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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Montgomery 50 $23,330
Hoover N/A $24,460
Birmingham N/A $24,460
Mobile N/A $38,140
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 200 $41,030
Mesa 200 $41,030
Phoenix 200 $41,030
Tucson 30 $40,160
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 40 $29,310
North Little Rock 40 $29,310
Little Rock 40 $29,310
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 900 $49,900
Long Beach 900 $49,900
Los Angeles 900 $49,900
San Jose 280 $52,130
Sunnyvale 280 $52,130
Santa Clara 280 $52,130
San Diego 200 $47,010
Carlsbad 200 $47,010
San Bernardino 190 $53,910
Ontario 190 $53,910
Riverside 190 $53,910
Bakersfield 50 $32,150
Fresno 40 $35,350
Fairfield 40 $38,020
Vallejo 40 $38,020
Santa Rosa 40 $40,000
Salinas 30 $50,170
Oxnard N/A $39,600
Thousand Oaks N/A $39,600
Ventura N/A $39,600
Roseville N/A $45,670
Sacramento N/A $45,670
Arden N/A $45,670
Arcade N/A $45,670
San Francisco N/A $53,610
Oakland N/A $53,610
Hayward N/A $53,610
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 110 $43,560
Aurora 110 $43,560
Denver 110 $43,560
Colorado Springs 100 $29,900
Fort Collins N/A $25,830
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 40 $55,520
East Hartford 40 $55,520
West Hartford 40 $55,520
Norwalk N/A $37,770
Bridgeport N/A $37,770
Stamford N/A $37,770
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 830 $33,320
Fort Lauderdale 830 $33,320
West Palm Beach 830 $33,320
Sanford 380 $35,700
Orlando 380 $35,700
Kissimmee 380 $35,700
Jacksonville 130 $32,720
Winter Haven 90 $32,570
Lakeland 90 $32,570
Ormond Beach 70 $23,820
Deltona 70 $23,820
Daytona Beach 70 $23,820
Sarasota N/A $29,580
Bradenton N/A $29,580
North Port N/A $29,580
Clearwater N/A $30,500
Tampa N/A $30,500
St. Petersburg N/A $30,500
Cape Coral N/A $32,440
Fort Myers N/A $32,440
Pensacola N/A $32,490
Brent N/A $32,490
Ferry Pass N/A $32,490
Palm Bay N/A $44,820
Titusville N/A $44,820
Melbourne N/A $44,820
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warner Robins 40 $41,910
Roswell N/A $35,570
Sandy Springs N/A $35,570
Atlanta N/A $35,570
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 40 $28,550
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson N/A $37,450
Carmel N/A $37,450
Indianapolis N/A $37,450
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines N/A $45,400
Des Moines N/A $45,400
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette N/A $31,530
Lexington N/A $31,530
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie N/A $51,190
New Orleans N/A $51,190
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 270 $49,340
Columbia 270 $49,340
Baltimore 270 $49,340
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Grand Rapids N/A $40,060
Wyoming N/A $40,060
Dearborn N/A $46,370
Detroit N/A $46,370
Warren N/A $46,370
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 50 $19,370
Biloxi 50 $19,370
Gulfport 50 $19,370
Jackson N/A $19,100
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 280 $43,570
Henderson 280 $43,570
Las Vegas 280 $43,570
Reno N/A $52,850
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hammonton 60 $54,610
Atlantic City 60 $54,610
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 100 $41,740
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 90 $39,180
Troy 90 $39,180
Schenectady 90 $39,180
Niagara Falls N/A $32,600
Buffalo N/A $32,600
Cheektowaga N/A $32,600
Binghamton N/A $36,490
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 260 $36,830
Cleveland 260 $36,830
Columbus 60 $44,100
Akron 40 $34,910
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 110 $33,590
Tulsa N/A $41,320
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Redmond 40 $31,370
Bend 40 $31,370
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh N/A $35,900
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia N/A $28,140
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 90 $38,380
Murfreesboro 90 $38,380
Davidson 90 $38,380
Nashville 90 $38,380
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 660 $39,550
Arlington 660 $39,550
Dallas 660 $39,550
Sugar Land 330 $42,290
Houston 330 $42,290
The Woodlands 330 $42,290
Temple 100 $28,830
Killeen 100 $28,830
Mission 40 $34,360
Edinburg 40 $34,360
McAllen 40 $34,360
Waco N/A $26,530
Amarillo N/A $34,310
New Braunfels N/A $39,100
San Antonio N/A $39,100
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Provo 60 $37,360
Orem 60 $37,360
Salt Lake City N/A $47,020
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 160 $36,840
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 120 $53,720
Tacoma 120 $53,720
Seattle 120 $53,720
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 50 $36,810
West Allis N/A $43,120
Milwaukee N/A $43,120
Waukesha N/A $43,120

Most Popular Industries for :
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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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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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