How To Become A Locksmith | A Complete Guide For Beginners

It’s probably hard to find someone who hasn’t lost the keys even for once in a lifetime. Even my family forgot to bring the keys with them quite a few times after locking the door. I have always been fascinated by how a locksmith understands the maze of a lock. Like me, you may also have the question of how to become a locksmith, right?

Now, you’re going to know all about the locksmith and how to become a locksmith.

Who Is A Locksmith?

A locksmith is all about keys and locks. He or She can help you make a spare key to get into the home without any kind of hassle.

It happens so many times that you went out shopping with your family and upon returning, all of you have to stand helplessly, carrying grocery bags and stuff.
Yes, we know how it feels. 

Although it sounds funny to read, the one who fell victim to such an incident knows how unpleasant the feeling is. 

Here comes the locksmith! A locksmith with his extraordinary genius to makes the way for you to get into your ‘home sweet home, even after forgetting the key inside the room. 

Though you may not hear about a locksmith all too often he does indeed possess an immense power to make you feel happy and relax after being worried for long. 

And this is quite satisfying as a job because everyone earns their living through different works but it is ten times more fulfilling and rewarding when you’re seeing people smile and letting go of their worries. 

Now a locksmith is not only subjected to the simple door lock, actually, but there are also many other types of locks that he now needs to fix and develop to make the industrial lock producer smile.

Locks now come in many shapes and designs. From the old designs, we get to see the revolutionary Chubb locks. Now locksmiths have to face various challenges to cope up with the new technologies that come frequently.

To get a smart payment they need to upgrade themselves.    

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Locksmith and Security Professionals' Exam Study Guide
  • Phillips, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 12/29/2008 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)

History Of Locksmith

From the leading section, we get a picture of today’s locksmith who is familiar to make the spare keys and fixing the lock problems. They are now more of a keysmith rather than a locksmith.

The industrial revolution has changed everything in lock production and the scene was not like this it was quite different at the start.

Locksmithing was art at the beginning. They were used to be the finest craftsmen of that era. Back then locksmiths were to design and produce tools like vaults that the elites would buy to protect their valuable items.    

If you look back around 4000 years ago, you will find wooden locks. Back then the locksmiths were using the tin tumbler principle that helps to prevent the free movement of the door bar.

There was obviously a large wooden key like today’s toothbrush. Without the cumbersome key, nobody would have been able to move the pins and open the lock.

Now you might be thinking how the first lock worked and looked like?

The knowledge is vague to us as well. 

However, you might have discovered that now we have the oldest locks from The Assyrian Empire.

Scientists and historians both came to a conclusion saying the lock was created and used around 704 BC.

Can you imagine?

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Master Locksmithing: An Expert's Guide to Master Keying, Intruder Alarms, Access Control Systems, High-Security Locks...
  • Phillips, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 09/17/2007 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)

How to become a locksmith?

 

locksmith training

 

After learning a bit of history now let’s come to the business.

If you’re serious about becoming a locksmith then you must look into various issues involving it. Making a career choice is always a difficult task. 

One thing that you should always remember is that what your instinct saying. If you hear the calling and you’re feeling confident enough then we’d ask you to start thinking about it right now. 

All your concentration now should be on becoming a successful locksmith and it’s never an easy task.

Due to available technologies and variety in lock patterns if anybody wants to be master of a locksmith there is a lot of things to learn and practice.

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The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing, Seventh Edition
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Phillips, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 672 Pages - 09/28/2016 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)

Success don’t come overnight. You have to a patient; you must keep in mind that you have to improve yourself one step at a time.  Don’t expect miraculous abilities watching youtube tutorials. 

You must prepare yourself for a tough job. Want to do the hard work?

If your answer is ‘YES’, you’re on the right track to be a locksmith.

Otherwise, go back to another site to know the easiest way!

To make it simple, we segmented the process of being a locksmith.

  • Research
  • Locksmith Training
      • Training School
      • Training Cost
      • Training Certificate
  • Work Experience
  • Professional certification
      • Try for apprenticeship
      • Get the voluntary certificate
  • Getting a license
  • Continue practicing
  • Join a professional team/ organization

Research

You can’t start anything blindfolded, you need to do the required research.

Without career research, your focus will always be overshadowed by doubts and fears.
Further, researching your future career will instill in your heart a dream which in our opinion is one of the greatest sources of power in the acquirement of things. 

It may take some time, but it will help you take the right steps in the near future. If you give a deep look at the locksmith profession, you will find they are busy extensively around us.

Performing the lock repairing and making keys for our flats, cars, and safes. So, you can see there is no way to neglect them.

This profession is not like customers only come to the shop when needed, you may also need to visit their places upon their call.

Like it? But it’s true.

how to become a locksmith

 

At starting no way to earn as much as you need, it’s the business policy; but when you gain the experience and have the required skills there is scope to earn enough.

So, wait for that time!

Recent stat says a qualified locksmith who has enough work has got the chance of earning about 40k to 60k a year.

This is just an overview that can help you to make the decision. At first, need to research in your own way to make the correct decision that will help in many ways.       

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Visual Guide to Lock Picking
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Mark McCloud (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 01/01/2007 (Publication Date) - Standard Publications, Inc. (Publisher)

Locksmith Training

The training is not only about locks and keys there are many other things that you need to abide by.

To begin with, you need to achieve a high school diploma or GED in many states.

For being certified professional locksmith you may need this much education that will help you understand the mechanical principle behind a lock.

If you are still a student, you should take related courses like advanced mathematics and mechanical drawing.

To be a locksmith your hand-eye coordination should be at the best level. For this reason, need to do some sort of metal works and carpentry, I think. that will help you to understand the basics of working with hard objects.

This is a profession that needs to deal with customers very often. So, you need to improve communication skills, don’t need to be extravagant, but at least, should learn the etiquette of how to talk with unknown people that will help you to get familiar with your customers and also potential customers will get a better review about you.   

Training School

If you want to be a certified professional locksmith, academic training is very important. Without proper training, you will not be able to work at the highest level.

Yes, it’s that true you don’t need any certification to work as a locksmith locally. Just need to join a locksmith shop and learn the basics to repair the locks and get yourself trained to make spare keys.

To attend the certification program, you need the entry-level experience. Without a minimum experience, many of them don’t allow the students to get in. This level of experience is also needed to work in an established lock producing company.   

Following are some schools that provide training on locksmith:

Now you may ask what is the difference between technical school and trade center.

Should remember that vocational and technical schools are for career-oriented short courses. For short-term training, these institutes are great.

Trade schools are for diploma courses and many other things.

Here is an opportunity to achieve more knowledge from these schools that will help you to gain confidence and work in any project.    

There are also online courses available to help for learning the ins and outs of a locksmith.

These days you can also find some free videos which will give you tips and tricks on the locksmith.

These are some institutes that provide online courses. to access their videos you have to pay for them.

Another thing, you have YouTube for any kind of help.

There are many channels where free videos are uploaded to help the locksmiths. Some of them are way ahead of the entry-level.

So, if you search for ‘Mr.locksmith‘ on YouTube many pro-level tutorials you will find here.

This channel shows tips and tricks on every possible lock system for the viewers.

Sale
Master Locksmithing: An Expert's Guide to Master Keying, Intruder Alarms, Access Control Systems, High-Security Locks...
  • Phillips, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 09/17/2007 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)

Training Cost

The training cost is not the same everywhere. It varies with the course duration and other elements. The longer the course duration the higher the cost is. 

Penn Foster’s course is highly recommended for any locksmith. It costs about 740$ if you pay without any installment. If you pay monthly a little bit more. The duration of this course is about 2 months.

The Ashworth college’s course fee is also close to Penn foster’s. They charge $859 which includes a key making machine for the students. This is more likely a career diploma with a duration of 4 months.

If you want to go for an on-campus training there is a course at the Friedman college. They offer 2 types of courses, one is 10 days long course and another is 10 weeks long course. 10 days course cost 2500$ and the long course costs $4775. You also have to pay for the instruments there. The long course will be a career diploma which will help you in the future.

You can also look for an apprenticeship program which is free of cost or would like to have the chance there, can learn many things without paying anything.

Moreover, will get the chance to work in real-time and that experience cannot be compared to online and offline courses.      

The Training Certificate

Trade organizations like Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) offers

  • Registered Locksmith
  • Certified Professional Locksmith or Certified Master Locksmith

Associated Locksmiths of America have an urge to recertify yourself every 3 years. Most of the locksmiths don’t feel any necessity for this kind of certification. Their experience and hard works are everything for them.  

Finding A Job

Finding jobs for a locksmith is not like other jobs. Generally, people call them for services. 

It’s not obligatory to go up to the customers. Rather, focus on your marketing skills so that customers come looking for you! 

But if you would like to work for an established business, you might not need worry about marketing, but you going to prove yourself before getting into their business.

Joining the national level organization like ALOA and SAVTA will allow you to network with other locksmiths, to manage a locksmith job they can help you.

For a beginner, it’s best to start a career with an apprenticeship that gives the necessary experience and also have the chance to prove to others. We think it will help you in the near future to manage further jobs.    

For experienced locksmiths, they should try different online marketplaces where there are advertisements for locksmiths.

By showing their expertise they will be able to get a job in the respected institution. Here the organizations can help you a lot.

A recommendation from a national organization can help a locksmith to get a good job.    

Locksmith Salary

Salary of a locksmith depends upon different things, it’s never the same. 

It varies with experience and availability of jobs, for that you will find people earning 1,00,000$ yearly.

Have to understand that they have got the highest level of expertise.

If you run your own shop then there is no boundary, can make what you are up to.

We’d always suggest you open up your own locksmith business. It will give you the freedom that no 9-5 does. 

Or if you are hardworking and response up to every call even in the midnights, then have a better chance to earn more.

This job is full of uncertainty for the first time.

Have to prepare yourself to work 24×7. that can boost up your earnings.

Normally an average locksmith guy can easily earn about 40k-60k.

Which pretty good, I think.   

Licensing

You can’t take the licensing normally like the certification. After working hard, you may get an expert in understanding locks and keys, but the licensing is not like that. It is issued by a municipality to keep track of the locksmiths. Most of the cities don’t ask for a license, so, can work freely there.

Before start practicing the Locksmithing in a big city should check out whether you need a license or not.

Only 14 states and one county have the urge for a license to work around.

States and County that require licensing for locksmiths
States County
Alabama Louisiana Nevada
California Maryland
Connecticut Nebraska
Illinois New Jersey
North Carolina Oklahoma
Oregon Tennessee
Virginia Texas

Nevada is the only county that requires licensing.

There is no special process to get the license.

The locksmith license is on the Sheriff. He issues the certificate and also accountable for it.

The future of A locksmith

If you talk about the future, I would like to say this job has got the future.

People will use the locks till the last day on the earth and they will need a locksmith anyhow.

Agree with me?

Yeah, it’s true not many of us want to work as a locksmith, but this profession has got its own necessity in society.  

The need for security keeps the job position alive.

A statistic says by 2018 this profession would be growing by 18%. 

Here is the challenge also, now the locksmiths have to upgrade themselves with the technologies. With the advent of new locking mechanisms and technologies, it can get a bit difficult for traditional locksmiths to cope up with the latest trends in the field of locks and keys.

One such example is the introduction of voice, face or fingertip activated locking systems. It’s not your usual locks rather it has got to do with complex technological issues. 

Every institution now needs security and there comes the need for a locksmith for many reasons.

Locksmith Practice Locks

These practice locks help you to become a smart locksmith. 

Conclusion

Its true locksmith profession hasn’t got the focus. It is underrated and it is hard to find someone who dreams about being a locksmith, but it has got its own demand in our day to day life.

Further, earning dollar bills is not and should not be the only goal in your life. Locksmithing may not be a world-transforming work but it may give you that little extra which makes life meaningful!

Plus, even with the development of technologies, there will be a need for security, and with every passing security needs are increasing. So, there will always be a need for locksmiths whether in the traditional form or more digitalized fashion!

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