Certification Requirements

To become a general (Category 01) or specialty elevator mechanic in Washington, you must have a combination of documented experience and education credits. This typically includes at least 3 years of verified experience performing conveyance work and associated education, along with one of the following:

  • Passing the mechanic examination of a nationally recognized training program for the elevator industry such as the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (See Exam Requirements tab) or its equivalent.
  • Completing an apprenticeship program (See Exam Requirements tab) for an elevator mechanic and pass the final examination required by the program.
  • Verified proof of education and experience, and successfully passed the state elevator exam administered by L&I.

Elevator mechanics from out-of-state can submit evidence of equivalent training and experience (See Exam Requirements tab) from another state. All candidates with experience and education from out-of-state must also pass the Washington state elevator license examination either as a Category 01 elevator mechanic or in their specialty.

The categories below list the required experience for each elevator certification level in Washington.

Elevator trainee or apprentice

Trainees or apprentices must be supervised by a licensed elevator mechanic working in the same license category, or as a general elevator mechanic.

  • In categories 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8, trainees or apprentices must be supervised at least 75% of each working day when performing installations, alterations, and repairs. The supervision ratio cannot exceed one trainee or apprentice for every one licensed elevator mechanic.
  • In category 4, trainees or apprentices must be supervised 100% of each working day when performing installations, alterations, or repairs. The supervision ratio cannot exceed three trainees or apprentices for every one licensed elevator mechanic.

Trainees should keep a log of the hours they work.

Note: Elevator trainees, as described on this page, are officially referred to as “helpers” in rule (WAC 296-96-00902).

Reporting trainee’s experience and training

If an elevator trainee is enrolled in:

  • An approved elevator apprenticeship program, the apprentice will submit their certificate of completion to us when they apply for their license.
  • The National Elevator Industry Education Program or equivalent, the trainee will provide proof of completion to us when they apply for their license.
  • All other trainees must submit proof of experience and education from their employers to us when they apply for their license.

Trainees and apprentices must provide acceptable proof to us that shows the necessary combination of documented experience and education in the applicable license category:

  • 3 years of work experience (categories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8).
  • 2 years of work experience (category 6).
  • 1 year of work experience (category 7).

Trainees not enrolled in a training course must provide proof of their qualifying work experience and required education. This experience must be verified by current and previous employers, including military training and experience, and businesses licensed in Washington.

Trainees should keep a log of the hours they work to help track their qualifying experience and education.

Documents We Need

The following documents are required to complete your application:

  • A completed Application for Licensure as an Elevator Mechanic (F621-067-000)
    • Your employer(s) must complete and sign Section 3A of this form to verify your hours of work experience.
  • The required documentation of your experience and qualifying education (See Exam Requirements tab):
    • Proof of work experience:
      • Certificate of completion from a registered apprenticeship program, or the National Elevator Industry Educational Program, or its equivalent, or
      • Other supporting documents that verify your hours of experience.
    • Qualifying education can be:
      • Evidence of formal college or trade school course work
      • Evidence of completion of online courses.
      • Evidence of completion of National elevator training programs, such as NEIEP or CET/CAT programs through NAEC.
      • Evidence of completion of company training programs, including company and manufacturer specific conveyance training.
      • Other verified and approved educational training that meets state requirements.
    • Proof of exam (optional):
      • Copy of your NEIEP student certificate statement showing your elevator mechanics exam was granted, or
      • Evidence that you have passed an equivalent national exam.
  • If an exam is required, you will also need to include the following fees (Categories 01-08).
    • Category 01-08: $211.50 exam fee, payable to L&I.
    • An exam is not required for graduates of a registered apprenticeship program, those with a certificate of completion from an NEIEP program or equivalent, or who have passed a national examination.

These documents can be emailed to us at ElevatorSect@Lni.wa.gov, dropped off at your local L&I office, or mailed to the address listed on the application.

To apply for a temporary elevator mechanic license (Category 9), in addition to the steps listed above you will also need to:

  • Have a request from a Licensed Elevator Contractor in support of the application.
  • Provide proof that you have completed at least 75% of your education and experience requirements. An exam is not required.
  • Pay the required fee of $140.90
Exam Requirements

Depending on the level of your experience and education, you may be able to get your elevator mechanic license without taking the state elevator examination.

National certification (no exam required)

You do not need to take an exam if you have earned a certificate of completion and successfully passed the mechanic examination of a nationally recognized training program for the elevator industry. Qualifying training programs include the National Elevator Industry Educational Program and the National Association of Elevator Contractors (CET/CAT) Training Program.

Apprenticeship (no exam required)

You do not need to take an exam if you have earned a certificate of completion from an elevator mechanic apprenticeship program that is registered with the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council.

All others (exam required)

You must take the state elevator examination if you do not qualify under the two areas listed above. To schedule your exam, you must provide acceptable proof to L&I showing you have completed the required experience and education in your general or specialty license category.

General elevator mechanic exam (Category 01)

This exam tests general knowledge of elevator installation and maintenance. The exam is open-book and contains 160 randomly selected multiple choice or true/false questions, with 40 in each of the following categories:

  • Codes
  • Installation
  • Safety
  • Maintenance

Recommended study materials include:

Bring these materials with you to the examination. We do not supply reference materials for the exam. Applicants can bring a laptop, hand-written notes, and books. No phones are allowed. All reference materials brought are subject to inspection prior to the test.

Specialty elevator mechanic exams (Categories 02-08)

The state specialty elevator mechanic exams are open-book and have between 100 to 150 multiple-choice questions.

Exams are held at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at L&I’s Tumwater building. To schedule an exam, you must first submit your application for licensure along with your proof of experience and education. Be sure to include your exam fee with your application. Once your application is approved, we will send you a letter with information on books and study materials and schedule you for the next available test date.

Exam scores

Exams are scored the same day they are taken. A score of at least 80 percent is required to pass. Once an applicant passes the exam, their license will be mailed within 10 business days.

If you do not pass and want to retake the exam, you must pay another exam fee. You can reschedule the exam as soon as the next available testing date.

Contents of the exam (Categories 02-08)

Applicants should prepare for the exam by studying the following:

  • ASME A17.1-2000, ASME A17.1A 2002, and ASME A17.1B 2003 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators
  • ASME A18.1-1999 and ASME A18.1a-2001 addenda, Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts
  • Chapter 70.87 RCW – Elevators, lifting devices, and moving walk
  • Chapter 296-96 WAC – Safety regulations and fees for all elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators and other conveyances
  • National Electrical Code, 2002
  • Elevator Industry Field Employees’ Safety Handbook
  • Installation Manual, basic field practices for installation of elevators and escalators

Bring these materials with you to the exam. We do not supply reference materials for the exam. Applicants can bring a laptop, hand-written notes, and books. No phones are allowed. All reference materials may be inspected before to the test.

Reasonable accommodations

Let us know at least two weeks before your scheduled exam date if you will need any reasonable accommodations for your exam.

How to Apply

Apply online

You can begin your application for elevator mechanic online. To apply, you will need:

  • Social Security number.
  • Type of license you are applying for.
  • Previous license number(s), if any.
  • Employer information (optional for Categories 01-08), including:
    • Company name.
    • Elevator contractor registration number.
    • UBI number.
    • Phone number.
  • Required application fees of $211.00, payable by credit/debit card or electronic check
    • $70.10 application fee (non-refundable).
    • $140.90 license fee.

Apply by mail

Send your completed application, documentation, and a check or money order to:

Department of Labor & Industries
Elevator Program
PO Box 44480
Olympia, WA 98504-4480

Apply in person

Visit your local L&I office with your completed application and documentation listed above. You can pay with cash, credit/debit card, check, or money order.

After you apply

If we approve your application, we will issue your license if no exam is required. If an exam is required, we will contact you to schedule the exam.

If we deny your application, we will send a letter with the reason(s) for denial and issue a refund, minus a $42 processing fee. You will have to reapply if we deny your application.

We will contact you if we need more information to process your application. If we don’t receive the requested information in the specified time, we will close the application and issue a refund, minus any processing fees.

Your initial elevator mechanic license may be valid for more or less than 2 years, based on your birthdate and the date you received your license. When you renew, your license will be valid for two years. License fees are not pro-rated.

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