One of the oldest professions in the world; locksmiths have been around since the Ancient Egyptian era over 4,000 years ago and they’re still around today helping people to gain access to their properties when they find themselves in a tight spot. As such a valued, historical and important job role, it’s no wonder that people are still looking to enter the industry!
Unfortunately, it’s a career path that often isn’t focused on as much as the other trades. This can leave wannabe locksmiths stuck with plenty of unanswered questions surrounding the qualifications needed, the career paths available, the skills it requires, etc.
So, to help anyone in this position, we’ve put together an Ultimate Guide covering everything you need to know and answering all your questions on How to Become a Locksmith. Let’s get stuck in…
What is a Locksmith?
A locksmith is a professional tradesperson who has the ability to repair, replace, and fit a wide variety of locks. Using a range of techniques, a locksmith will help you to gain access to your property in a non-destructive manner if you find yourself locked out, or you’ve lost your keys, etc.
Why Should You Consider a Career in Locksmithing?
Getting into the locksmith business is a great move for a number of reasons! Essentially if you’re looking for a trade that doesn’t require years and years of learning and training, yet still provides ample work opportunities, flexibility and a pretty good salary then locksmithing is the ideal career choice for you. Discover some of the biggest benefits to beginning your career as a locksmith below.
Always in Demand
As previously mentioned, locksmiths have been around for thousands of years. Surviving through major world events and economical crises, the services that a locksmith provides are always going to be essential. So long as there are locks – there will always be locksmiths!
You can rest assured, regardless of the time of year or even the economic state of the UK, that there’s somebody out there who needs the help of a professional locksmith. It couldn’t be further from a dying trade, with the number of people who use a locksmith increasing year on year.
The continued demand for locksmiths stems from both domestic and commercial customers. Homeowners who have locked themselves out, lost their keys, suffered a burglary, or moved house all require the helping hand of a locksmith. Plus, landlords often use the services of a local locksmith to change the locks for new tenants. Commercial customers in office spaces, shops, hotels and more, often rely on a locksmith to help keep their sites secure and gain access where necessary.
So, unless you’re based in the middle of nowhere, you can rest assured knowing that your locksmith services will always be in demand and therefore your job is secure.
Compared to other roles with fixed working hours, locksmiths benefit from an increased level of flexibility in their jobs. You can still expect to be working full-time with roughly 40 hours a week, but these hours can be spread across evenings and even weekends where suitable. Most locksmiths are able to choose their own working hours, and because most locksmith businesses offer 24-hour services you’ve got plenty of opportunities to distribute your 40 hours across.
This flexibility is often one of the biggest reasons why individuals decide to make the transition into locksmithing. A career in this industry provides you with a better work/life balance than most others, meaning you can work a full-time job around the most important things in your life and any other obligations you have!
Every Day is Different
If you’ve found that working in a corporate environment and carrying out the same tasks every day just isn’t for you, then moving to a career in locksmithing could be perfect! Because of the nature of the job, you’ll be assisting everyone and anyone who calls looking for your help.
The job of a locksmith can take you to new places and allow you to meet new people from all walks of life. Any time a customer calls, they could be suffering from a wide range of issues meaning you’ll never know what to expect. Because of this, no two days are the same; keeping you on your toes and interested in the work you’re doing for years to come.
How to Become a Locksmith
Convinced? We thought so! So how can you become a locksmith?
As there are no legal requirements involved in becoming a locksmith, there isn’t just one route you can go down. There are different paths that aspiring locksmiths can take in order to help them develop the skills and knowledge they require to carry out the role successfully – which is great as there are essentially no boundaries in place to stop anyone from becoming a locksmith!
Probably the most popular way of becoming a locksmith is to complete a Locksmith Training Course. Here at MPL, we provide locksmith training courses in a variety of formats to suit all requirements and levels of knowledge, including a 5-Day Locksmith Training Course.
In these courses, we cover everything you need to know in order to go out into the real world and offer your services to the public, including all sorts of locks you’re likely to encounter, the tools and equipment you’ll be using day-to-day, and methods for both destructive and non-destructive entry.
Of course, you can’t beat the real-world experience you’ll gain on the job, but completing a training course delivered by experienced and fully accredited locksmiths will ensure you have the knowledge and skills to get the job done, and a base to build upon.
Career Path & Progression for Locksmiths
Before attending a training course you’ll want to know if there’s any room for progression in the career of a locksmith. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of opportunities for growth and progression in the industry!
Once you’ve completed your basic training, there are tonnes of advanced training courses you can complete to further develop your knowledge and practical skills, including:
- Boarding Up Course
- Lock Installation Course
- Auto Locksmith Course
- Tilt & Turn Course
- Access Control Course
These additional courses are a great way to brush up on your skills and understand new techniques and technologies that emerge over the years. Plus, you might find you want to specialise in a particular area – i.e. auto locksmith services or access control.
Not all locksmiths will offer these specialist services, so it’s a great way for you to find your niche and fill a gap in the market!
Starting Your Own Locksmith Business
Upon completing their essential training, many locksmiths bite the bullet and go straight into creating their own businesses. While it can be challenging to start with, many of our trainees have gone on to experience huge levels of success with their business ventures – so it’s definitely possible!
Locksmith start-up costs are relatively low compared to other trades, you get to be your own boss and create a company you believe in, and you’ll likely earn more than you would working for another company (at least to begin with). Take Mehmet, a previous student of ours who completed our 5-day training course and went on to create a successful locksmith business; achieving a turnover of £60,000 in just his first year! Watch his story here.
Make sure to do your research before you get stuck in though; take a look at your competition in the local area and discover the services they offer. For more advice on starting your own locksmith business, check out our helpful article: How to Become Self-Employed After Your Locksmith Course.
Working for a Local Locksmith Company
If the thought of setting up your own business seems a little daunting, then there’s always the option of working for a local company. This is another common route for people entering the industry, as it removes the risks involved in starting a business while allowing you to gain real-world experience and learn from an experienced locksmith in the process.
Most local locksmith businesses are rather small in terms of team size, so it’s always handy if you already know someone in the industry who’s looking for an extra pair of hands! Once you’ve completed your locksmith course, reach out to locksmith companies in your area to see if they are looking to take on another member of staff.
Working as a Subcontractor for a National Locksmith Business
Lots of national locksmith companies looking to expand into new areas will look to employ trained locksmiths as sub-contractors, where you’ll be carrying out the services they offer in your local area under their name. This career path comes with its pros and cons…
For example, there are minimal risks involved and you’ll be subcontracted to a well-known company either locally or on a national scale. However, in some cases, pay tends to be lower than those working for themselves. Subcontractor work can vary from working for national locksmith companies who sub work out in all areas of the UK to obtaining work from your local estate agent, for example.
The locksmith career path you end up following will ultimately be down to you and what you’re looking for in a job, but it’s great to know that there are multiple avenues you could venture down after completing your training. We always recommend getting a good mix of subcontract work, as well as covering your own private work to gain valuable experience.
What is the Average Locksmith’s Salary?
The answer to this question will depend upon the route you go down, i.e whether you’ve started your own business or you’re working for someone else. Typically working for yourself offers the biggest benefits salary-wise, which is why most of our students choose this option.
Your yearly wage will also depend upon experience, whether or not you offer any specialist services and if you go down the self-employed route or you’re employed by a company, so it’s hard to say. A number of our previous students have gone on to take on their own staff – a great way to increase turnover and profits, thereby increasing your yearly salary.
Another factor involved in a locksmith’s salary is the area you’re based in. Different parts of the county will have different material costs, as well as labour charges, so you could be making more than the average locksmith if you’re in a particularly affluent or busy area.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Locksmith?
As previously mentioned, entering the locksmith industry is considerably cheaper than most other trades. However, there are some costs involved that you simply can’t avoid.
The main costs involved in becoming a locksmith are:
- Purchasing a locksmith training course
- Buying essential tools
- Purchasing stock and equipment – i.e. replacement locks and parts
- Buying, running and maintaining a work van
Here at MPL Locksmith Training, we work hard to keep prices low which allows us to offer affordable locksmith training courses to all. Plus, we also offer exclusive discounts on all tools and products from the MultiPointLocks shop to help you get started.
What Hours do Locksmiths Work?
Most locksmith businesses operate a 24-hour working day, as people require locksmith services at all times of the day and night. Because of this, you can expect to work evenings, weekends, and even nights; however, this will depend on how many people are in your team and the hours they can work.
Unless they want to work part-time, most locksmiths will work full-time. But it’s important to remember that it’s a reactive market and so your shift patterns will naturally vary due to demand. This is a positive for many as you can work around yourself and your other commitments.
What Qualifications do I Need to Become a Locksmith?
While there are no specific qualifications you must hold in order to practise as a locksmith, it’s vital to complete a fully accredited locksmith training course. Not only will this allow you to develop the knowledge and practical skills to offer locksmith services to your customers, but you’ll also be able to market yourself as fully accredited by a recognised body. We offer a 5-day Specialist Locksmith Training Course that is City & Guilds accredited; upon completion, you’ll receive a City & Guilds certification, an NCFE Level 3 Accreditation and an MPL Certificate!
What Makes a Good Locksmith?
Wondering if you’ve got what it takes to begin your career as a locksmith? While anyone can carry out a locksmith training course and become a locksmith, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll succeed in the industry. For example, you might have the technical skills and knowledge to change a lock but if you can’t talk to customers then maybe a career in locksmithing isn’t for you.
The following skills and qualities are all particularly useful for an aspiring locksmith to have:
- Eye for detail
- Problem solving
- Honest and respectful
- Customer service
- Valid UK Driving License
- Willing to market your company
If this sounds like you – great! If not, then you’ve got some areas to improve upon before starting your locksmithing career. Don’t forget, a lot of this will improve with experience and time, so don’t feel disheartened. These are simply qualities that we’ve found are pretty consistent across all the candidates we’ve trained who have gone on to have a long and successful career in locksmithing.
Start Your Locksmith Career
For all your Locksmith Training needs, you can trust MPL Locksmith Training. Book your course now to get started, or contact us today with any questions we’ve left unanswered and a member of the team will be happy to help!