Career Development

What Does a Locksmith Do?

Find out what a locksmith does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a locksmith.

Locksmiths are responsible for installing, repairing and replacing locks on a wide range of doors and other structures. They’re often called upon to open locked safes or vehicles in order to access valuables inside.

Locksmiths must be highly skilled with their hands and have an eye for detail. They also need to be able to think quickly on their feet—they may encounter situations where they need to pick a lock immediately, such as when someone is trapped inside a car or building.

Locksmith Job Duties

Locksmiths have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing locks on doors or windows to ensure security of homes or businesses
  • Opening locked doors, safes, or vaults for clients who cannot open them themselves
  • Repairing broken locks or replacing parts to make them work again
  • Installing security systems such as access control systems, alarms, intercoms, and panic buttons
  • Opening locks for individuals who have been locked out of their homes or vehicles
  • Determining the type of lock that is needed for a specific application. This involves measuring the door or window for which the lock is being installed or replacing an existing lock with a new one
  • Resetting combination locks or other advanced security devices used in businesses or other facilities
  • Installing new locks on doors or windows to prevent unauthorized entry
  • Installing high-security locks that cannot be picked or cracked using conventional methods

Locksmith Salary & Outlook

Locksmith salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional income through commissions or bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $84,000 ($40.38/hour)

The employment of locksmiths is expected to decline over the next decade.

The widespread use of electronic security devices, such as digital door locks and alarms, will limit demand for traditional locksmith services. In addition, the increasing popularity of mobile phone apps that allow users to remotely control access to their homes and businesses may reduce demand for traditional locksmith services.

Locksmith Job Requirements

Locksmiths typically need to have the following background:

Education: Locksmiths need a minimum of a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some locksmiths choose to pursue a two-year associate degree in locksmithing or security technology. These programs teach students the skills they need to install and repair locks, safes and other security devices.

Training & Experience: Locksmiths receive most of their training on the job. They often begin as apprentices and work under a master locksmith for a period of time. During this time, they learn the basics of the job, including how to install and repair locks, how to open various types of locks and how to make keys. They also learn how to use various tools and equipment.

Locksmiths can also receive training through the military. Military locksmiths learn how to open various types of locks, how to make keys and how to install and repair various types of locks. They also learn how to use various tools and equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Locksmiths must have a license to work in their field. While requirements vary by state, they typically require classroom training and an exam that tests knowledge of locks and security systems.

Locksmith Skills

Locksmiths need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Locksmiths use technical skills to install and repair locks, open safes and perform other tasks. Technical skills can include knowledge of tools, equipment and other resources that help you complete a task.

Communication skills: Communication skills are important for any job, but they are especially important for a career as a locksmith. Locksmiths must be able to communicate with their clients to understand their needs and explain the solutions they offer. They must also be able to communicate with other professionals, such as security experts, to ensure they are providing the best solutions for their clients.

Problem-solving skills: Locksmiths use problem-solving skills to find solutions to a variety of issues, including repairing broken locks, finding hidden keys and unlocking safes. They use these skills to help clients and ensure they’re satisfied with the work they do.

Physical fitness: Locksmiths need physical fitness to be able to lift heavy objects, climb ladders and work for long periods of time. Physical fitness can help them complete their job duties safely and efficiently.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with clients and customers. Locksmiths often work directly with customers, so customer service skills can help you provide quality service and maintain a positive relationship with your clients. You can use customer service skills to explain the process of a job, answer questions and solve problems.

Locksmith Work Environment

Locksmiths work in a variety of settings, including shops, factories, offices, and homes. They may be required to work in uncomfortable or cramped positions and to stoop, kneel, or crouch for long periods of time. Locksmiths may work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, and may be on call 24 hours a day. They may also be required to travel long distances to reach their work sites. Locksmiths may be exposed to hazardous materials, such as lead, and to dangerous situations, such as when they are called to open a lock that has been tampered with.

Locksmith Trends

Here are three trends influencing how locksmiths work. Locksmiths will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Smart Home Technology

The growth of smart home technology is a trend that is quickly changing the way we live. This technology allows us to control things like lighting, heating, and security from our phones or computers.

As more and more people install smart home technology in their homes, locksmiths will need to learn how to service and repair these systems. This includes installing new locks and providing keyless entry solutions.

More Focus on Cybersecurity

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to grow. Locksmiths can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in cybersecurity and developing skills that can help protect businesses from cyberattacks.

In addition to learning about cybersecurity, locksmiths should also focus on becoming familiar with current trends in hacking and malware. This will allow them to better identify potential threats and provide solutions to keep businesses safe.

A Greater Demand for Automation

The locksmith industry is seeing a growing demand for automation products and services. As more and more businesses move towards automated systems, locksmiths will need to adapt and offer services that support these systems.

This trend is likely to continue as businesses look for ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Locksmiths who are able to offer automation services will be in high demand and will be able to charge higher prices for their services.

How to Become a Locksmith

A locksmith career can be a great way to start your professional life. It’s a field with lots of opportunities for growth, and you can specialize in different areas as your skills develop. You could become a master locksmith, work on high-security locks, or even open your own business.

No matter what direction you choose, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques. Read industry journals and attend workshops and conferences. Network with other professionals in the field, and ask them about their experiences and advice.

Related: How to Write a Locksmith Resume

Advancement Prospects

Locksmiths can find advancement opportunities by becoming involved in the business side of the profession. Some locksmiths open their own shops, become security consultants, or start companies that manufacture or sell locks and other security devices. Some teach locksmithing at trade or technical schools.

Locksmiths with experience and training in electronic security systems can find advancement opportunities with companies that install and maintain these systems. Those with experience in safes and vaults can find positions with banks, jewelers, and other businesses that use these devices.

Locksmith Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that the safety and security of our customers’ homes and businesses are of the utmost importance. We’re looking for an experienced locksmith to join our team and help us provide our customers with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their property is secure. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of locks and security systems, as well as the ability to install, repair, and replace them. He or she will also be able to provide expert advice on the best security solutions for our customers’ needs.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • To install, repair, and maintain all types of locks, safes, vaults, and security systems
  • To be on call 24/7 to respond to emergency situations
  • To keep up to date with the latest lock and security technologies
  • To work closely with other security professionals such as CCTV operators and security guards
  • To liaise with police and fire services when required
  • To provide advice to customers on the best type of security for their needs
  • To carry out regular maintenance checks on locks and security systems
  • To make keys and duplicate keys when required
  • To install new locks and security systems when needed
  • To rekey locks when requested
  • To change safe combinations when needed
  • To troubleshoot problems with locks and security systems

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as locksmith
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving, and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Valid driver’s license

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in related field
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Experience working with commercial clients
  • Experience with electronic security systems

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