A skyscraper boom in US cities is giving elevator technicians a lift
Automation may have made elevator operators obsolete, but things are looking up for those who install and repair elevators.
The US Bureau of Labor statistics expects employment for technicians who install and fix lifts to grow by 13% between 2014 and 2024, about double the average growth rate for all US jobs.
Elevator technicians earn an average of $77,000 a year, 55% more than the national average salary, and the highest average salary in the construction field. The position usually only requires a high school diploma, as most of the craft is taught through apprenticeships.
What’s behind the sunny outlook? A vertical building boom in US cities, spurred by increased demand for office space, residential towers, and hotels. (Federal regulations also now require many shorter buildings to be accessible to those with disabilities.) It’s a trend likely to continue: Half the world’s population currently lives in cities, and the UN predicts that will grow to two-thirds by 2050.
Otis Elevator Company, a unit of conglomerate United Technologies, says that it is outgrowing one of its factories in South Carolina. The company also just launched (paywall) its first brand campaign in 10 years. For the six months ended March 31, German manufacturer Thyssenkrupp reported orders in its elevator unit worth 5.4 billion euros—a record, and up 7% from the same period a year earlier.