The locksmith industry is growing rapidly and for each locksmithing project that you need to be completed, you can find dozens of locksmiths willing to help.
For this reason, choosing a professional that will offer you the best service for your money can be hard.
You should choose carefully the person you hire to make sure that you avoid being duped.
This article is designed to help you by bringing your attention to five important facts about this profession and some alarming signs that should alert you when the locksmith you hire is not trustworthy.
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Fact 1: Locksmith License is Required Only in 15 States
Out of 50 states, only 15 require locksmiths to possess a license.
This means that if you’re located in a state that is not included in the list below, you should be extra careful because you don’t have any formal guarantee that the person you hire knows what they’re doing.
Many states are overpopulated with locksmiths who have no formal training, and this makes it hard for people to decide what professional they should hire.
The 15 U.S. states that require locksmith licensure are:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
Several cities and districts also have special requirements for locksmiths.
- Hillsborough County in Florida
- Nassau County Long Island
- New York City
- Washington D.C.
Licensing requirements vary widely among these states; some states require that locksmiths hold a certificate and pass a locksmith exam, while others don’t have education requirements.
Even if you leave in a different region, you should request to see some form of identification before hiring a locksmith.
Fact 2: Locksmithing is Not Regulated in Most Countries
Even if these professionals are the ones who handle your locking systems and the ones who help keep yourself and your property safe from theft, many countries don’t regulate this profession.
This may seem like a surprise to many people who want to know that the people that help them improve their locks are trustworthy persons who are certified for this task.
While in some states of the U.S. and in Canada locksmiths need to undergo rigorous training and background checks before they are licensed, there are many countries and U.S. states that don’t have any regulations for this profession.
In states that don’t regulate this profession is easier for people to take advantage of those who need locksmith services.
Because they are not required to possess any certification, any person could pass himself or herself off as a locksmith.
Other states, besides the U.S. and Canada, where locksmithing is regulated are Japan, Poland, and Hungary.
Fact 3: Employment Rate Projected to Decline
In 2019, there were 21,100 locksmiths in the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this profession is projected to decline 8 percent from 2019 to 2029.
This means that in 2029 there will be 1,600 fewer locksmiths employed than in 2019.
As a customer, you may feel worried about this fact because it translates into fewer options for you to choose from.
Because job opportunities will be scarce, the competition will be strong and locksmiths who have a certificate or another credential are expected to find employment easier.
To prove their skills and to improve their employment prospects, many locksmiths may want to seek certification or licensure even if they don’t have to.
Because lock systems are becoming increasingly complex, locksmiths will need the ability to keep up with the latest technological advances by participating in continuing education classes.
This will also make it harder for inexperienced locksmiths to stay on the market.
Fact 4: Beware of Locksmiths Who Are Trained to Drill and Replace
Many locksmith business owners train their employees to drill and replace the lock before they do anything else.
Due to this fact, you may end up needing their services time and time again and pay a larger sum of money even if you’re problem wasn’t very serious.
Sometimes the locksmiths present you with the most expensive solution because this means more money for them.
In return, due to a simple problem that could have been solved in 15 minutes, you may end up paying for new lock and lock installation services.
If you find a locksmith that tries to remove the lock of your door before they do anything else, this usually means that they either try to scam or they have absolutely no idea about what they are doing.
When the lock is drilled it is usually destroyed beyond repair and you are forced to replace it with a new one and this is why this trick is sometimes used by dishonest locksmiths who try to trap their customers into paying large sums of money for simple tasks.
Fact 5: There is No Standard Price for Locksmithing Services
There is no set price for locksmith services and costs can vary widely depending on the locksmith you choose.
This is explained in part by the fact that the market is a niche one and locksmiths can specialize in different areas with various levels of complexity.
Prices may also vary depending on the state and the region.
Despite this, reliable locksmiths will usually be able to provide you with a rough estimate before they are hired and they will also give you updates about additional expenses as they go along.
It is hard for a locksmith to be able to provide you with a price estimate before they assess the situation themselves but if the locksmith you choose is willing to give you information about their manner of work and their prices, this could be a sign that they are a trustworthy person.
Fast Tips for Those Who Want to Hire a Locksmith
1. It is best to find a trustworthy locksmith in your area, one with whom you can establish a relationship based on trust and someone you can call each time you have a problem with your locks.
Because lockouts are unpredictable, you may find yourself in a desperate situation needing a fast solution and this is when you are most vulnerable to scammers.
2. If you live in a state that requires locksmiths to hold a license, then make sure you ask for the locksmith’s credentials before allowing them to start work.
Even if this can be hard to do while you are locked outside of your home or car, keep your calm and find all the relevant professional information about the person that you want to hire.
3. Make sure you receive a price estimate before accepting a locksmith’s help.
The operator should be able to provide you with a fixed price estimate before they dispatch a locksmith to your home or office.
4. Read articles that provide you with DIY lockout tips because you never know when this information can come in handy.
Even if you won’t be able to solve the problem yourself, having some idea about what should happen when you lock yourself out can help you determine if the person that is dispatched to your location is a professional or not.