So You Want to Be a Locksmith?
If you are looking for a flexible, steady career, consider becoming a locksmith. Every city in the country needs a locksmith, which gives you a great deal of choice in the geographic area you wish to live.
In addition, you can obtain training, certification, and apprenticeships as well as find an employer in just about any area. If you decide to strike out on your own, you can hang out your own shingle and start a locksmith business in any location as well including Atlanta, GA.
Aspiring locksmiths should have a basic high school education or equivalent and then must learn the professional skills of the trade before becoming a locksmith. The easiest way to obtain training and certification is through either a local community college or tech school. Several of these schools offer self-paced, online locksmith programs that allow you to complete your studies while working a full-time job.
Although many of these community college programs have an apprenticeship component built in, you can also seek out your own on-the-job training with local master locksmiths. In addition, some locksmiths who are seeking to hire help may be willing to provide training and certification. Locksmiths including Downs Security Solutions may be able to assist.
It’s important to check with your city and state government to determine what kind of training and licensing is required to become a locksmith in your area. Each state has different requirements, and these may also change over time.
For example, you must be 18 years old, undergo a criminal history review by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and complete a license application in the state of California. Other states require you must simply be free of any felony convictions while some require you pass certain tests or be licensed by third-party boards.
If you are planning on setting up your own shop, you may require a business license or incorporation paperwork as well.
Industry organizations such as the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) offer testing and certification examinations, which allow you to prove your competence through a third-party organization. The ALOA offers a regular Proficiency Registration Program exam and awards different designations, such as certified automotive locksmith, registered locksmith, or certified master safe technician.
Since locksmithing is so closely tied to other security technologies today, the ALOA offers additional training through a partnership with SecurityCEU.com. Here you can learn about wireless technologies, codes and standards, Internet Protocol (IP) video, and access control among other security topics.
Types of Locksmiths
The following are four common types of locksmith jobs found in most areas. As you advance in your career, you may be able to play the role of several of these locksmiths. They each require a different set of skills and training.
Inevitably many problems with locks seem to occur at the most inopportune moments—in the middle of the night, on a holiday, and when most businesses are closed. Emergency locksmith businesses provide 24/7 service, allowing customers to obtain assistance at any time.
Locksmiths who can help people when they accidentally lock their key inside their house or replace old locks with more modern ones are known as residential locksmiths. They are trained in repairing broken locks; helping with home security systems; and servicing window, door, and safe locks.
Businesses often have more complex security and locking issues, which require a special set of skills and training. Commercial locksmiths may be well versed in master key systems, key card readers, and automated locking systems.
Those locksmiths who specialize in car and vehicle locks need to understand the technology behind microchips embedded in key fobs today. If customers break a key inside a lock, lose their keys, or require special copies to be made, an auto locksmith can help.
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Being a locksmith can be a rewarding and stable career choice. It provides flexibility and an opportunity to grow professionally, especially as security technology continues to develop. And as long as there are locks, there will be a need for locksmiths. That’s pretty good job security these days.