How to Become a Locksmith (With Development Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to help keep people and their property safe, learning how to become a locksmith can help you turn your interest into a career. Locksmiths build, repair and install locks. They improve security for individual and business clients. In this article, we explain how to become a locksmith and note the skills and tips that may help you secure a locksmithing job.

How to become a locksmith

A Certificate III in Locksmithing is the minimum qualification for anyone who wants to know how to become a locksmith. Most locksmiths earn this qualification while developing their skills through an apprenticeship program. They then satisfy the legal requirements of their state or territory. Here are the steps most people follow to become locksmiths.

1. Finish year 10 of high school

Completing year 10 of high school is the minimum requirement for vocational education. You may like to stay in high school until the end of year 12 to earn your secondary school certificate. This qualification can help distinguish you from other locksmith job applicants. Studying metalwork in Years 11 and 12 provides good basic training for locksmith apprenticeships. This high school course may help you develop your motor skills and feel comfortable using the tools locksmiths use.

2. Complete a locksmithing apprenticeship

You can usually apply for a locksmithing apprenticeship after completing Year 10. You may start a school-based apprenticeship or leave school and become a full-time apprentice. You can also look into a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways – Locksmithing. Apprenticeships take four years of full-time training. Apprentices learn from a qualified locksmith while studying for their Certificate III in Locksmithing. The programs teach apprentices how to install and build manual and electronic locks and master key systems and perform security inspections. You can apply for an advertised apprenticeship or ask your local Apprenticeship Network or Group Training Organisation provider to connect you with a locksmith.

Related: What is an Apprenticeship?

3. Get your general construction induction card, for construction roles

A general construction induction card allows professionals to work on construction sites legally. This is sometimes called a white card. You may consider applying for this card if you plan to install or repair locks on buildings in progress. You can prepare to get your card by enrolling in the Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry course, available through registered training operators. After successfully completing the course, the official safety body in your state or territory issues your white card. While each state and territory has its own white card, they are nationally recognised.

4. Get private security registration for security installation

Private security registration lets locksmiths install security systems legally, such as the safes and vaults many locksmiths install. A business registration may cover you, but registering yourself can give you an advantage over other job candidates. Some businesses also prefer to hire locksmiths with individual registration. You may apply for private security registration through your state or territory's police or business body, depending on your location. An application may involve submitting photographs and fingerprints to check your identity and character.

5. Apply for locksmith jobs

Once you have the relevant education, training and licences, you can apply for locksmith jobs. If you showed good locksmith skills, the locksmith you served your apprenticeship with may offer you a full-time position. You may also apply for locksmith jobs with other companies that interest you. When you highlight your passion for locksmithing and key apprenticeship achievements it can help your job application stand out. A business may check your police record and background to ensure you are of good character before offering you a position. You may also decide to become an independent locksmith and start your own business.

6. Invest in professional development

The security industry constantly evolves with new products and lock standards. The most successful locksmiths take time to learn about changes within their sector. Locksmith trade associations offer their members professional development opportunities that can help you stay up-to-date.

Related: Professional Development Opportunities: Definition and FAQs

Top development skills for locksmiths

Strong technical skills help locksmiths create, install and maintain the most secure locks. The most successful locksmiths have strong soft skills which help them serve their customers better. You may want to focus on developing the following skills to secure a locksmithing position:

Motor skills

Good motor skills help locksmiths use tools and perform tasks accurately. A locksmith with good motor skills can efficiently create the most secure locks and install them quickly to improve security fast. They also apply their motor skills to repair locks with minor damage and restore their security credentials. Excellent motor skills also help locksmiths open locks when customers misplace the original keys.

Security industry knowledge

Locksmiths understand the regulations that are relevant to their industry. This understanding helps them comply with security standards. They also monitor industry trends to make sure they update their skills as needed and use the most effective security solutions.

Interpersonal skills

Customers often approach a locksmith after an unauthorised person entered their home or business. This experience can be very stressful and scary for customers. A locksmith with good interpersonal skills can help customers feel calmer and confident that they can resolve the issue. Locksmiths that make customers feel better about their security may attract repeat business or positive referrals.

Related: Why Interpersonal Communication Is So Important at Work

Customer service

Serving customers better is a key concern for successful locksmiths. They take pride in the work they perform and ensure their lock builds, installations and repairs are of the highest quality. They understand that high-quality work helps keep their customers and their property safe. Customers are also happy when they feel their locksmith delivers quality products and services. If customers feel dissatisfied for any reason, successful locksmiths strive to find solutions to keep them happy.

Problem-solving

Customers typically approach locksmiths with their security needs and an approximate budget. Locksmiths use their problem-solving skills to design security systems that meet their customers' needs within their budgets. Locksmiths face new customers with different requirements every day. Their strong problem-solving skills can help them adapt to these new requirements and think creatively to find the right solutions.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Verbal communication

Locksmiths use verbal communication skills to understand the issues their customers face. Understanding customer concerns and any limitations, such as budgets, helps locksmiths find the right security solutions. Active listening techniques may help locksmiths ensure they understand the information that customers share. If they feel any part of the brief is unclear, they ask smart questions to clarify customer requests. Locksmiths use their verbal communication skills to explain their findings to customers and any issues they encounter. As locksmiths understand locks more than most customers, they simplify their explanations to make them more accessible.

Self-management

Locksmiths often work independently on tasks for customers. Strong self-management skills help them stay motivated and productive throughout their shifts. Self-management skills can also help them to arrive punctually to the place of business and customer appointments. When they are punctual and productive, employers and customers learn they can trust the locksmith to be reliable.

Tips for becoming a locksmith

The following tips can increase your chances to secure employment as a locksmith:

Get additional locksmith qualifications

The minimum educational requirement for a locksmith is the Certificate III in Locksmithing course. While this qualification allows you to become a locksmith, it is the same qualification most of your competitors have. Completing extra locksmith courses helps to deepen your knowledge, so it may give you an advantage over other job candidates. A Certificate III in Locksmithing is a prerequisite for most locksmithing courses run by locksmith associations and independent training providers. Many courses are short, taking just a week or two to complete.

Expand your skills

The most valuable locksmiths can confidently work with a wide range of security systems, including alarms, electronic access control, home automation systems and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Locksmiths who can cut keys and install and secure safes and vaults are also in demand. Expanding your skills so you can provide a variety of security services may set you apart from other applicants and make you more attractive to employers. If you plan to become a self-employed locksmith, developing business skills such as financial management and marketing may increase your chances of success.

Join a professional association

Joining a professional association such as the Master Locksmiths Association, Australian and New Zealand Locksmith Association, Australian Locksmiths Association or the Locksmiths Guild of Australia is optional. Members enjoy many perks though, including access to professional training opportunities and networking events. Membership in professional organisations also shows you meet high professional standards. As these organisations are national, membership may help you secure a locksmith job anywhere in the country.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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