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Getting Started in the Locksmith Profession

Locksmithing is one of the most secure careers anyone could aspire for in our current day and age. Given how technology is quickly changing the security industry, it’s safe to say that the future of modern locksmiths will stay secure for a very long time. Today, a professional locksmith who constantly updates their skill set to all the emerging technological trends in the industry can easily find jobs in any state, city, or town.

locksmith career

The modern locksmith market is advancing at a tremendous rate, shifting security from the traditional lock systems to more sophisticated digital security solutions such as electronic and computerized lock systems. It might all seem too much to master for someone seeking to start their career in this field, but it all becomes very practical with a precise guide.

How to become a professional locksmith

Locksmithing is the art of duplicating keys, installing new locks, and repairing the various types of locks both at home, in cars, and in commercial enterprises. You must have lost your keys or needed an urgent lock repair at one point in your life. From your experience, was the professional help you got satisfactory, or are there aspects you would improve if you had a locksmith’s license?  Being a good locksmith requires you to be a people person with a passion for helping out. Why? You will often find yourself receiving night calls or during holidays from people who maybe got locked out or lost their keys. The beauty of this profession is that you have the option to freelance where you show up when needed. You can work under another locksmith or be your own boss. Areas of specialty vary from residential security systems, commercial security solutions, and even automotive locksmiths. So, where do you get started?

Locksmith Education Requirements/Training

locksmith professionTo become a locksmith, you don’t necessarily have to go to school or enroll in a locksmith course. You can either undergo vocational training or enter an apprenticeship. However, most locksmith organizations prefer those that have undergone formal training. Various institutions, such as vocational schools, community colleges, and state locksmith associations, offer professional training. On the other hand, an apprenticeship allows you to gain practical skills and experience from other seasoned professional locksmiths. There is also the option of mail-in courses where training is done via video and mailed to the trainee to be worked on. It is then sent back and graded. However, this method is not advised since a trainee gets very little exposure to the latest locks and security systems. It also requires very high levels of commitment.

Skills gained include repairing locks, making and duplicating keys, and testing after new lock installation. Locksmiths can also install and perform routine maintenance practices on electronic alarms and digital security systems. There are also special training on automotive and motorcycle locksmithing. What’s required mostly in this profession is integrity and responsibility since one is entrusted with a lot of client’s security information.

Locksmith Licensing

Obtaining a locksmith license varies depending on what American state you are in. However, most require that you work for a minimum of one year to gain the necessary experience. You are then required to apply, pass a background check, and finally submit your fingerprints. To get the exact requirements for a specific state, you can check with Associated Locksmiths of America or government agencies.

In Texas, licensing is regulated by the Texas Department of Public safety-Regulatory service commission. The quickest way to get licensed here is by joining a lock shop that belongs to a trade association and work for at least one year. The lock shop registers you with the state, and you are given a pocket card, making you a legalized locksmith. Another way you can get licensed is by scheduling a qualified manager’s exam. After passing, you become a qualified manager of your own lock shop.  To get a job in any locksmith organization, you must undergo drug screening and a security check. People with criminal records and failed drug tests are unlikely to get employed. If you have a criminal record, you should check with the state as the private security board can overlook some criminal offenses.

Career path options for locksmiths

There exists a variety of career options for one to choose from. Commercial locksmiths own a lock store or maintain and fix locks for small businesses. Institutional locksmiths work for institutions such as colleges, universities, hospitals, and government facilities. Forensic locksmiths can verify specific information about locks or other security systems for prosecution or defense in a legal case. We also have locksmith experts in master key systems, security consultancy, electrical specialists, safe technicians, and residential specialists.

How to get a Professional Certificate

To get a professional certification, there are several voluntary certification options for locksmith provided by Associated Locksmith of America(ALOA). These include Registered Locksmith(RL), Certified Registered Locksmiths(CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith(CPL), and Certified Master Locksmith(CML). To earn the certification, there are exams for each category. For every certificate, one is required to pass with a grade of 70% and above.  With the help of ALOA, over 4,000 locksmiths have been certified nationwide. Around 2,900 are also in their early stages of certification.  There are also other professional organizations in addition to ALOA that help locksmiths in growing their careers. Some of the benefits offered by professional organizations include access to continued education options, legislative representation, computer-based testing, insurance options, among many others.