What do you need to be a locksmith?
Do you want to be a locksmith?
Locksmithing is an extremely useful profession that won’t be going away any time soon. Even as the world transitions into digital and companies like Amazon want to eliminate practically everything in our pockets, a physical lock is difficult to improve upon.
Sure, these locks can be prone to sticking, breaking, and keys being misplaced but it’s not going to be hacked like in a bad sci-fi movie. Secure wireless locks do exist but have not yet become mainstream in homes, so for now, people may be looking to you, the skilled local locksmith. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to become a locksmith. Who knows, one day you may even be a member of the Master Locksmiths Association, much like those you can find on Local Heroes.
What do I need?
If you think you have what it takes then there are a few criteria that you’ll need to meet before you even start training. Naturally, you’ll need to have excellent practical skills as locksmithing is very much a hands-on job, you’ll be expected to work with your hands almost constantly so it’s no good if you’re the kind of person who struggles to fit flat pack furniture together.
You’ll also need to have a patient temperament, and an incredible attention to detail. After all, you’ll be working with keys, locks, and specialist tools, all of which require being able to work with small components with pinpoint accuracy. A good degree of problem solving skills is also a necessity as you will be expected to review and diagnose any possible problems and find the appropriate solution.
A locksmith needs patience, meticulousness and strong customer service skills
Lastly, you’ll also need good customer care skills, as a tradesperson deals with customers personally on a day to day basis. If you want to be successful you’ll need to ensure that you can relate to your customers and address any concerns they might have if you want to build a strong reputation.
The National Careers Service also recommends that some experience in carpentry or engineering may be beneficial for those looking to start locksmithing, although it is not essential. However, if you’re looking to get a head start then this might be something worth considering.
Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes but if you think you meet these standards then it’s time to move on to the next step and get yourself into a reputable training regimen.
Where do I start?
There are several places to start when considering becoming a locksmith. If you feel that you’re not cut out for the more academic routes, the simplest way is to contact nearby locksmith businesses and see if they allow trainees to train you on the job. You may find it harder to get into the trade this way as not every business is looking to take people on but it will reflect well on you, as it shows willingness.
Some local locksmith companies operate trainee schemes to train people on the job
Additionally, you can look to an apprenticeship or NVQ; this is much like training on the job, although you will be expected to attend college as well. An apprenticeship is certainly a more reliable way to get into the trade but it can take longer and you will be on an apprentice wage for the duration.
However, if you’re looking for a more academic route into the profession then the course worth looking at is the British Locksmiths Institute (BLI), a part of the Master Locksmiths Association. The course lasts roughly two months, and while there is no nationally recognised Locksmith qualification, the BLI is the most highly regarded. On the course they will teach you everything you need to know to become a safe, skilled, and successful locksmith.
Now that you know the basics of how to become a locksmith it’s time for you to decide which is the right path for you.
If you want to look for locksmiths in your area who may be interested in taking you on, be sure to search through Local Heroes and see what we can do for you. We’ve compiled some of the average prices for common locksmith jobs, giving you an idea of what you could expect to earn as a Local Heroes locksmith.
Locksmith tools are not cheap, when starting out, only purchase the tools you need
A word of warning: Many courses will try to sell you tools as part of the course, some of which can cost a small fortune! When you’re just starting out, it’s important that you only purchase those that you need. As long as you have the fundamentals it shouldn’t be a problem and once you’re more experienced and making your own money, then you can start to branch out into a more specialised tool set.