Also known as lift technicians, lift engineers repair and service hydraulic lift equipment. They work on lifts such as passenger and goods lifts, scissor lifts, stair lifts and escalators, ensuring they function efficiently. If you have excellent troubleshooting skills and love electrical or mechanical work, you could pursue a career in lift engineering.
Besides maintaining and repairing lifts and escalators, lift engineers also;
- Respond to emergencies of lift breakdowns
- Install and fit lifts to new buildings and structures
- Demonstrate to new clients how hydraulic lift equipment work
- Analyse trends in equipment breakdown and develop with solutions to prevent future breakdowns
- Inspect lift equipment to ensure they meet health and safety regulations
- Write risk assessment reports for insurance and legal purposes
- Design lifts using design software such as CAD (Computer Aided Design).
Most lift technicians work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, those working in buildings that are operational for 24 hours have work shifts.
While at work, lift engineers are often exposed to dirt, oils and other lubricants. They also may work in confined spaces.
Lift engineers working for specialist lift maintenance and building services contractors regularly travel from site to site in company vehicles.
Salaries for lift engineers vary with the experience, as shown in the table below;
Level of experience
£14,000 - £19,000
£25,000 - £40,000
Source: National Careers Service
To find employment as lift engineer, you will need a combination of mechanical or electrical engineering qualifications and practical work experience. As such, some of the courses you can pursue include;
- BTECCertificate or Diploma in Building Services Engineering
- City and Guilds Certificate in Electrical Engineering Technology
- EAL Certificate or Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology
- City and Guilds Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology
Alternatively, you can enter the career through a building services engineering apprenticeship scheme. To qualify for admission, you will need at least four GCSEs (grades A-C) in relevant subjects, such as science, design and technology and mathematics.
After completing your studies and landing a job, your employer will train you on the job to help you master basic lift engineering skills.
Important Skills and Abilities
To be a competent lift engineer you should have;
- Strong problem-solving skills
- The ability to study and interpret engineering drawings or diagrams
- Good computer skills to operate various design software
- Good teamwork and communication skills
- An awareness of occupational safety and health requirements
- A passion for electrical and mechanical work.
Competition in the lift engineering job market is stiff. Therefore, enhance your chances of securing a good job and progressing in your career, you will need to pursue advanced qualifications.
Examples of such qualifications include;
- BTEC Higher National Diploma in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering
- Bachelor’s degree in building services engineering or lift engineering
- Master’s degree in lift engineering.
Throughout your career, you should update your knowledge of the industry’s legal, health and safety guidelines, such as;
- Lift guidelines, standards and certificates for modifications and new installations
- Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations of 1998
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010.
To learn more about these guidelines visit the Safety Assessment Federation.
As a qualified lift technician or engineer, you can hunt for a job in the following places;
- Building services companies
- Educational institutions
- Local authorities.
After gaining vast work experienced and advanced qualifications you can become a supervisor or safety inspector. With a graduate degree in lift engineering, you can become a senior engineer at a lift manufacturing firm.
- Lift & Escalator Industry Organisation
- The Engineer
- Institution of Engineering and Technology
- SEMTA - Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK
- Tomorrow’s Engineers
Undoubtedly, you are now well informed about a lift engineer’s career path. All that is left is you to pursue it. Good luck!