If you have ever locked yourself out of your house or lost your keys, chances are you have used the services of a locksmith. Locksmiths circumvent locks to help people locked out of their homes and cars get back inside, and also install and configure lock systems. If you are interested in being a locksmith in Ontario, you will not need any formal certification, but you will need training. Although locksmithing is not a regulated profession, service companies will not hire you without the proper experience and clients will soon figure it out if you do not have the training to promise quality workmanship.
Complete your high school diploma. According to Working in Canada, a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for many trade professions, including locksmithing. While in high school, speak to your guidance counselor about the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). Through this program, you can begin learning about locksmithing while still in high school and you won't need to pay any apprenticeship charges. Your guidance counselor can help you find an employer that will take you on and instruct you in the locksmithing trade. These co-op placements count as credits towards your high school diploma.
Contact potential employers if you have already finished high school and have not had the opportunity to participate in OYAP. You need to find your own apprenticeship placement to get started with locksmithing. Locate a locksmith willing to take you on as an apprentice. You can also use some of the online employment resources suggested by Employment Ontario.
Contact your local Government of Ontario apprenticeship office to make an appointment with a government consultant once you have found a potential employer. The consultant will explain what your responsibilities are as an apprentice and any courses that you need to take as an apprenticed employee. Use Employment Ontario's website (see Resources) to find the apprenticeship office nearest you.
Complete your training period and courses, whether you started your training with OYAP or you became an apprentice after high school. Finishing your apprenticeship usually takes about two to three years in total. Those in high school will work part-time to begin with and will transition to full-time employment. Apprentices who start after high school will work full-time. Apprentices will break locks and install new locks and security systems under the tutelage of an experienced locksmith. You will also do some formal coursework.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider registering with The Association of Ontario Locksmiths (TAOL). The organization offers networking opportunities and many consumers use the site to seek out reputable providers of locksmithing service in Ontario.
- Revisit your skills every year or so and consider whether or not you might benefit from additional training to expand your work opportunities. TAOL's Academy of Locksmithing offers a number of courses on how to deal with different kinds of locks, how to install and disable access control systems and alarms and other professionally-relevant topics.
- Photo Credit lock image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
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