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What training is needed to become a Locksmith?

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April 23, 2008 2:48AM

The skills and requirements needed to become a locksmith vary greatly from state to state across the US. There isn't one definitive answer to this question. In Texas for example a full two year apprenticeship under a licensed locksmith are needed before a license will be granted. North Caroline has a very tough locksmith exam given by the state that must be taken and passed before a license will be issued. In many other US states a person can literally walk into City Hall register the name of their business (i.e. "Mike's Locksmith Services") , pay a fee of $20-$50 to get a locksmith license and walk out a bona fide locksmith....sad, but true. If you want to become a locksmith there are steps you should take to learn the skills properly. Look in your phonebook for a local trade school that offers a course in basic locksmithing. The courses generally last 10-12 weeks. These courses scratch the surface of what a residential locksmith needs to know and they will give you the ability to contact locksmith companies that are looking for apprentices. If there aren't any courses offered in your area or if you haven't time to attend classes there are several good online courses that you can purchase and complete in your own time. The skills you learn will earn you a locksmith certification, NOT a license but they are an excellent springboard into the trade. I know that a lot of people take these courses as a resume "enhancer" and they end up getting a nice pay raise at their current job after getting the certification in locksmithing. Keep in mind that locksmiths earn anywhere from $35-$85 per hour and more for emergency, weekend and holiday calls. If an employer has someone on his payroll that can unlock an office door or a car stuck on company property he's actually saving money by giving a current employee a pay raise. There are many different specialties in the field of locksmithing and in some cases an apprenticeship under the tutelage of a licensed locksmith is the only way to learn the skills. There are locksmith that work only on safes. This requires a lot of training to master. There are locksmiths that only do lockout work. This is VERY lucrative because this individual specialty is to unlock homes, businesses and cars and nothing else. The tools required are minimal and it's fast work in most cases. General residential locksmiths do much more including re-pinning (re-keying) locks, installing locks, drilling our locks, making keys and so much more. Commercial locksmith work in the business community and install security gates, store locks, master key systems as well as many other things. If you are interested in becoming a locksmith the best place to start is by visiting your state Attorney Generals Office either in person or on the web. They will have the licensing requirements and fees listed. You may also place a call to your local locksmith and ask about schools in the area, trade organizations to join.etc.