounter malfunctions involving undocumented trouble codes. They call technical support, describe the problems and receive information on how to rectify them. (2)
  • Discover unauthorized and unsafe modifications. For example, they discover wiring that is not in accordance with safety regulations. They shut off elevators, complete investigation reports describing the unauthorized modifications and correct the wiring errors. (2)
  • Find that elevators have broken down with passengers inside. They consider whether a sub-floor entry is possible and the potential risks to the passengers. They get the passengers out and then repair the elevator. (2)
  • Discover that elevator users are angry because repair work requires lock-down procedures. They explain to them that lock-downs are necessary to ensure safety and efficiency and that the repair will be completed as soon as possible. (2)
  • May find that apprentices are not making progress. For example, an elevator mechanic may see that an apprentice is unable to perform many measurement tasks independently. The mechanic discusses the deficiency with the apprentice and finds that lack of basic mathematical skills is causing the difficulties. The mechanic recommends remedial resources and offers to spend additional time to help the apprentice develop better mathematics skills. (3)
  • May encounter customers who give inaccurate information. For example, an elevator constructor may be misinformed by a prospective customer who wants to install an illegal, automatic lift for a handicapped family member. The elevator constructor proposes an easy-to-operate chair lift that is comparably priced, appropriate for the handicapped individual and can be installed and operated legally. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide which tools or procedures to use for specific tasks. For example, they decide to use grinders with cutting wheels rather than cutting torches to cut mounting brackets or they may decide to add additional spacer brackets in order to better align the rails of new elevator cars. (2)
  • Decide to modify existing installations. For example, when working on older installations they may decide to add additional circuits and use heavier gauge wire to decrease the risks of malfunction and possible fires. (3)
  • May decide to bid on contracts based on reviews of the specifications and drawings. For example, self-employed elevator constructors and mechanics bid on projects that appear to be safe and profitable installation jobs. They follow established procedures and rely on past experience to make cost-effective bids. (3)
  • Decide to shut down elevators indefinitely due to unsafe conditions. These decisions are difficult because they must weigh safety considerations against the needs of the building tenants. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the condition of elevators when planning maintenance. They look for variations in operational measurements for parameters such as response time and speed, and check for visible damage to the equipment. (1)
  • Assess the readiness of elevator installations for certification inspections. They assess conformance with Canadian Standards Association code regulations, operating manuals and Technical Standard and Safety Association requirements. (2)
  • Evaluate possible dangers created by unauthorized wiring modifications. They look for variations in voltage and current of circuits affected by the modification, inspect solder joints and check the gauge of wire used. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Elevator constructors and mechanics are usually assigned work by supervisors or crew leaders. Repair and service work is usually assigned on a daily basis, while work on large installation projects may be scheduled for longer periods of time. They adjust their schedules frequently to carry out emergency repairs.

Self-employed elevator constructors and mechanics plan their own job tasks. They may plan installations several weeks or months in advance.

Planning and Organizing for Others

Elevator constructors and mechanics plan and assign sequences of job tasks to apprentices according to their skill levels.

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the names and addresses of clients and contacts.
  • Remember troubleshooting procedures such as the meaning of error codes when determining the source of malfunctions.
Finding Information
  • Find information about an elevator malfunction. For example, they look at service records, visually inspect the elevator machinery and may ask building managers about events preceding the breakdown. (1)
  • Retrieve information about elevator installation parameters from various sources. For example, they refer to project specifications, building blueprints and provincial code books to find information on subjects such as elevator shaft dimensions or tolerance settings for elevator rail-to-shaft wall clearance requirements. (2)
  • Find elevator service and repair information in product maintenance manuals. For example, they refer to error codes and troubleshooting procedures when diagnosing electrical faults. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use communication software. For example, they use cellular phone-based text messaging and pager-based text-paging to send and receive information about equipment required for service calls. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they use Internet browser programs such as Explorer to view suppliers' websites for technical information about new elevator models. (2)
  • Use other computer and software applications. For example, they input software commands into a handheld diagnostic device containing a computer and coded programs. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Elevator constructors and mechanics work in a variety of settings and have a wide range of roles. Depending on their work settings, they may work with partners or apprentices or with larger teams. Elevator constructors and mechanics instruct partners or helpers, and train apprentices on all aspects of elevator installation, repair and maintenance. They provide feedback and clarification on an ongoing basis. Elevator constructors and mechanics may work as members of safety investigation teams subsequent to elevator operation incidents. They may also work in partnership with safety investigators while conducting incident reviews. (3)

Continuous Learning

Elevator constructors and mechanics participate in a number of activities to maintain, improve and update their knowledge. They learn continually while on the job. Most learning is required by the employer and union, which provide mandatory monthly courses on subjects like work safety, new equipment and general skills and participate regularly in seminars involving simulations, situational reviews and mentor-peer learning opportunities. Unions fund and organize most training courses, although some are provided by manufacturers' training centres. Elevator constructors and mechanics read trade magazines, product manuals and textbooks; as well as bulletins and newsletters from their unions. (3)

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