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How to Become a Professional Locksmith

How to Become a Professional Locksmith

Trade jobs are in constant demand today. With more people becoming teachers, doctors, and lawyers, fewer are becoming electricians, plumbers, and locksmiths. In fact, locksmithing is a lucrative industry more people could delve into if they knew how. Anyone interested in this field must know how to become a professional locksmith with proper schooling, work experience, and certifications.

Gain Training

Like any trade job, you must get trained in locksmithing. This includes knowing the different types of locks, lock picking techniques, repair locks, making and copying keys, understanding proper security installation, and more. Training and education take place in vocational schools or community colleges. Learn residential, commercial, and even vehicle locksmithing skills through various classes and workshops. You can find further training in apprenticeship programs where you train under an experienced locksmith. While this program might be unpaid, the knowledge, skills, and experience gained ensure you are qualified for the legal and technical locksmithing duties.


Some places require you to work for a certain amount of time before receiving the necessary licensing. In this case, work for at least one year before applying for a locksmithing license. This experience will give you leverage and some financial stability when applying for further credentials. Remember all the appropriate tools and lockpicking sets for the job.

Obtain Your Licensing

Then, obtain your locksmithing license. While not every union or professional organization requires it, this ensures you understand the safety and professional standards with locksmithing. Apply with the proper documentation and completed background check to qualify. You can also consult with your local locksmithing organization for information regarding your locality’s standards.

Earn a Professional Certificate

After all that, the next step to becoming a professional locksmith is to earn professional certification. Exams based on each level within the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) reward you with the appropriate certification. There are four current levels you can master: Registered Locksmith (RL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), and Certified Master Locksmith (CML). Having these certificates can make you stand out within the industry as qualified tradesmen.

Keep Learning or Join a Professional Organization

Finally, there are two options to further your credibility: education or work. Those who wish to further their skills and knowledge may continue their learning through apprenticeships, locksmithing schools, trade schools, or other accredited institutions. More importantly, further education helps you pass more certification exams which increases your credibility with customers. Of course, you must work sometime. Find local representation at a professional locksmith organization or union. Membership to these institutions can provide you with more education opportunities, legal representation, insurance, health benefits, job security, and more.

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