Locksmiths cut and make keys, install locks and security systems, replace and maintain locking systems, and respond to lockouts. If you are fascinated by locks and enjoy mechanics, if you love a changing work environment, if you want to help people with their security, then becoming a locksmith might be for you. Learn about the benefits and the steps required for how to become a locksmith.

1. Benefits of Becoming a Locksmith

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Locksmithing has changed over the last 30 years with the introduction of technology and the innovation of locks. Besides cutting keys or changing locks, locksmiths now deal with highly secure locking systems and computer-run locks. Now more than ever, tech-savvy and adaptive locksmiths are needed to keep our society running safely and smoothly. 

If you find the job appealing and are looking into becoming a locksmith, there are many potential benefits to the job. Flexibility, versatility, and an ever-changing work environment are just a few of the factors that make this an exciting job. It is a new adventure each day and is perfect for someone looking to change the pace from their office job.

The job of a locksmith requires both creativity and logic. It allows you to use your hands and to use your brain. You get to solve puzzles, fix problems, help people in crises, and keep customers safe.

Accessing the training necessary to become a locksmith isn’t hard and can even be done online. Additionally, the average salary pays well and the job is in demand. The job is versatile and you can choose to work strictly mobile or at a storefront. You can also choose to be a specialist in one area, such as a commercial locksmith or an automotive locksmith, or you can be a generalist. 

2. Locksmith Salary

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Wondering how much do locksmiths make? Locksmiths can often expect to make between $45,783 and $59,490 per year. As of November 2020, the average locksmith salary is $52,769. However, this number can vary significantly based on where you live, how much licensing you have, how many years you have worked in the profession, education, skills, and more. 

Luckily, the locksmith business is a necessity for society and likely isn’t going to change much any time soon, so if you decide to start your own locksmith company, you can expect it to last.

3. Locksmith Working Conditions

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Locksmiths end up working in a variety of conditions. It is impossible to say where and when your services will be needed. People might lock themselves out of their car at the grocery store or lock themselves outside of their cabin in the middle of the night. You may have to travel far for your jobs, and you may be called at inconvenient times and in bad weather conditions. 

Additionally, locksmiths have to be customer service oriented. Even if called at an inconvenient time, you have to help the customer and take care of their issues. Oftentimes the customer is stressed or frazzled after finding themselves locked out, and it is up to you to get them where they need to be safely and calm them down along the way. 

The majority of the work a locksmith ends up doing is usually installing locks for people and repairing broken ones, but they must be on call in case of an emergency when someone is locked out. However, one of the factors that draw locksmiths to the job is the dynamic and always-changing work environment. It is almost impossible for any two days on the job to be the same. 

4. Locksmiths and Criminal Records

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If you have a criminal record, then becoming a locksmith is not in your cards. Since you have the ability to enter any facility at any time, you have to be a trustworthy citizen. When you apply to become a locksmith you will undergo a background check where they will determine whether or not you are fit. A criminal history may affect your chances.

5. Locksmith Licensing

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To become a locksmith you first need to acquire proper licensing. The licensing verifications differ from state to state, so you will have to look up what your local guidelines are. 

For example, a two-year apprenticeship must be completed in some states such as Texas. In other states, such as North Carolina, you have to take a locksmith test to receive your license which is required to become a locksmith. Generally, states require you fill out an application and pay a fee at a City Hall. You can often be granted a license that very day and begin your locksmith career. 

If you are starting your own locksmith business, you will also need to look into the legality of starting your own business in your area. Each city has its own regulations on business licensing and registering your business for tax purposes.

6. Locksmith Training

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So, how do you become a locksmith? To become a locksmith you must undergo a certain amount of training. First, you have the option to enroll in an online locksmith class where you can learn the trade from the comfort of your own home. Some popular online schools include Ashworth College, Penn Foster, and Stratford Career Institute.

Another option is to find a local locksmith that you can apprentice. They can show you how the job is done and help you first hand. Finally, you can take an in-person training course. These can be found on this list created by the Associated Locksmiths of America. 

The cost of locksmith training programs typically runs between $600-$1000 depending on what method you chose to use. In a course you will learn everything you need to know to become a locksmith, including what tools you need, the difference between different locks, the parts of locks, identification of damage, and how to repair it. You will also learn impressioning (a technique for manipulating a lock to make a key copy), how to handle a lockout, laws and regulations, and more. 


Locksmithing is a versatile and crucial industry that helps our society run safely and smoothly. It has many benefits, including versatility and demand. The salary is high and the working conditions are ever-changing, making it an exciting alternative to a desk job. If you have a clean criminal record and meet your city’s age requirements, you can begin locksmith training today and move towards a fulfilling career helping people stay safe and secure!

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Hosam Sayed is a Product Marketing Manager at WorkWave with extensive knowledge of B2B product and marketing positioning. When not in front of his computer, he can be found spending time with his family, enjoying outdoor activities, and working on perfecting the art of landscaping.