Locksmiths do much more than open locks for people who have mislaid their keys (or locked them in their car); they also open, repair, adjust, and install locks on doors and safes, as well as make keys, change locks, and even install alarm systems. Locksmiths must be knowledgeable of a wide array of locks and other protective devices. Many choose to acquire this expertise in online locksmithing certificate programs.
Those who decide to take online locksmithing courses can expect to earn a certificate in less than one year. Most programs combine classroom lectures and hands-on lab work. Certificate holders are well versed in a variety of locks, including home and automobile locks as well as high-security systems. According to estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 17,090 people were employed as locksmiths in May 2014.
The typical online locksmith course, where most professionals learn their craft, only requires a high school diploma (or equivalent) and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Generally, a good locksmith program will take two semesters to complete. Usually, coursework in key identifying, cutting, and duplicating will be required, as will at least one course on picking locks, making master keys, and installing locks and other systems. Since many locksmiths run their own businesses, a course on entrepreneurship is often offered.
What's Next for Locksmithing Certificate Holders?
Most locksmiths either work for small businesses or operate their own. These professionals typically work out of small shops and perform the bulk of their work at people’s houses and commercial establishments. In the locksmithing field,the average annual salary was $40,620 in May 2014.