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How to Become a Locksmith – Helpful Locksmith Training Tips

Have you ever considered how to become a locksmith? Are you fascinated by how locks work? Would you love to pursue a career tinkering with locks and keys? Would you like helping people to secure their homes and other property, or gain access when they get locked out?

students learning how to become a locksmith

If you answered yes to most of those questions, then you should definitely consider becoming a locksmith. This takes 5 basic steps –

  1. Formal locksmith training
  2. Work experience
  3. Licensing
  4. Professional certification
  5. Joining some professional organization


Formal Locksmith Training

Aspiring on how to become a locksmith, you must first undergo formal locksmith training to gain the skills necessary to thrive in the trade. This training is available at your local community college, vocational school or your state’s locksmith association. During the training, you will learn to;

  • Pick different locks
  • Repair locks whether on a residential or commercial building
  • Make duplicate keys
  • How to test locks after installation for safety
  • There are advanced courses in automotive locksmithing as well as legal/ commercial aspects of the craftsmanship.

There are locksmith training schools located all over the USA and world wide. Here is a list of locksmith training schools all around the world: Locksmithing Around The World.



Locksmith apprenticeship can also help you gain experience. This is an alternative to formal training and a few decades ago, it was the only way through which one could become a locksmith. On many occasions, apprentices aren’t paid but that shouldn’t discourage you as you gain valuable experience from a practicing and well-seasoned locksmith. It can take anywhere between 4 months and as long as 5 years – this depends on how complex the sector is – for one to be a fully fledged locksmith,


Gaining Work Experience

Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to work full time for at least a year before you become eligible to acquire a license.


In such a case, you should contact local locksmith organizations to find employment opportunities. If applicable, the business through which you had your apprenticeship should be a good starting point.



  • Licensing is meant to ensure that professional standards and consumer safety is upheld and locksmiths like many other professionals aren’t spared. While the requirements for licensing vary from one state to another the application process is more or less the same;
  • You submit an application to the licensing body.
  • You should pass criminal check.
    During this process, you may have to submit biometric data – fingerprints – for a criminal background check.

Contact your local locksmith association for any questions you may have about licensing.


Professional Certification

Associated-Locksmiths-of-America-logoEarning a certificate through the ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) helps you stand out as a professional in your field. In fact, a majority of clients look for certified locksmiths to help them out. The Registered-Locksmith (RL), Certified-Professional-Locksmith (CPL), Certified-Registered-Locksmith (CRL) and Certified-Master-Locksmith (CML) certifications are a big plus on your career. You can only get these if you pass an exam set by the ALOA.


Become a Member of a Professional Organization

Other than ALOA, your state may have organizations through which professionals pool together for legislative representation, insurance, industry bonding, welfare and other benefits. In fact, as a fresh-in-the-business locksmith, you will enjoy many benefits of joining a professional organization. For instance, you may get funding for a business start-up as well as mentorship.


Staying Fresh on the Game

The world is ever changing and nothing – including locksmithing – is being spared. To keep abreast with all developments in the field, you might also consider pursuing further education on your field.


Take advantage of any educational and advanced training camps provided by locksmith associations or lock manufacturers. There are more opportunities on offer for you the more informed you are. For instance, you begin as Registered Locksmith (RL) but in order for you to become a Certified-Master Locksmith (CML), you must undertake further training in the field.



Other Aspects of How to Become a Locksmith

That’s the key to becoming a locksmith (pun intended). Have fun while you make money as a locksmith. This is one profession where you get credit for your work. Please note that there are other aspects of learning how to become a locksmith that we are only going to mention. For example, the business side of the trade vis a vis marketing, book keeping and tax returns may require you to hire an assistant to help you outsource these sort of services which complement yours. Through experience, you should be able to figure out the tricks to help you make it as a master locksmith. The key is on your hand.


Basic Locksmith Training Video

Watch the video below to see the basics of a key mechanism and how it works.

Extra Resources on How to Become a Locksmith

  1. Working as a Locksmith
  2. Starting a Small Business
  3. Locksmithing – An Expanding Career
  4. Learning Strategies

1 Comment

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  1. Thanks for the article! I love how you give direct steps on how to become a locksmith. It was very interesting to see the amount of work that goes into learning how to become a locksmith, with things like formal training or gaining experience through and internship, the job must be quite intricate to learn. I was recently locked out of my car and was completely stressed about getting to work on time. I quickly learned that the intricate process of being a locksmith not only took skill but patience too. I really appreciate the insight you gave into becoming a locksmith, I hope to be more prepared next time I get locked out.

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