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Home > ADVICE AND TIPS (FAQS) > I’m Interested In Becoming a Locksmith What Should I Do?
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.
As the UK’s largest locksmith association we have put together this expert guide on everything you need to know about starting your career as a locksmith.
On this page, we will tell you what qualifications are required, how long it takes to become a locksmith to what start-up costs are involved.
It may be an understatement but one of the most popular questions we regularly get asked is the first question below:
It can take around 3-4 years to become a fully competent locksmith even after taking a 5-day training course. As a locksmith, you are always learning and need to keep up to date with new products and industry related standards changes such as lock standards.
The most popular & quickest way is by attending a beginner’s locksmith course where you learn from how to cut keys, setup key machines to opening & fitting locks.
We run a 5-day locksmith course perfect for beginners click here to see what you can learn during the week.
Some attendees set-up their own business immediately after taking our modular courses, gaining experience starting with small jobs and working their way up to larger projects.
The amount of time taken to become a locksmith may be reduced if you were previously a carpenter, joiner or someone with good dexterity/mechanical/electronic skills.
Those who don’t set up their own business go down the employed route or take on a role with as a trainee locksmith.
Please read our training FAQ page with over 25 questions answered related to our courses.
For those who are looking to become a car locksmith this area of locksmithing will require attending a training course for auto locksmiths which is a specific niche.
Inside our training headquarters at MLA HQ
Before you even start about becoming a locksmith there’s some research we recommend below:
Some areas are overpopulated with locksmiths and you may struggle to make it.
If you think the area can support the services of a locksmith then you should ask yourself the following questions:
There are so many facets to locksmithing and areas of specialization. Once the basics have been covered you need to create a locksmith business plan and be realistic with your costs!
The average salary of a locksmith can vary and is dependant on a locksmiths experience, as a ballpark figure you can be looking to earn the following:
The wage of a locksmith will depend on many different factors such as:
You could alternatively ask trading locksmiths about salaries in our training Facebook group.
Initial Training Course
Our beginner’s courses cost from £295 for a 1-day module to £1525 for our 5-day beginner’s course.
For specific prices of each course please see our training section for the prices of courses.
Once you have completed a course and should you decide to set up as self-employed you should think about the following:
A lot of the above will depend on what area of locksmith services you will offer.
Investment in equipment – Safe engineers will need to invest in scopes ( examining internal of safes ), auto locksmiths will require heavy investment in electronic programming equipment to deal with modern vehicles.
BE A SAFE CRACKER: We run a specialist 2 day safe opening course for anyone who wishes to open safes.
Talk to local locksmiths to see if any are looking to retire and sell the business in the near future – there may be a deal to be done where they can train you up and you’ll eventually have a business already with a customer base.
If you want to undertake a locksmithing course then again do your homework.
We run a range of training courses for beginners new to locksmithing.
Below are some tips to help you choose the correct training course for you.
What our training workshop looks like
Next we will cover how you can attend free training classes and seminars.
Yes we said FREE.
It’s worth talking to locksmith suppliers & manufacturers as they often run training courses, some of which may be Free.
Once you become a locksmith access to free training is available.
Read our free locksmith training course list here.
Those who become members of the MLA can attend free training classes at regional meetings across the UK, and also cheap training classes tailored to members.
There will be over 80 courses and seminars run at Europe’s largest locksmith in 2021.
30 courses will be free over the 3 days and there is even on vehicle training for those who want to learn to be auto locksmiths.
The Skills to be a locksmith range from as follows:
For the Skills you need to be a locksmith please click here some of our approved locksmiths reveal skills they use each day.
Yes, those who pass the MLA Exam will receive an Official OFQUAL Level 4 certificate in locksmithing.
This nationally regulated recognised qualification is run with the specialist awarding body ABBE (Awarding Body for the Built Environment).
Official OFQUAL Level 4 in Locksmithing Qualification
Most Recognised Locksmith Exam – The MLA exam (formerly BLI) is arguably the best-recognised exam based proof of competence currently available (and it’s not linked to taking a training course)
Taking the MLA Exam allows you to become a qualified master locksmith
To read about locksmith qualifications please see our qualification advice page for our expert opinion.
The quick answer is NO, read about qualifications to trade as a locksmith here.
There is currently no licensing for locksmiths in the UK, due to the government not wanting to increase the legislative burden on small businesses.
In Ireland, there is a government based licensing scheme run by the PSA.
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!
If you fancy getting a feel for what locksmithing is about and want to speak to fellow locksmiths and manufacturers, why not attend Europe’s largest locksmith exhibition for free in Oct 2021.
To read what’s it’s really like to be a locksmith, Craig from one of our Approved companies wrote about the day in the life of a locksmith, what job’s he attended & areas covered in the space on 24 hours.
>> Read the diary of a 24 Emergency Locksmith from one of our members.
If you are serious about becoming a locksmith you must do your research first.
Locksmithing in a life long career, not a trade you can learn quickly by taking a short training course.
If you have any questions get advice from the UK’s largest locksmith association.
Read through our becoming a locksmith FAQs covering all the important topics to anyone new to locksmithing.
What qualifications do I need to be a locksmith?
Skills To Be a Successful Locksmith – Tips from Trading Locksmiths
Locksmith Career Guide – 10 Quick Tips
What is the Best Locksmith Course for a Beginner?
I’m Interested In Becoming a Locksmith What Should I Do?
Do I need a qualification to trade as a Locksmith? – Official Statement
Our Locksmiths are criminal record checked.How we check our locksmiths
Our Locksmiths are Regularly Inspected.How we inspect our locksmiths
Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA exam.Read about MLA Exam here
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