Elevator and Escalator Mechanic vs Electrical/Telecommunications Line Technician: Career ROI

If you’re considering trade careers that provide opportunities for contributing to essential infrastructure, then perhaps you’re considering the Elevator and Escalator Mechanic and the Electrical/Telecommunications Technician careers. Both jobs make use of technical skills and require hands-on work that can lead to endless possibilities for professional fulfillment.

However, since time and resources are limited, you will want to know which careers will provide the most rewarding return on investment (ROI) so that you can start venturing through the right path the first time.

Read further to explore the differences between these two technical careers and to help you determine the occupation that will best suit your personal aspirations and career objectives.

Elevator and Escalator Mechanic as a Trade Program

To become a repairer and installer of escalators and elevators, a high school diploma or equivalent educational credential, such as a GED, is all you need. You can then attend an online elevator mechanic program in a top-rated trade school where you can:

  • Engage in paid on-the-job training and
  • Receive technical instruction, usually on the subject of Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology.

Apprenticeship programs are typically sponsored by an employer, union, and other organizations in the industry, and thus, you can be sure of obtaining skills and knowledge of the best practices that align with relevant laws and regulations.

You can typically find apprenticeship opportunities through community colleges and similar institutions, which collaborate with government agencies and industry groups.

Becoming an Elevator/ Escalator Mechanic

Starting Salary$47,850 per year
Average Salary$93,960 per year
Duties– Installation and assemble of elevators and escalators
– Wiring and rewiring of electrical units
– Testing of equipment to ensure safety and proper operation
– Conduct scheduled inspections and maintenance to ensure equipment’s compliance with safety regulations
– Troubleshooting of malfunctioning equipment
– Repair or replacement of broken equipment and components
– Upgrades older elevator/escalator systems with newer technology
– Responds to emergency calls for repairs
– Interacts with building owners, managers, or tenants for issues and maintenance schedule
– Maintains accurate records of services done to equipment
Projected Job Growth (2022-2032)1%
Largest Employer(s)Building equipment contractors (85%)
Highest Paying Employer(s)Local Government (except hospitals and schools)

Advance Your Career as an Elevator/Escalator Mechanic

As an escalator and elevator mechanic, ongoing training and continuous education are necessary for you to stay on top of technological trends. Furthermore, you can consider obtaining optional certifications to showcase your proficiency and competence in this trade career.

Certification options (and professional development opportunities) include the following:

When it comes to licenses, the requirements will vary depending on where you are, considering that most states will require escalator/elevator technicians to be licensed.

Why you should be an Elevator and Escalator Mechanic

  • You have good aptitude in physics, math and mechanical drawing
  • You can comfortably work at heights without problems
  • You are detail-oriented with good troubleshooting skills

Why you should NOT become an Elevator and Escalator Mechanic:

  • You do not have the strength and stamina to endure the physical demands of the job
  • You prefer a job where a typical day doesn’t have to involve constantly moving from one site to another
  • You struggle to understand mechanical and electrical concepts

Let’s Compare Elevator and Escalator Mechanic vs Electrical and Telecommunications Line Technician

 Elevator and Escalator MechanicElectrical/Telecommunications Line Technician
Starting salaries$47,850 per year$47,070 per year (Electrical Powerline Technicians) $37,060 per year (Telecommunications Line Technicians)
Average salaries$93,960 per year$74,010 per year (All Line Installers and Repairers)
Job Growth (2022-2032)1%3% (Electrical Powerline Technicians)6% (Telecommunications)
Certifications/Licensing– Licensing is required in most states.
– Certifications are optional through the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International and the National Association of Elevator Contractors.
– Certification requirements differ by state.
– Optional certifications available from the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, the Fiber Optic Association, and many others.
Largest Employer(s)Building equipment contractorsUtilities/Telecom Companies
Highest Paying Employer(s)Local Government (except hospitals and schools)Natural Gas Distribution Companies (for both Electrical and Telecommunications Line Technicians)

Electrical/Telecommunications Line Technician as a Trade Program

A high school diploma or an equivalent is usually the minimum educational requirement for becoming an electrical and telecommunications line technician, especially when you have a solid foundation in mathematics.

Technical and associate education in a relevant field, however, will provide you with a stronger set of skills to excel in one of the best trade careers! These programs can range from the one-year Certificate to the two-year Associate’s degree programs for becoming an Electrical and Telecom Line Technician. They are offered by community colleges and technical schools.

Education and training programs typically focus on either electrical power line courses or telecommunication courses. In essence, they will cover essential topics such as:

  • Line construction
  • Electrical and/or telecommunication distribution
  • Work safety protocols
  • Computer networking
  • And many others

The hands-on training opportunities available to you as an Electrical/Telecommunications Line Technician include the following:

  • Internships and apprenticeships
  • On-the-job training when newly employed by the company
  • Manufacturer-specific training, especially for telecommunication equipment

Becoming an Electrical and Telecommunications Line Technician

Starting Salary$47,070 per year (Electrical Powerline Technicians)
$37,060 per year (Telecommunications Line Technicians)
Average Salary$74,010 per year (All Line Installers and Repairers)
Duties– Installation of electrical and communication lines, cables and equipment
– Repair and maintenance of electrical and telecommunication systems and network
– Testing and inspection of networks and their components
– Upgrade and expansion of infrastructure
– Adherence to work safety protocols and regulations
– Compliance with industry standards and regulations
– Responds to emergencies promptly to minimize downtime
– Communicate electrical or telecommunication issues and instructions to customers
– Maintain documentation of installation, repair and maintenance activities
Projected Job Growth (2022-2032)3% (Electrical Powerline Technicians)6% (Telecommunications)
Largest Employer(s)Utilities and Telecommunications Companies
Highest Paying Employer(s)Natural Gas Distribution Companies (for both Electrical and Telecommunications Line Technicians)


Advance Your Career as an Electrical and Telecommunications Line Technician

Trade certification requirements for many types of technicians generally differ from state to state. Certain optional certifications can boost your credentials in this career, such as the various certifications in multiple disciplines offered by the Electrical Training Alliance (previously called NJATC).

There are also optional certifications that will help boost your career in this fun and rewarding trade career in the telecommunications industry. Below are some examples:

Why you should be a Line Technician:

  • You have a technical aptitude for electrical and telecommunication concepts.
  • You are enthusiastic about troubleshooting circuits, wiring systems, equipment and related constructions.
  • You like a trade career that lets you work outdoors and endure physical demands.

Why you should NOT become a Line Technician:

  • You have eyes that struggle to identify colors, which is necessary for the job because standard wires are color-coded
  • You struggle when working at heights
  • You have difficulty communicating technical information effectively and clearly

Final Word

By understanding the differences between Elevator and Escalator Mechanic and Electrical/Telecommunications Line Technician careers, you can make a well-informed decision on which educational path to start and invest in today.

Decide toward a fulfilling and high-paying career journey filled with growth and opportunity!

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