Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide)

Here's how to become a locksmith. By repairing and replacing locks that provide personal protection, locksmiths provide an essential service to clients. Frequently, they give emergency on-call services to those who have been locked out of their homes or vehicles.

Becoming a locksmith is a very straightforward professional path that can instill a feeling of success and pride in individuals.

how to become a locksmith

What is a locksmith?

A locksmith is someone who deals with locks on doors, windows, safes, and automobiles, among other things. Locksmiths install, repair, and change locks in a variety of settings, from automobiles to office buildings, and they also provide assistance to customers who are locked out or who wish to talk with someone about their security systems.

This occupation dates all the way back to the dawn of time; as long as locks and keys to fit them have existed, there have been persons who specialize in dealing with them.

What does a locksmith do?

Locksmiths install, repair, replace, unlock, and adjust locks on doors, windows, automobile doors, and safes, among other types of locks. Additionally, they offer consultancy services to homeowners and companies looking to enhance their security by focusing on locks and peripheral security services.

Locksmiths are also well-known for working irregular hours to provide emergency on-call services to residents and motorists who are locked out of their homes or cars.

  • Install locks.
  • Modify locks.
  • Install security systems.

Average salary of locksmiths

Locksmiths earn an annual salary of $47,513. In some circumstances, they can be compensated for labor performed outside of normal business hours. A locksmith's usual term is between two and four years.

Locksmith training requirements

All locksmiths must complete training in order to be eligible for the position, however the criteria differ by state. A smart place to start is to contact locksmith professional groups, beginning with Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), to learn about authorized training choices and what is necessary in your state.

Certain states and local governments need locksmiths to be licensed in order to practice. These regions include the following:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • State of New Jersey
  • North Carolina North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Additionally, those who reside in any of the following districts or counties are required to possess a license to practice:

  • Florida's Hillsborough County
  • Long Island's Nassau County
  • City of New York, New York
  • Washington, District of Columbia

How to become a locksmith

Consider the following steps if you wish to become a locksmith:

Complete your training (locksmith training course)

If you wish to become a locksmith after earning a high school diploma or equivalent, you should enroll in a locksmith training program. These are often offered in community colleges and vocational schools in the area. Training will almost certainly consist of a combination of hands-on instruction and evaluation and will last several months or years.

If your state needs certification, participate in a training program leading to licensing. There are currently 34 opportunities to join a licensed locksmith school in the United States.

Get an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships can be used in lieu of or in addition to formal education. Apprenticeships let entry-level individuals work alongside seasoned experts and get hands-on experience in locksmithing. While some apprenticeships are compensated, the majority provide just experience and are required to obtain a paid employment.

If you want to apprentice, verify that your mentor is a licensed or certified professional to guarantee you receive the most thorough instruction possible.

how to become a locksmith

Get your state license (certified locksmith)

If your state requires you to get a license or certificate, you must do so. This entails assessing your locksmith abilities and passing adequately. The ALOA is the regulatory organization that administers the certification test and bestows upon successful candidates designations such as Registered Locksmith (Licensed Locksmith), Certified Automotive Locksmith, or Certified Master Safe Tech.

To obtain your license, you can also be required to submit to a thorough background check and fingerprinting by the state.

Work for a locksmith company

Prior to venturing out on your own, it makes sense to seek employment with an established locksmith company. This will enable you to gain a thorough understanding of business operations, including administrative duties, and to acquire the skills necessary to operate for yourself. It can even be necessary for your state that you work for several years as an apprentice to an established locksmith since regulations differ by state.

You can work for a major corporation that offers 24-hour emergency assistance or a small company that operates during normal business hours. Additionally, you can contact security companies, hardware stores, and other employers in related areas.

Common questions

We've compiled a list of frequently asked locksmithing questions and offered solutions. If you're considering a career as a locksmith, you can be asking yourself the following questions:

How can I learn about the training requirements in my state?

To discover more about the requirements in your state, visit the websites of your local government and the ALOA. Each state has its own set of locksmith regulations, so obtaining this information first is critical. The ALOA maintains a list of authorized training programs, which provides guidance to anyone interested in learning how to become a locksmith.

To get certified, prospective locksmiths must pass an exam covering 10 obligatory categories and at least two elective categories, independent of their state's regulations.

How long does it take to become a locksmith?

The time required to train as a locksmith varies between months and years. Some locksmith training programs take as little as three months to finish, and your state can allow you to operate as a locksmith immediately upon completion. Other states, on the other hand, can demand years of training that includes formal education, job experience, and certification or licensure.

The majority of folks can become locksmiths within two years on average.

What are the job opportunities for locksmiths?

Locksmithing is a slow-growing trade, but one that is expanding nonetheless, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those interested in breaking into the sector, entry-level apprenticeships or positions at major 24-hour company can be the best option.

You can also opt to specialize in a particular sector, such as commercial locksmith or automotive locksmith, or to be a generalist.

Should I become a locksmith?

Locksmithing is an extremely precise trade. A large portion of the job involves dealing with small, complex pieces, which requires excellent hand-eye coordination, patience, and attention to detail. Locksmiths can be required to work unusual hours and in a variety of places and circumstances, depending on their employment. While much of the job is autonomous, you should love working with people and providing them with a service.

If you appreciate freedom, it is entirely feasible to work independently as a locksmith after gaining sufficient expertise. It's probable that you'll work longer hours and have additional responsibilities, but you'll also have the freedom to provide the services you want.

How do I start my own locksmith business?

The proprietor of a locksmith company must get various business licenses and permissions. These permissions and licenses differ by state and municipality in where the company is located.

Along with conventional business licenses and permits, several jurisdictions require locksmiths to acquire a locksmith license. According to BizFluent, fifteen states, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Oregon, require licensure. A criminal history check is often required, and some jurisdictions need locksmiths to complete written examinations. Numerous states demand an FBI criminal history check and will not provide licenses to those convicted of crimes or misdemeanors.

Along with license, several states demand bonding and certification.

Additionally, a locksmith company can require some standard municipal, state, and federal business registrations, including a sales tax permit, an Employer Identification Number, and an Occupancy Permit, among others.

how to become a locksmith

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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