Locksmiths are specially trained to maintain and service locks and safes. Their duties may include assisting customers in choosing the best locks for their home or business, installing locks, cutting keys, or repairing locks. Additionally, locksmiths are experts at assisting customers in regaining entry to their home, business, or vehicle if they have been locked out. Locksmiths are trained in a range of methods for opening locks without causing damage. Lock experts possess knowledge in a range of areas from simple locks to highly technical devices and sophisticated security systems. In order to successfully perform their work duties, locksmiths must be comfortable and familiar with all types of locks and stay current with changes in technology. A good locksmith will have experience using tools such as latches, drills, and grinders and be comfortable with carpentry and electrical work. What Type of Training is Required to Become a Locksmith? Becoming a locksmith usually involves classroom training in conjunction with hands-on learning. Courses are offered both in-person and online. The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) has compiled a comprehensive list of approved training programs and is a good place to start your research. Course topics include key identification, installation of locks, picking locks, residential locks, commercial locks, vehicle locks, key production, security systems, safes, vaults, and high-security locks. For extra hands-on training, many aspiring locksmiths will participate in an apprenticeship. What are the Certification and Licensing Requirements? Since locksmiths handle sensitive information and have access to their client’s homes and businesses, it is essential that they are trustworthy and qualified. In order to practice as a locksmith, most states require licensure, certification, and criminal history background checks. Generally, locksmiths begin by obtaining a voluntary certification known as a Registered Locksmith. After obtaining further training and experience, locksmiths can become certified as Professional Locksmiths or Master Locksmiths. To work as a certified registered commercial locksmith, it is necessary to pass an exam that evaluates knowledge in ten different categories – coding equipment, duplicating keys, lockset functions, servicing locksets, master keying, identifying key blanks, professional techniques for opening locks, key impressions, servicing cylinders, and locks for cabinets, mailboxes, and furniture. Additionally, candidates must pass other elective categories such as alarms, basic electricity, and installing safes, before becoming certified. How Long Does Locksmith Training Take? Completing a course in locksmith training takes approximately two to four months. Additional training such as an apprenticeship can take several more months or years to finish. What Is the Average Salary for a Locksmith? In 2012, locksmiths made an average of almost $40,000 per year in America. When starting out as an apprentice or trainee, locksmiths typically earn minimum wage. How to Find a Job as a Locksmith When beginning a search for a locksmith job, you may have to begin as an apprentice or trainee. Consider approaching experienced locksmiths in your area to see if any are willing to bring you in as part of their team for a temporary training period. If you prove yourself as a reliable, efficient, hard-working locksmith, you may be offered a permanent position upon completing your apprenticeship. Where to Learn More To learn more about becoming a locksmith, consider contacting an experienced, local locksmith. Talking to a variety of locksmiths can help you learn additional tips on the necessary education and training.