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How to become a locksmith

Posted on : May 1, 2018

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.

See our post on why locksmithing is a great career choice for 2018

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

It’s wise to think about your career pursuits earlier rather than later, including whether you want to pursue a career as a locksmith in an employed or self-employed position. There are pros and cons to each path and the route you choose to take depends entirely on your own individual preferences:

Whilst working as a self-employed locksmith takes more time, cost and effort to build a solid business up from scratch, you’ll also find it a much more lucrative career path over time. However, if you’re looking to make a steady income from the off, with little investment involved, a career as a locksmith in employment might be the better option for you.

Research suggests that the average salary for a self-employed locksmith if around £27,381, whereas for an employed locksmith, the average salary lies around the £23,000-24,000 mark. Of course, these are just averages and you might find that some self-employed locksmiths earn much more or vice versa, especially if they are more specialised.

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
  • Fuel
  • Tax, MOTs or servicing required
  • Insurance

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:

  1. Which area of the UK will you host your business in and is there a lot of demand for locksmiths in that areas? For example, are crime rates high or is there a lot of development occurring in the region?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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