How to Become a Locksmith in Michigan

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To become a locksmith in Michigan, you must be competent in unlocking and repairing a variety of locks and locking mechanisms, such as traditional key entry locks, electronic key pad locks and key card locks. Some locksmiths specialize in opening electronic and traditional combination entry safes. Locksmiths may also be called to repair broken locks. Compiling a collection of common manufacturer and repair manuals helps make repairing locks easier.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Locksmithing tools
  • Surety bond
  • General liability insurance
  • Complete at least one year of vocational training in locksmithing from a community college or trade school. Coursework includes basic master keying, lock opening techniques, key duplication, impressioning and locksetting. Apprenticeships are occasionally offered by locksmithing companies. Either a high school diploma or a GED diploma or certificate is generally required to become an apprentice locksmith. Apprenticeships may last one to two years.

  • Purchase a locksmithing toolkit that includes basic tools, such as tweezers, screwdrivers, electric drills, files, clamps and lockpicks. You may also need to invest in a keycutting machine, welding equipment and repair and manufacturer manuals. This equipment typically costs between $2,000 and $6,000.

  • Purchase a surety bond and general liability insurance from a licensed insurance provider. This bond helps ensure that you will perform all locksmithing duties in an honest and fair manner. If sued by a third party, the state of Michigan may use this bond to pay damages and other costs. Contact the office of the Michigan secretary of state for more information about bond amounts. General liability insurance helps pay for damages to equipment and property or helps cover legal costs in the event of a lawsuit or settlement.

  • Apply for a Michigan sales tax license and business license if starting your own business. Contact the Michigan Department of Treasury at 517-636-4660 for more information.

Tips & Warnings

  • Join a professional locksmithing association such as the Associated Locksmiths of America Inc. Professional associations certify members to enhance their credentials and professionalism. For example, the association offers certification programs that test locksmithing knowledge. Certificates offered include certified professional locksmith, registered locksmith and certified master locksmith.
  • Contact your local U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training or the Michigan Department of Career Development to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in your area.
  • If you purchase a vehicle for company use, you must apply for a chauffeur's license or a commercial driver's license. Contact the department of Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles or the office of the secretary of state for more information.

References

  • Photo Credit check-lock door lock image by Pali A from Fotolia.com
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