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A locksmith knows how to install a good locking system and to repair or fix one that is broken. Repair may be needed after a lock has become old or faulty, or after a burglary has occurred at a residential property or retail business and a lock damaged as part of forced entry. The skills of a locksmith may be required for other needs, too, such as picking a lock to provide entry - like to a home -- after a key has been lost, or even to help install alarm systems and provide greater overall security. Some locksmiths also know how to install or repair safes and how to open a safe after a key has been lost or a combination forgotten or misplaced.

Locksmiths And Safe Repairers picture    Locksmiths And Safe Repairers image

Locksmith Schools and Programs

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally needed to enter a locksmith and safe repairer career. Individuals also may be able to find apprentice programs or complete a certificate or diploma program at a community college. In a college program, they may learn about:

  • Keys and locks
  • Pin tumbler locks and locksmithing tools
  • Lock designs and functions
  • High-security locks
  • Automotive locksmithing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most locksmiths also prepare for this career with short on-the-job training. Because the work of locksmiths is becoming more sophisticated, additional training may be necessary in order to find the best employment prospects. Training programs include work both in the classroom and in the field, handling real locksmith work. Once you complete your classroom program, you may need to complete an apprenticeship before you can work as a full-fledged locksmith.

Locksmith Training and Courses

Typically, locksmith training lasts just weeks--sometimes even a few days--and upon completion, you are traditionally granted a diploma or certificate. The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) oversees locksmith programs and awards graduates the Registered Locksmith (RL) designation, upon their successful completion of an exam. Locksmiths who wish to become specialists in their field can also pursue additional certification.

While every locksmith program is different, there are some general topics that you can expect to cover in your training. These include:

  • Identifying and making keys and lock mechanisms
  • Residential locks and keys
  • Cabinetry and furniture locks
  • Automotive locks systems
  • Key machine service and adjustment
  • Lock service and repair
  • Lock and security systems for home, business, industrial or detention locations
  • Picking locks
  • Door hardware service
  • Electronic security devices--installation, maintenance and repair
  • Panic devices and electric lock hardware

Your training may also include how to set up or run a locksmith shop, including inventory, equipment and best business practices. Locksmiths should also possess other skills, such as good manual dexterity, good hand-eye coordination and excellent communication skills.

Locksmith Certification and Licensing

Certification is available through the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) in conjunction with the Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA). Applicants must pass an exam, generally receiving at least a 70 percent, to be eligible for certification. Some certifications include:

  • Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL)
  • Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL)
  • Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL)
  • Certified Master Locksmith (CML)

The SAVTA designations include:

  • Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS)
  • Certified Master SafeTech (CMST)

Licensure requirements vary state to state. In some states, individuals may need to complete an apprenticeship to be later able to obtain their own license or pass an exam. As well, some jurisdictions within states may have their own licensing requirements. Additionally, in states where licensing is required, applicants often need to provide evidence of insurability, pass a criminal background check, and pay a fee. The ALOA website provides a list of links regarding state licensing laws and regulations.

Resources for Locksmiths

  • Associated Locksmiths of America
  • The Institutional Locksmith Magazine
  • Locksmith Ledger
  • Institutional Locksmiths Association
  • The National Locksmith

Sources:

  1. Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, Projections Central. http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  2. Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, O*NET OnLine, 2015. http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/49-9094.00#ToolsTechnology
  3. Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes499094.htm
  4. Locksmithing Program, Ashworth College. https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/career-diplomas/locksmithing/curriculum/
  5. State Licensing Laws, Associated Locksmiths of America. http://www.aloa.org/legislation/aloa-legislation.html
  6. Why Should I Be Certified? Associated Locksmiths of America. http://www.aloa.org/certification-and-testing/pdfs/CertificationInformation.pdf

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Locksmiths and Safe Repairers jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 110 $22,850
Hoover 110 $22,850
Montgomery 60 $20,170
Mobile N/A $39,850
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tucson 40 $37,020
Scottsdale N/A $41,270
Mesa N/A $41,270
Phoenix N/A $41,270
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 610 $56,540
Los Angeles 610 $56,540
Long Beach 610 $56,540
San Jose 350 $51,260
Santa Clara 350 $51,260
Sunnyvale 350 $51,260
San Francisco 240 $50,990
Oakland 240 $50,990
Hayward 240 $50,990
Carlsbad 230 $46,720
San Diego 230 $46,720
Ontario 230 $55,290
San Bernardino 230 $55,290
Riverside 230 $55,290
Roseville 140 $49,420
Sacramento 140 $49,420
Arcade 140 $49,420
Arden 140 $49,420
Modesto 30 $35,370
Fairfield 30 $38,630
Vallejo 30 $38,630
Bakersfield N/A $23,380
Santa Maria N/A $39,860
Santa Barbara N/A $39,860
Salinas N/A $52,170
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Colorado Springs 60 $36,780
Lakewood N/A $46,580
Denver N/A $46,580
Aurora N/A $46,580
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 40 $57,600
West Hartford 40 $57,600
Hartford 40 $57,600
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 880 $34,570
Miami 880 $34,570
West Palm Beach 880 $34,570
Sanford 350 $35,910
Kissimmee 350 $35,910
Orlando 350 $35,910
Winter Haven 110 $37,900
Lakeland 110 $37,900
Deltona 60 $35,420
Daytona Beach 60 $35,420
Ormond Beach 60 $35,420
Jacksonville N/A $35,990
Fort Myers N/A $36,140
Cape Coral N/A $36,140
Ocala N/A $36,210
Palm Bay N/A $37,570
Titusville N/A $37,570
Melbourne N/A $37,570
Clearwater N/A $40,520
Tampa N/A $40,520
St. Petersburg N/A $40,520
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warner Robins 40 $42,630
Roswell N/A $43,530
Sandy Springs N/A $43,530
Atlanta N/A $43,530
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 30 $29,590
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson N/A $38,080
Carmel N/A $38,080
Indianapolis N/A $38,080
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 60 $35,460
Des Moines 60 $35,460
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 60 $32,580
Lexington 60 $32,580
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 90 $40,560
New Orleans 90 $40,560
Thibodaux 30 $19,210
Houma 30 $19,210
Baton Rouge N/A $26,590
Bossier City N/A $32,660
Shreveport N/A $32,660
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland N/A $40,310
Portland N/A $40,310
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 280 $47,480
Columbia 280 $47,480
Baltimore 280 $47,480
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 220 $36,990
Dearborn 220 $36,990
Warren 220 $36,990
Wyoming N/A $41,520
Grand Rapids N/A $41,520
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson N/A $18,400
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 40 $35,440
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 150 $49,060
Henderson 150 $49,060
Las Vegas 150 $49,060
Reno N/A $53,680
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlantic City 70 N/A
Hammonton 70 N/A
Trenton N/A $28,300
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque N/A $29,320
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 60 $39,930
Troy 60 $39,930
Schenectady 60 $39,930
Niagara Falls N/A $32,650
Buffalo N/A $32,650
Cheektowaga N/A $32,650
Rochester N/A $41,830
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 220 $36,440
Cleveland 220 $36,440
Massillon 50 $36,340
Canton 50 $36,340
Akron 40 $34,180
Columbus 40 $46,050
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 60 $42,990
Tulsa N/A $41,890
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 30 $35,820
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lancaster 70 $42,030
Carlisle 40 $37,040
Harrisburg 40 $37,040
Pittsburgh N/A $37,630
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 150 $30,130
North Charleston 60 N/A
Charleston 60 N/A
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin N/A $29,320
Murfreesboro N/A $29,320
Davidson N/A $29,320
Nashville N/A $29,320
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 1010 $43,470
Dallas 1010 $43,470
Arlington 1010 $43,470
Sugar Land 400 $42,360
Houston 400 $42,360
The Woodlands 400 $42,360
San Antonio 180 $40,260
New Braunfels 180 $40,260
McAllen 70 $29,140
Edinburg 70 $29,140
Mission 70 $29,140
Bryan 30 $38,090
College Station 30 $38,090
Amarillo N/A $33,100
Austin N/A $49,380
Round Rock N/A $49,380
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 80 $47,220
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond N/A $30,630
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 110 $41,260
Tacoma 110 $41,260
Seattle 110 $41,260
Bellingham 30 $42,950
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 50 $37,060
West Allis N/A $44,390
Milwaukee N/A $44,390
Waukesha N/A $44,390

Most Popular Industries for :
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Office Services And Staffing 14,300 78% $32,130
Education 1,460 8% $42,930
Government 900 4% $47,000
Hospital 380 2% $46,510
Durable Goods Wholesale 370 2% $35,470
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Results:  7
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Sacramento
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  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Designated as a 2017 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Offers several aviation maintenance programs, including engineering, electronics, helicopter, and avionics technology.
  • Tutoring and advising services are available to students at no additional cost.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Oakland
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  • Degree - Construction Management
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Ontario
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  • Automotive Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Programs
  • Electrical Training Program
  • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
  • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
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West Covina
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  • HVAC/R
  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
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Cathedral City
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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