How to Know if a Career in Locksmithing is Right For You


The Skill Set Required:

  1. Adventurous– Every day is something new and exciting.
  2. Lifelong Learner– There are countless products, brands, and skills you must learn.
  3. Mechanically-Inclined– You must be comfortable working with all sorts of tools.
  4. Patient and Innovative– When troubleshooting, you have to keep your cool.
  5. Quality Background Check Results– You’ll want to be on the up and up if you’re learning how to break into things.

For Optimum Success & Opportunities for Promotions:

  1. Valid Driver’s License
  2. Clear Driving Record

In most states, the only difference between burglary tools and locksmith tools is a locksmith license. Before you purchase locksmith picks, bump keys, or car-opening tools, for anything other than personal use… make sure you’re in accordance with the law!

Look Up Your State’s Licensing Laws
California requires all locksmiths, even those just beginning, to have a locksmith license. There is no exam required for this process. This does involve a Department of Justice background check. You will be required to pay a fee and to complete paperwork and LiveScan fingerprinting. Once you submit your license application, you will be able to operate as a locksmith using the copy of your submitted application for up to 120 days or until you receive an approval/denial notice.

Connect with Local Locksmith Businesses Online or in Person
Look up the shops in your local area and visit. Ask the crew members what they enjoy about their jobs. What is frustrating? How did they get started? The business owner or hiring manager might be able to shed light on the hiring process and what they specifically seek out in applicants. Not every shop offers on-the-job training or opportunities to develop your skills and further your education.

Find a Motivator
Anytime you’re exploring a new opportunity, it is valuable to connect with a motivator. This can be a friend or family member, or it can be someone in the industry that you look up to. You have to have some sort of a relationship with this person, so they are able to encourage and support you on a regular basis. This will be essential to your success!

Find a School or Classes
Depending on where you live, you might be able to find training programs that will help you become a locksmith. There are many more continuing education programs for locksmiths rather than programs to get started. Before paying for an expensive online school, I’d begin the conversation with local employers and ask what they require upon hire.

Explore the State and National Associations
Most states have a statewide locksmith’s association which may contain resources for your journey. The larger organization is ALOA (Associated Locksmiths Of America). This is a great resource for professional networking, certification information, and ongoing education.


Published on: Jul 7th, 2016
© Katelyn Radtke, Give-A-Hoot

**Give-A-Hoot Content is for information-purposes only and is not a substitute for specific security consultations. It is always best to consult with a professional specifically for your unique situation.