There are two ways to become a locksmith: apprenticeship or certification from the Associated Locksmiths Of America (ALOA). The most common method is to attend trade school. Licensing requirements for locksmiths vary widely between the different states, with some requiring the successful completion of a licensing exam and others simply requiring the payment of a licensing fee to become a locksmith.
To obtain an apprenticeship, you should first complete a course in basic locksmithing. These 10 to 12 week courses are available from a wide range of schools and cover the basic information necessary to get started. Once you have completed this course, contact local locksmith businesses and ask to become a locksmith apprentice.
The ALOA offers training courses both online and through local training schools and colleges. These courses cover intermediate and advanced topics within the locksmithing industry. Certification requires the successful completion of an approved course and passing the exam.
Locksmithing is a career that offers many different types of employment opportunities. When you become a locksmith, you can work in construction, large service firms, residential, emergency calls or commercially. The field of safes is a specialty field that requires an apprenticeship under a specialist in order to learn.
The most lucrative position when you become a locksmith is emergency service calls. This type of work requires few tools and is usually clean, quick and simple. However, it often requires evening work and is very competitive.
To become a locksmith in a commercial organization, you must be able to create master keys and develop a strategy for key management. These types of roles usually include all security devices, including electronic locks, access cards and computer systems.
Investigate the requirements to become a locksmith in your state before you begin. Talk to the locksmiths in your area about how they became locksmiths and what advice they would give to someone who wants to follow the same path. The perspective of a locksmith can help to guide your specialty within the field of locksmithing.
Join the ALOA and attend the annual conference. This is a great opportunity to network with your colleagues, learn about advances in the locksmithing field and discuss the challenges and trends within the industry. Sign up for the newsletter to stay in touch and up to date.
In high school, take courses in math, business and English. If you decide to open your own locksmith business, you will need these skills to operate your business effectively. Take additional courses in small business management, marketing and accounting to improve your business.