According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for locksmiths is expected to be much faster than average (see Resources). Currently there are over 26,000 of these professionals nationwide. Locksmiths typically open locks for those who can't gain entry into their cars or homes. They also make new keys and change locks. But to launch your career in this occupation, you must receive training, certification from your state and be bonded.
Find a locksmith training program. The Associated Locksmiths of America (see Resources) provides classes that will prepare you to become a locksmith. Once you have completed the program, you will earn certification. Coursework will cover how to create duplicate keys and a variety of other techniques needed to run your own locksmithing business.
Check with your state on licensing requirements. Some states require that locksmiths complete an application and pass an exam to gain licensure. Check the licensing and permits section of the state website; this is usually a direct link on the home page.
Find a bonding company. The Associated Locksmiths of America provides bonding insurance to locksmiths. You can also contact your state's licensing department for a list of companies that provide this type of insurance. Submit an application to a bonding company and consent to a background check.
Apply for locksmithing jobs with established companies. When starting out, most bonded locksmiths work for a company to gain experience. After a coupleof years, you'll have the experience needed to start your own shop. The Associated Locksmiths of America has a job board on its website.
Start your own locksmith shop. After getting a business license with your city, you can rent a small retail space in a business district and open up shop. Being bonded will make you more reputable with customers.
Tips & Warnings
- You can also become a locksmith by apprenticing with a trained professional. As long as you are state certified and bonded, it doesn't make a difference how you received your education.
- Check out scholarships for completing your locksmithing education. The Associated Locksmith of America offer scholarships.
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