Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide) (2023)

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.

Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide) (1)

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.

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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.

(Video) What You Need to be a Locksmith

Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide) (2)

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.

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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 myown 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.

(Video) Become a Locksmith in 15 minutes!

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.

Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide) (3)

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Here's How to Become a Locksmith (Professional Guide) (4)

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free download. No email required.

(Video) Instructions on joining the locksmith training and education marathon!

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What are the 3 skills you should be able to do as a locksmith? ›

Sevan Locks and Doors has put this article together to let you know what skills you need.
  • Customer Service. Good customer service is one of the most important aspects of a business. ...
  • Problem-Solving Skills. ...
  • An Interest In The Industry. ...
  • Knowledge and Training. ...
  • Open To Learning New Techniques. ...
  • Contact Sevan Locks and Doors.
Sep 14, 2021

Is it worth training to be a locksmith? ›

Home / Is it Worth Becoming a Locksmith? Simply put… YES!! Training to become a Locksmith is a fantastic career to be part of, whether you're just starting your career, changing careers, leaving the military or even if you are retiring but want to continue working on your own terms.

Is locksmithing easy to learn? ›

The job of a locksmith requires both creativity and logic. It allows you to use your hands and to use your brain. You get to solve puzzles, fix problems, help people in crises, and keep customers safe. Accessing the training necessary to become a locksmith isn't hard and can even be done online.

Is locksmithing a good career? ›

Locksmithing is an excellent career choice for people who like to work with their hands and their brain. It's a flexible career that lends itself to both creativity and logic. If you like puzzles and problem-solving, you will thoroughly enjoy a career as a locksmith.

What is one of the most common locksmith tasks? ›

Repair and installation of locks, safes, door, door closer, entry systems, home and business security systems. Service technician/ Locksmith Assistant - Service clients' home security systems and install new, or upgrade existing systems.

What are the duties of a locksmith? ›

Typical Duties

Installs and maintains electrical access and exit control systems. Adjusts, maintains, repairs, and replaces door locks, padlocks, tumbler locks, combination locks, and various other lock hardware such as panic bars, door checks, latches, catches, fasteners, and door closures.

Is there much demand for locksmiths? ›

Whilst there is a constant demand for locksmiths in all areas of the country to service the repair market, there can be great opportunities in further specialism such as auto or safe locksmith services.

How long is an apprenticeship for a locksmith? ›

1. How long does it take to learn to be a locksmith? It can take around 3-4 years to become a fully competent locksmith even after taking a 5-day training course. As a locksmith, you are always learning and need to keep up to date with new products and industry related standards changes such as lock standards.

Is LockRite a good franchise? ›

Is a LockRite franchise a good business opportunity? Starting a LockRite franchise can be an immensely rewarding opportunity for anyone looking to be their own boss, and work in a flexible, varied and challenging environment.

Do you need a license to be a locksmith in Florida? ›

Unlike many US states, Florida does not require locksmiths to be licensed. There is no requirement for any formal training or work experience either. However, Miami-Dade County & Hillsborough County in Florida are exceptions. You might need to get licensed by the state to legally work as a locksmith.

How much does it cost to become a locksmith UK? ›

Accreditation or Qualification

Whether you work for yourself or for a Locksmith company, it's critical that you consider a Locksmith Accreditation or Locksmith Qualification, which can cost you between £2000 and £2600.

Do you need a license to be a locksmith in Ohio? ›

While a handful of states have locksmith licensing programs, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana do not require locksmiths to be licensed.

What industry does locksmith fall under? ›

Establishments primarily engaged in--

Providing key duplication services--are classified in Industry 811490, Other Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance.

How many locksmiths are in the US? ›

National estimates for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers:
Employment (1)Employment RSE (3)Mean annual wage (2)
15,3802.2 %$ 47,810

How many locksmith businesses are there in the US? ›

There are 27,722 Locksmiths businesses in the US as of 2022, an increase of 4.2% from 2021. Has the number of Locksmiths businesses in the US grown or declined over the past 5 years?

Can a locksmith open a locked door? ›

Yes, a locksmith can open your lock without damaging it, most locksmiths use a non-destructive way to open your door to enter the property ensuring no damage is done to the lock or door.

What does the largest portion of a locksmith business come from? ›

The largest portion of a locksmith's business comes from ordinary front door installations, replacements, or security upgrades but many expand into commercial locks, too.

Can locksmiths pick locks? ›

Locksmiths have a wide range of potential skills, and lock picking is a skill they have in theory, but in practice, it varies greatly depending on the type of work they do. In practice, locksmiths that need to know how to pick locks likely will know how.

Is locksmith a skill? ›

Locksmithing is not just a skill thats requires you to open doors. If you go the self-employed route as a locksmith which many do, you will need the skills and knowledge to set up a small business.

How do locksmiths know it's your house? ›

Many documents verify a person's residency: drivers license, gas bill, electric bill, emails, car registration and more. If they fail to produce verification they can lock and close the door. Then call the police and let them sort it out.

Why is a locksmith called a locksmith? ›

If you've ever locked yourself out of your house, the person to call for help is a locksmith. When you need a new copy of your apartment key, you can also visit a locksmith. The word comes from lock and smith, from the Old English smið, "one who works with metal."

Will locksmiths be needed in the future? ›

The outlook for locksmithing is positive. In 2008, BLS projected that the career would grow by 12% by 2018. Traditionally trained locksmiths will retire over the next several years, making way for new graduates trained in state-of-the-art security technology.

How big is the locksmith industry? ›

Locksmiths in the US - Market Size 2003–2027
$2.9bnLocksmiths in the US Market Size in 2022
3.5%Locksmiths in the US Market Size Growth in 2022
3.1%Locksmiths in the US Annualized Market Size Growth 2017–2022
1 more row
Apr 9, 2021

Do you need a license to be a locksmith in Georgia? ›

Complete an apprenticeship. Completion of an apprenticeship under an experienced, certified locksmith is a requirement for certification in the state of Georgia.

How much do locksmiths make in Canada? ›

The average locksmith salary in Canada is $48,750 per year or $25 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $40,950 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $60,577 per year.

How do I become a locksmith in NYC? ›

Quick List of Requirements to Apply for a Locksmith License
  1. Basic Individual License Application.
  2. Photo Identification of License Applicant.
  3. One Current Color Passport-size Photograph of License Applicant.
  4. Proof of Locksmith Qualifications.
  5. Fingerprints and Processing Fee.

How do I start a locksmith business in South Africa? ›

How To Start A Locksmith Business In South Africa
  1. Find out the legal requirements for your state. ...
  2. Get locksmith training. ...
  3. Practice your skills. ...
  4. Choose what areas to specialize in. ...
  5. Purchase tools and supplies. ...
  6. Find a location. ...
  7. Get a vehicle. ...
  8. Decide whether to hire employees.

How much does it cost to become a locksmith UK? ›

Accreditation or Qualification

Whether you work for yourself or for a Locksmith company, it's critical that you consider a Locksmith Accreditation or Locksmith Qualification, which can cost you between £2000 and £2600.

How do I become a locksmith in Massachusetts? ›

To become a locksmith in Massachusetts does not require certification or licensing. Training is not mandatory to get started in this business in this state. However, there are professional associations in this state to assist with direction in a locksmith's career.

How do I become a locksmith in Ontario? ›

Completion of a two- to four-year apprenticeship program in a relevant trade, such as locksmith, recreation vehicle technician or saw fitter or College, high school or industry courses combined with several years of related work experience or Several years of on-the-job training are required.


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