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Locksmith Training Schools and Career Information

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Locksmiths and Safe Repairers - Career Information

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.

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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

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary
(2013)
Relative
Popularity

Alabama

     
Birmingham 0 $24460 0
Hoover 0 $24460 0
Mobile 0 $38140 0
Montgomery 50 $23330 2.28

Arizona

     
Phoenix 200 $41030 0.82
Mesa 200 $41030 0.82
Scottsdale 200 $41030 0.82
Tucson 30 $40160 0.69

Arkansas

     
Little Rock 40 $29310 0.99
North Little Rock 40 $29310 0.99
Conway 40 $29310 0.99

California

     
Bakersfield 50 $32150 1.26
Fresno 40 $35350 0.94
Oxnard 0 $39600 0
Thousand Oaks 0 $39600 0
Ventura 0 $39600 0
Riverside 190 $53910 1.15
San Bernardino 190 $53910 1.15
Ontario 190 $53910 1.15
Sacramento 0 $45670 0
Roseville 0 $45670 0
Arden 0 $45670 0
Arcade 0 $45670 0
Salinas 30 $50170 1.55
Los Angeles 900 $49900 1.23
Long Beach 900 $49900 1.23
Anaheim 900 $49900 1.23
San Diego 200 $47010 1.14
Carlsbad 200 $47010 1.14
Santa Rosa 40 $40000 1.5
San Francisco 0 $53610 0
Oakland 0 $53610 0
Hayward 0 $53610 0
San Jose 280 $52130 2.13
Sunnyvale 280 $52130 2.13
Santa Clara 280 $52130 2.13
Vallejo 40 $38020 2.44
Fairfield 40 $38020 2.44

Colorado

     
Fort Collins 0 $25830 0
Colorado Springs 100 $29900 3.06
Denver 110 $43560 0.61
Aurora 110 $43560 0.61
Lakewood 110 $43560 0.61

Connecticut

     
Hartford 40 $55520 0.53
West Hartford 40 $55520 0.53
East Hartford 40 $55520 0.53
Bridgeport 0 $37770 0
Stamford 0 $37770 0
Norwalk 0 $37770 0

Florida

     
Jacksonville 130 $32720 1.61
Cape Coral 0 $32440 0
Fort Myers 0 $32440 0
Deltona 70 $23820 2.8
Daytona Beach 70 $23820 2.8
Ormond Beach 70 $23820 2.8
Orlando 380 $35700 2.6
Kissimmee 380 $35700 2.6
Sanford 380 $35700 2.6
Palm Bay 0 $44820 0
Melbourne 0 $44820 0
Titusville 0 $44820 0
Pensacola 0 $32490 0
Ferry Pass 0 $32490 0
Brent 0 $32490 0
Lakeland 90 $32570 3.49
Winter Haven 90 $32570 3.49
Miami 830 $33320 2.63
Fort Lauderdale 830 $33320 2.63
West Palm Beach 830 $33320 2.63
North Port 0 $29580 0
Sarasota 0 $29580 0
Bradenton 0 $29580 0
Tampa 0 $30500 0
St. Petersburg 0 $30500 0
Clearwater 0 $30500 0

Georgia

     
Atlanta 0 $35570 0
Sandy Springs 0 $35570 0
Roswell 0 $35570 0
Warner Robins 40 $41910 4.5

Illinois

     
Springfield 40 $28550 2.63

Indiana

     
Indianapolis 0 $37450 0
Carmel 0 $37450 0
Anderson 0 $37450 0

Iowa

     
Des Moines 0 $45400 0
West Des Moines 0 $45400 0

Kentucky

     
Lexington 0 $31530 0
Fayette 0 $31530 0

Louisiana

     
New Orleans 0 $51190 0
Metairie 0 $51190 0

Maryland

     
Baltimore 270 $49340 1.6
Columbia 270 $49340 1.6
Towson 270 $49340 1.6

Michigan

     
Grand Rapids 0 $40060 0
Wyoming 0 $40060 0
Detroit 0 $46370 0
Warren 0 $46370 0
Dearborn 0 $46370 0

Mississippi

     
Gulfport 50 $19370 2.48
Biloxi 50 $19370 2.48
Pascagoula 50 $19370 2.48
Jackson 0 $19100 0

Nevada

     
Reno 0 $52850 0
Las Vegas 280 $43570 2.4
Henderson 280 $43570 2.4
Paradise 280 $43570 2.4

New Jersey

     
Atlantic City 60 $54610 3.54
Hammonton 60 $54610 3.54

New Mexico

     
Albuquerque 100 $41740 1.97

New York

     
Albany 90 $39180 1.64
Schenectady 90 $39180 1.64
Troy 90 $39180 1.64
Buffalo 0 $32600 0
Cheektowaga 0 $32600 0
Niagara Falls 0 $32600 0
Binghamton 0 $36490 0

Ohio

     
Akron 40 $34910 0.93
Cleveland 260 $36830 1.95
Elyria 260 $36830 1.95
Columbus 60 $44100 0.5

Oklahoma

     
Oklahoma City 110 $33590 1.43
Tulsa 0 $41320 0

Oregon

     
Bend 40 $31370 4.31
Redmond 40 $31370 4.31

Pennsylvania

     
Pittsburgh 0 $35900 0

South Carolina

     
Columbia 0 $28140 0

Tennessee

     
Nashville 90 $38380 0.79
Davidson 90 $38380 0.79
Murfreesboro 90 $38380 0.79
Franklin 90 $38380 0.79

Texas

     
Amarillo 0 $34310 0
Houston 330 $42290 0.87
The Woodlands 330 $42290 0.87
Sugar Land 330 $42290 0.87
Dallas 660 $39550 1.56
Fort Worth 660 $39550 1.56
Arlington 660 $39550 1.56
Killeen 100 $28830 6.01
Temple 100 $28830 6.01
San Antonio 0 $39100 0
New Braunfels 0 $39100 0
McAllen 40 $34360 1.31
Edinburg 40 $34360 1.31
Mission 40 $34360 1.31
Waco 0 $26530 0

Utah

     
Provo 60 $37360 2.35
Orem 60 $37360 2.35
Salt Lake City 0 $47020 0

Virginia

     
Richmond 160 $36840 1.98

Washington

     
Seattle 120 $53720 0.51
Tacoma 120 $53720 0.51
Bellevue 120 $53720 0.51

Wisconsin

     
Madison 50 $36810 1.05
Milwaukee 0 $43120 0
Waukesha 0 $43120 0
West Allis 0 $43120 0
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

We currently do not have any stories for this career in our database.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Locksmiths and Safe Repairers

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

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
(2008)
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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Schools by State

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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