If you want to be a locksmith, you need to learn how to perform the job. While locksmithing is becoming more and more technically advanced, with many locksmiths branching out into smart locks and security systems, lockpicking remains a core aspect of the job. Here are the most common ways locksmiths learn how to pick locks.
Many vocational schools, community colleges, and locksmith associations offer diploma or certificate programs in locksmithing. You will learn to pick a wide range of locks, as well as other important skills such as making and duplicating keys. You will also learn the business and legal aspects of the job. A general locksmith training program may take as little as three months, while it could take as long as four years to complete a broad-based course of study that includes security systems, motorcycles, and other complex topics.
If you are more of a hands-on learner than a classroom student, you might be able to gain an apprenticeship. Although the apprentice system is less common than it used to be, many locksmiths are willing to provide this training. Most apprenticeships are unpaid, but they allow you to learn directly from a practicing locksmith.
You may be required to work full-time under a licensed locksmith for a year or longer before obtaining your license, depending on your state. This experience provides hands-on practice and additional skills training before striking out on your own. Unlike an apprenticeship, you will be paid for your services as a trained, though unlicensed, locksmith. If you completed an apprenticeship, you may be able to complete your work experience with the same company. If not, simply call around to local locksmiths. In many places, trained locksmiths are in demand, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a job.
Many states require locksmiths to be licensed, but licensing exams generally cover only the basics that you learned in school or at your apprenticeship. If you want to take your skills to the next level, consider studying for a professional certification. The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) recognizes four levels of certification: Registered Locksmith (RL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), and Certified Master Locksmith (CML). Preparing for these exams will hone your skills, and gaining certification will help you stand out as a professional in your field.
Although continuing education is not required to maintain your license, you can improve your lockpicking abilities by taking advantage of courses offered by locksmith associations, locksmithing schools, and even lock manufacturers. These courses are valuable throughout your career, as they will help you stay abreast of new trends in your industry and ensure that your skills stay razor sharp.
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If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, contact Texas Premier Locksmith today at (866) 948-8188.