How You Can Become a Locksmith

Hardware & Materials

One of the more unusual paid professions in the eyes of many working people is that of a locksmith – a person who handles all matters relating to lock functionality and technical issues.

Locksmiths are often seen as store workers to whom you bring a door key in order for them to create duplicates of, and they are often the professionals you turn to if you ever find yourself in the humiliating position of having locked yourself out of your house, vehicle, or storage container.


There are many other services relating to locks that an emergency locksmith is paid to perform, however, and this is why people who work as locksmiths have to undergo training and certification in a fair variety of disciplines in order to do so.


The Associated Locksmiths of America oversees various educational programs that instruct students in the ways of installing locks, forging keys, rekeying locks, and picking locks, and both physical locks and electronic locks are covered.

While online courses are provided and can provide students with practical tools, physical courses at locksmithing institutions throughout the country allow students more of an opportunity to gain tangible experience handling these tools in a more formal context.

Many people studying locksmithing often work under a qualified mentor at a local locksmithing outlet for years in order to make sure that their training is comprehensive.


There are three levels of certification that indicate how proficient a locksmith is at his or her job. The most basic level is that of a Certified Registered Locksmith, who is expected to pass tests in all of exactly ten basic and distinct disciplines after two, three, or four months worth of study.

Meanwhile, there are twenty-six elective topics relating to locksmithing that a person seeking basic certification needs to pass two of. The higher certification levels require locksmiths to pass many more of these electives; a Certified Professional Locksmith needs to demonstrate expertise in roughly half of them while a Certified Master Locksmith needs to do so with nearly all of them.


One’s expertise in locksmithing is not the only thing that needs to be certified in order to begin work in the profession; a prospective locksmith also needs to show the ethical fiber and trustworthiness necessary to acquire a license from his or her local state to practice locksmithing legally.

Locksmiths essentially use tools to open up private spaces the way many criminals would want to for personal gain, and they also handle matters involving the closely guarded security information of various corporations.

All states require locksmiths to have shown no prior criminal history, and some states additionally require special behavioral courses and exams to be passed.

Locksmiths who have been certified and licensed generally find work by completing their apprenticeships at locksmithing outlets and then being awarded higher positions. They can generally find more work at areas that do not have as many locksmiths available as others, and they can expect to make over $30,000 a year on average.

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