To be successful in locksmith school, you need to be both precise and creative at problem solving. Locksmiths have many tasks which include providing advise for home and business security, selling and installing locks and other safety devices, and repairing and making keys and locks. They also spend time making replacements for lost keys, cutting keys, and programming safety codes to safes and safety doors. They also create new master key systems for businesses. Trade schools and technical colleges teach future locksmiths how to use various tools and how to take safety mechanism apart and replacing worn and broken parts. If you are looking to become a locksmith at Penn Foster you will learn how they work and how to troubleshoot and repair them. Much of a locksmith’s work is on-call as they work mostly to install security systems and re-key locks for residential and commercial customers. Locksmithing courses are often offered in technical and vocational colleges. With a Diploma in Locksmithing, you can work toward this goal.
Locksmith Education and Training
The classes you take in locksmith school can range from several days to a few months depending on where you do your training. In locksmith training generally you would take courses in:
- Safety and stock handling
- Hand and power tools
- Lock and key theory
- Master keying
- High security locks
- Electrical theory
- Safe deposit locks
- Safes and vaults
- Night depositories
In addition you can chose from a variety of existing education programs. Many programs allow you to complete your program of study through flexible programs, studying where and when they want to. Good grades in math, English and science, and extra training in welding, electronics, carpentry, electronics, and metalworking is an asset. Many employers require an apprenticeship to be completed. An apprenticeship program is comprised of 6,000 hours of on-the-job and in-school training. The in-school component is comprised of 2 eight week blocks of courses.
The main job of locksmiths is to adjust, install, repair, and open malfunctioning locks or locks with lost keys. Locksmiths also make keys and change lock combination. For the most part, locksmiths work in locksmith shops and many run their own small locksmithing businesses. In addition, some hardware stores, department stores, and home improvement stores often hire trained locksmiths.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics places locksmiths and safe repairers in the same category. Some locksmiths work for manufacturers of safes and locks, and industrial plant, government agencies, and maintenance departments at colleges, universities, hospitals, large businesses and other institutions and are usually under either the public safety department, security department, or maintenance and repair department.
Locksmiths with a knowledge of electricity and electronics install and repair alarm system in addition to their other duties. Also some some who graduate from locksmith school and other trade schools have the responsibility making master keys for large businesses and those with knowledge of electricity and electronics install and repair alarm systems and safety systems.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The average locksmith salary is about $35,000 a year. Some locksmiths learn their trade through on-the-job training although most states require locksmiths to be licensed. Working as a trainee at a lock shop you can earn anywhere from $6.00 to $28.00. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a 7%-13% percent in the employment of locksmiths is expected between 2008 and 2018. The median annual wage of a locksmith was $34,460 in 2008 (BLS). With credentials from a locksmith school, the employment outlook is good for locksmiths who are able to install and repair electronic alarm systems.
Locksmithing and Safe Repair Programs
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