An elevator consultant is a person who uses his or her expertise to inspect and make recommendations regarding elevators, escalators and similar conveyances. This person acts in an advisory capacity only, and does not engage in any elevator construction or repair. Much of the training to become an elevator consultant is in the form of practical, on-the-job training, though in some cases the person may also have a degree in mechanical engineering, architecture or another related field.
There is no specific degree required to become an elevator consultant, but at a minimum a person should have a high school diploma. It is also necessary for a consultant to know and understand the local and state building codes as they relate to elevators, and to have a good grasp of safety issues. Some locations may have specific courses a consultant must pass, but in other places learning the codes is left up to the individual.
Licensing may be required to become an elevator consultant, but this is not true in all places. Anyone wishing to work in this field must take responsibility for meeting all governmental requirements. Failure to do so can result in fines and possibly the closure of the business. The purpose of licensing is to ensure that the person meets the minimum requirements for inspecting elevators and making recommendations regarding their use safety.
In addition to learning all the codes and laws that apply to elevators, a person that wants to become an elevator consultant needs to have a great deal of practical experience. A consultant in any field is generally considered to be an expert on his or her subject. Anyone hiring an elevator consultant is expecting a significant level of expertise. Several years spent working as an elevator mechanic or installer provides an important knowledge base for a consultant.
The best way to become an elevator consultant is to combine practical, hands-on experience with education. Community colleges in many areas offer degrees or certificates in building inspection and construction which promotes understanding of the industry overall. Those interested in this type of consulting will also benefit by taking classes in how to read blueprints and construction methods, whether or not these classes result in a degree. Often, a solid educational background can help a person who has little practical experience to get an entry-level job, and from there develop the knowledge necessary to become an elevator consultant.