A locksmith not only helps people get back into their homes or cars after they’ve locked themselves out. They also have the skills to repair, install and perform maintenance work on a wide variety of mechanical and electronic locks. Locksmiths also cut keys for locks, so they need to know how to use key cutting machines. Students who receive formal locksmith training at a community college or a vocational technical school will learn these and other skills that will be needed on the job.
An aspiring locksmith should work to develop hand-eye coordination and spatial skills early on. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, basic electronics, and physics will be helpful. A high school diploma is typically required for vocational/technical training (e.g., and a specialty school or community college) and for entry-level locksmith positions. On-the-job training working with an experienced locksmith may also be helpful or necessary. Such apprenticeship training can be done along with classroom training.
Depending on the state, a locksmith license or certificate may be required to work as a professional locksmith. This will usually require passing a background check and an examination. Professional locksmith organizations, such as the ALOA, may be a good resource for license and certification requirements.