Elevator constructors are specialized construction personnel who install elevators in buildings. They often work in new skyscrapers being built, but are also called in when systems are being replaced or undergoing major renovations. Elevator construction requires a variety of skills and can be one of the more challenging specialty contracting jobs in construction.
In new construction projects, elevator constructors generally work within the confines of schematics and architects' drawings. Typically, the construction designers will have chosen the type of elevator, though they may consult with senior contractors on this matter. Then, the constructors add the necessary wiring and hydraulics machinery and help build and reinforce the shaft for the elevator itself. After delivering and installing the cars for the elevator, all necessary cabling is placed.
After the major systems are assembled, the constructors run extensive tests to ensure that all elements of the elevator work together as designed. This includes timing the elevator's speed and testing all emergency systems, including alarms and brakes.
When elevator constructors work in existing buildings, modernizing an existing elevator may simply require reinforcement and ensuring the shaft is up to modern code before proceeding. If a new elevator and shaft must be built, this may involve working closely with a team of experts to knock out sections of the building and reinforcing them for soundness.
Most elevator constructors seek out technical school training in this field after high school. This is an area that involves electrical wiring, computer technology, and hydraulics in addition to general construction knowledge. Most constructors work as junior-level employees at an entry level and often join a union to find work in the field. Those in this position work at building sites during daytime construction hours; this can be a physically demanding job, like most construction work, and constructors must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds or more, as well.