How to Become a Locksmith: Career, Salary & Training
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How to Become a Locksmith: Career, Salary & Training

Some locksmiths even get involved in the installation and maintenance of electronic alarms and security systems. Training to be a locksmith will consist mostly of on-the-job training, and the states that require a locksmith to become licensed will require a set number of years of one-the-job training. If you need a transponder key, you’ll pay up to $400 and may need to order them from the dealership if a locksmith can’t make them. Expect to pay an additional trip fee plus the cost of the setup keys, which can easily double the price. Upgrading from a traditional lock to an electric lock costs around $150 per lock. Replacing an existing electric lock like-for-like will set you back roughly $60.

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Emergency services and evening services often allow the locksmith to earn a higher rate per hour. The minimum education for a locksmith is a high school diploma. When a locksmith’s services are used in these situations, a higher rate will be charged.

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You’ll need to pay for materials as well as labor if you require a new lock. Not all locksmith training courses are accepted by all states.

As in March 2023, you need locksmith licenses in 13 states, and two counties in Florida. To become a locksmith you first need to acquire proper licensing. The licensing verifications differ from state to state, so you will have to look up what your local guidelines are. The written examination can be very difficult if you are new to locksmithing or have not properly prepared. Some training courses will include additional information which may increase the price. It’s recommended that you start with a basic course in the event you are unhappy with the training.

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You may be aware that many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover locksmith fees. In case of times like this, brace for unplanned labor costs ahead of time. We advise you also verify the person you hire is insured to cover losses if your property is damaged during service. Tipping a locksmith is not expected, and it’s not common for people to give a tip to a locksmith who comes out to change or rekey their locks. Emergency locksmiths don’t expect tips either, and the fees they charge ensure they’re well compensated for attending your property during off-hours or on the weekend. When the locksmith arrives, look for verification of their identity. The locksmith company name should also appear on business cards, invoices, receipts, and other paperwork.

How to Find a Locksmith Near You – Don’t Get Fooled

If you’re good with tools and problem solving you can be a productive locksmith handling the majority of residential work in under six months. Rekeying locks is considerably more affordable than replacing them, at between $80 and $160 per lock. Rekeying involves the locksmith repositioning the pins in the tumbler so that you need a new key to operate the lock. The cost to replace locks is significantly more, at $80 to $300 per lock. Rekeying is different and more affordable than replacing the locks. When rekeying, a locksmith rearranges the pins in the cylinder, which changes the key.

If one lock has been compromised, you’ll need to replace any other locks that use the same key. Changing locks on your house usually costs $50 to $300, but  a service call after hours or electronic locks will increase that price. If any drilling is required during replacement, or if the lock is integrated into a handle, it will cost more to replace the locks.

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Also, the work environment the locksmith selects affects the salary. No matter which path you decide, to become a locksmith and proceed with training, you need to know that you will not have become a fully trained locksmith when basic lock training is done.

For example, you’re unlikely to find a 5-lever mortise lock on a standard, UPVC entry door; multipoint locking systems are often used with this style. Make sure they answer the phone with a specific business name, not a generic greeting such as “Locksmiths.” Ask them to verify their address, and request an over-the-phone estimate. A locksmith may be called out to change the locks in a home, repair locks, or get someone back into their home or car. Of course, this could vary depending on the type of lock and condition of the lock mechanism. This rate is affected by the state in which the locksmith works and their experience. The job growth outlook for a locksmith appears promising as it is expected to increase.

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