CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a locksmith.
Is becoming a locksmith right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
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Meet the Requirements
To start training as a locksmith you need to be 18 years old, have completed high school and have a clean criminal record.
Start Locksmith Training
Locksmithing is complicated work, so it is necessary to get training in order to work in the field. One way is to take a certificate or diploma level locksmithing course which is commonly available at community colleges, vocational schools or state locksmith associations. This will teach you the basic locksmithing skills, and you can take more specialized courses later in things such as automotive locksmithing.
Another way to get training is to get an apprenticeship with an experienced locksmith. These are typically unpaid, but it's a good way to learn about the trade. Even though not all states require locksmiths to have certification, it is recommended that your apprenticeship be with someone who has certification.
In some states, aspiring locksmiths are required to work at least one year for a licensed locksmith before being able to receive a license of their own.
Get a Locksmith License
Having a license is not actually required by every state, and even states that do need you to have a license can have different requirements. Typically getting a license involves submitting an application, passing a background check and submitting your fingerprints to state and federal fingerprint databases.
Do your research on what your state requires for you to be a locksmith. The states that currently require a license are:
As technology advances, locksmiths need to learn more skills. Whether this means taking classes or on the job training, you should always be looking to improve your craft. If you intend to start your own business one day, it would be a good idea to learn some other skills like basic accounting and marketing.
Join a Professional Organization
Joining the ALOA or a state level locksmith organization will provide a number of benefits, including expanding your education options, networking with other locksmiths, insurance options and more.
How to become a Locksmith
To become a locksmith, most individuals train as apprentices. It helps to have metal fabricating, construction, and electronics skills, but these are not required; locksmiths perform such specific tasks that these skills can be learned on the job. In some regions, locksmiths are licensed, and legal codes may lay out the term under which titles like “Master Locksmith” may be used.