A locksmith is an individual who works with locks, keys and safes. As a locksmith you will be able to provide a variety of services including helping customers select locks for their property, homes or business, installing locks, repairing malfunctioning locks and locking devices, cutting keys for locks and rekeying locks. Additionally, a locksmith is responsible for helping people who have being locked out of their homes, property of even vehicles as a result of misplacing or forgetting their keys. This means that a locksmith should always be ready to be called to assist their clients at any time whether day or night.
As a locksmith, you will be able to work with different types and range of locks from simple locks to more sophisticated locking systems. This will entail having to be familiar with different types of locks and staying at par with technology changes in lock security systems. Some of the tools that a locksmith must know and be comfortable in using include lathes, drills and grinders. Having a little experience in electrical work and carpentry is an added advantage to a locksmith.
Training Needed To Become a Locksmith
To become a professional locksmith, one will have to undergo classroom and practical training to gain relevant experience. There are several locksmith schools and training programs that offer certified locksmith programs. The Associated Locksmiths of America maintains a list of approved Locksmith training programs in the US.
Locksmith students undertake a number of training programs including lock identification, lock installation, lock picking, key identification, key making, residential locks, vehicle locks, commercial locks, electronic lock systems, safe and vault locks, home and business security locks. Locksmith classes can either be physical or via online classes. An online locksmith program will offer relevant locksmith materials to facilitate the learning process.
Once the student completes the classroom training programs, they have to put their learning into practical use so as to gain hands on experience. The best way to get this experience is by completing an apprentice or working as a trainee under a professional and experienced locksmith. As a trainee you will be able to acquire skills and knowledge that cannot be imparted in a classroom setup.
Locksmith Certification and License Requirements
To become a fully-fledged locksmith, one has to be certified and licensed by relevant bodies and authorities. Many states in the US require locksmiths to obtain a practicing license. A licensed and certified locksmith is likely to be hired by clients as being licensed proves that they have undergone professional training.
Because a locksmith works on locks in offices, homes and highly secure properties, they usually have access to sensitive areas and therefore need to be reputable and trustworthy. Most clients will require locksmiths to provide prove of having passed a criminal background check.
What Are The Job Prospects For A Locksmith?
Most locksmiths first work under experienced and established locksmiths so as to get valuable experience and skills. Once you believe you have gained enough experience, many locksmiths may end up working as independent contractors or getting employed by hardware stores, part of construction teams, security equipment manufacturers, door manufacturers and organizations like hospitals and universities which need full time locksmiths.