Lift Mechanic

Lift mechanics are involved with the construction, erection, assembly, testing and maintenance of lifts, escalators and hoists, in accordance with regulations as decreed by legislation.

Lift mechanics work as part of the crew that install and repair elevators, escalators and similar equipment. When installing a new elevator, the shaft is constructed and prepared for use. The electrical wiring and controls are connected up. The elevator car is then assembled and installed, together with the hoist that winds and unwinds the lift cable. When the lifting equipment is operational mechanics check, adjust and recheck it to be sure it is working properly and safely.

After the installation of the lifting equipment, lift mechanics have to maintain and carry out repairs when necessary. They may also replace old equipment with newer models in accordance with the requirements as prescribed by law.

Lift mechanics work indoors in buildings under construction and in existing buildings completed. They are required to travel extensively to test the lifts in the area for which they are responsible. The working conditions are rather unfavourable in that dust, oil and grease are part and parcel of the job

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • thorough and responsible
  • good knowledge of electronics and electricity
  • enjoy working with your hands and using hand-tools
  • technical and practical aptitude
  • mechanical ability
  • good health and stamina

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • Grade 9 Certificate
  • some employers prefer higher qualifications

What to Study

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a fixed contract between company and apprentice, ranging in duration from between 18 months and 4 years. At the end
of the contract, the apprentice writes a trade test leading to professional certification.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme ranging from about a year to 3 years. A learnership comprises theoretical and practical
training. Practical training is conducted on site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets experience whilst training.

3. TVET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (NCV) similar to the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a TVET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest TVET College. TVET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MerSETA or ChietaSETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.

After completion, the NCV learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan, with a company that installs lifts. Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption.


  • elevator manufacturing companies
  • contractors who specialise in the maintenance and repair of lifts and escalators
  • government departments
  • business firms
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business.

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to a lift mechanic about the work
  • consult the Registrar of Manpower and Training concerning learnership programmes that may be available in your area

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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