Examination of Routes, Tech Jobs in Canada

Canadian Business reported that, as property owners try to cut costs, technicians report a dangerous lack of maintenance. Due to the intense competition between multinational elevator companies, it continued, some technicians rush through hundreds of maintenance jobs per month with time limits as short as 7 min. per visit. It also noted that elevator technicians hold the top-ranked blue-collar job, according to Forbes. As an example, technicians in Canada can earn approximately CAD50 (US$37.15) per hour in their first year, plus overtime when on call, often following only a 720-hr. apprenticeship.

In this year’s Canadian Business “Canada’s Best Jobs in 2017,” “elevator mechanic” rose from number 74 in 2016 to 10. The source attributes it partly to new wage growth after several lackluster years but mostly to the overall growth in the number of jobs: a 94% increase in Canada over the last five years.

However, as the International Union of Elevator Constructors for British Columbia and Yukon noted, “It’s kind of impossible to look after 150 or 200 elevators a month,” which indicates the kind of pressure some elevator technicians face. Politicians have taken notice of the situation and authored new legislation. For example, Ontario introduced the Maintenance Control Program for Elevating Devices in 2014, and, earlier this year, Toronto Member of Parliament Han Dong introduced the Reliable Elevators Act, which mandates maintenance timelines and data collection

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Figure 6: Typical capstan winch; image courtesy of Endurance Marine

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