If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a locksmith, it’s well worth doing your research beforehand. There are a few things to consider, including how to kickstart your career with the different training options available, as well which route to take further down the line. That being said, once you’re satisfied that a you’ll be happy working as a locksmith, you can expect a rather successful career, wherever it takes you.
We’ve provided plenty of information here, on what it takes to become a professional locksmith, as well as additional things to consider for the future to be able to make the most of your new career.
Is there a nationally recognised qualification available?
There are no legal requirements to practise as a locksmith within the UK, however getting accredited with a scheme such as City & Guilds, who only allow centres with the best training standards to offer their qualification which is recognised across the world and backed by a Royal Charter, will be helpful in showing the level of your skills to either potential employers or customers.
We would absolutely recommend taking part in a training course before offering your service to potential customers, as this will help you to build a solid reputation for doing a good job.
The decision between employed or self-employed
The majority of students that we train choose to take the self-employed route of locksmithing. By taking the self-employed route you’re able to undertake a wide variety of work, including but not limited to:
- warrant and repossession work (often a good continuous source of work)
- work from local estate and letting agents who are looking for a local, reliable and knowledgeable locksmith service
- insurance companies (often dealing with break ins, burglaries and general repairs)
- police forces
- local authorities
Whilst the self employed route can be extremely lucrative, as with any new business it’s important that you’re prepared to be aggressive with your marketing and hunt for work when you first start out. Here at MPL we cover a wide range of marketing topics on our locksmith courses in order to give you the best possible start.
The costs associated with being a locksmith
Unlike a number of other careers, there are some costs associated with working as a locksmith, which is a rather important consideration before choosing whether or not to pursue this career.
Firstly, there’s the cost of training and learning the skills to carry out your day to day jobs. This is a one-off cost, but you may need to pay for another training programme if you choose to become more specialise further on down the line.
Then there’s the cost of your tools and stock, from locks, hinges and handles, to lock picks, screwdrivers and chisels, to name a few. These form the base of your job and, without then, it’s impossible to be able to work as a locksmith. Make sure you have the financial backing to invest in the appropriate tools and stock before investing in training.
A particularly large cost is the vehicle you will need to head from one job to another, and that includes:
- The cost of the vehicle
- Tax, MOTs or servicing required
Having access to a vehicle is an imperative part of any successful locksmith’s job, so make sure you will be able to provide this for your own benefit.
You may also want to consider marketing or advertising, especially as a self-employed locksmith, which will help to promote your business and get your name out there. These promotional tactics can be costly at first, but the return on investment may well outgrow the cost.
Key business decisions to make as a self-employed locksmith
Starting your own business as a locksmith can provide plenty of work and a well-earned salary year after year. Although it takes a lot more time and effort to succeed in, it’s well worth the investment once your business is successfully up and running.
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a self-employed locksmith, there are a number of factors to consider whilst building your business model:
- Is there a specific locksmithing niche in your area that hasn’t been exploited? For example, are crime rates high or is there a lot of development occurring in the region? Whilst there is a constant demand for locksmiths in all areas of the country to service the repair market, there can be great opportunities in further specialism such as auto or safe locksmith services.
- Will you cover a certain aspect of locksmithing or will you want to offer a variety of different services? With additional training, you could see yourself working on safes, car security and electronic key card locks, for example.
- Are you willing to offer a 24-hour service or would you rather limit yourself to more sociable hours? Bear in mind that you may have a few competitors in your local area who offer a 24-hour service.
- How do you plan on winning your first few customers and how will you grow your business over time? Having an in-depth plan in place will give your business a much bigger chance of succeeding than if you were to take it as it comes. We provide plenty of advice and guidance on how to market your business, as part of our locksmith training services.
Last but certainly not least, it takes plenty of desire, determination and ambition to make it as a successful locksmith, along with a friendly and approachable personality. If you’ve considered all of the above and think you have what it takes to pursue a career as a helpful professional in the field, why not get in touch with us and book your spot on one of our training courses?