If you see locksmithing as a future career, the first thing we recommend is doing your homework. Becoming a locksmith requires a lot of research. Read on below for some questions to ask yourself and as well as further reading on the topic of locksmith training and qualifications.
How to become a locksmith?
To become a locksmith requires taking a training course, the most popular choice is taking our 5 day beginners course which includes 4 modules split over 5 days where you learn about key cutting, picking locks to fitting locks. Other avenues include on the job training with companies who may be willing to take on a trainee.
How long does it take to learn to be a locksmith?
We say, it takes around 3 years to become a fully competent locksmith, most students setup their own business after attending our training courses, gaining experience starting on small jobs and working their way up to more larger projects. Meanwhile, some students go down the employed route.
Questions you need to ask yourself
1. Where will you be working?
Will you covering a certain radius of the area you in? or just concentrate on one specific area
2. Whats the market like?
I.e is the area a cash rich area, is your area a high crime area?
3. How many locksmiths are there in the area you’ll be working?
Some areas are over populated with locksmiths and you may struggle to make it.
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What area of Locksmithing should I Offer?
If you think the area can support the services of a locksmith then you need to think about:
- What services you will be offering?
- More importantly what services are required by the customers?
- Will you be doing domestic work or commercial
- Auto? Safes? Access Control? Electrical security etc.
- Will you be a 24 Emergency Mobile Locksmith?
There are so many facets to locksmithing and areas of specialisation that you can get into once the basics have been covered that you need to formulate a business plan and be realistic with your costs!
What is the average salary of a locksmith?
The average salary can vary from highly and is dependant on a locksmiths experience, as a ballpark figure you can be looking to earn the following:
- Trainee: £16,000
- Experienced: £20,000-£25,000
- Highly Experienced: £30,000
Thinking of taking a Locksmith Course?
If you want to undertake a locksmithing course then again do your homework. The MLA run a range of courses from beginners to advanced please see our Locksmith Training Courses page for details
- Speak to as many people as you can and try to get referrals from people who have undertaken courses previously to see what they think.
- Talk to the training provider (and visit their premises if possible)
- Find out the training providers background and the amount of experience they have.
- Are they trading locksmiths themselves enabling them to provide feedback “from the coal face”? It’s scary to note that some people set up as training companies after only recently having taken a short course themselves!
Is there a nationally recognised qualification for locksmithing?
Despite some interesting marketing there is still currently no nationally recognised qualification in locksmithing. This is something that the MLA has been addressing with the funding of the development of this qualification and associated apprentice scheme, we are proud to announce the UK’s first apprenticeship in locksmithing.
It’s also worth talking to suppliers as they often run training courses, some of which may be FOC.
Warning about training courses!
One word of warning relating to training courses – beware of courses that try to sell you tools. The tools you’ll need will very much depend on the type of work you’ll be doing and also the area of the country you’re based in. Locksmiths have cupboards full of shiny tools that have cost a small fortune and yet never been used.
Choose wisely once you know what you need, and some tools you may actually be able to make yourself. In other words – make sure you go in with your eyes wide open, it’s not as easy a profession as some training schools may have you believe!
READ The Diary of a 24 Emergency Locksmith from one of our approved company locksmiths
- National Careers Service – information on a locksmiths income, skills, working hours, entry requirements and much more…