How to Become a Locksmith in Arkansas

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How to Become a Locksmith in Arkansas

Individuals who enjoy working with their hands and solving puzzles might enjoy a career as a locksmith.

You can get started with just a high school diploma and earn a starting salary of about $32,000.

You could attend a vocational school while in high school to earn the required certification or you could attend one of these short programs after high school.

Unless you take the course while attending high school though, you must have a GED or high school diploma.

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Steps to Become a Locksmith in Arkansas

You can complete the initial training for a locksmith in less than one year.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Graduate from high school or earn your GED.
  2. Complete an introductory locksmithing course which typically includes necessary equipment and tools.
  3. Obtain locksmithing certification from Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).
  4. Pass a background check and drug screening.
  5. Get hired as a locksmith’s apprentice.
  6. Complete the apprentice training, which requires six months to two years.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

The state of Arkansas has no licensing requirements for locksmiths.

You must obtain your high school diploma and apprentice with a locksmith.

If you move to another state, you may need to obtain a license.

In the US, 15 of the 50 states require a locksmith license.

Arkansas is not one of them.

Locksmith Programs


Choose from an in-person or online program.

You will need to travel to take a locksmithing course in person.

Four times per year, the national guild, ALOA Security Professionals Associations, Inc., holds a training session outside of the national conference and it also offers training at the national conference.

The locations of these vary with recent ones including Kentucky and Texas.

The organization does not provide cost information on its website.

You must register for training to learn its cost.

You can apply for scholarships that cover all or part of your tuition.

The in-person programs require only a week to complete, learn more here.

Ashworth College

Ashworth College offers a range of options in the length of its locksmithing course.

You can complete it in as little as four months online or take up to one year to finish it.

You earn a career diploma while spending little money.

The full program with all books, fees, and supplies included costs less than $1,000.

If you pay for the full course in a single payment, you pay $699.

If you use the monthly payment plan of $50 per month, you pay a total of $899.

The school lets you create your payment plan.

If you can only afford a $1 down payment on the program, they will require a $50 payment for 17 months with a final payment of $48.

The college’s mission, it says, is to provide “an affordable, accredited education.


Udemy classes do not teach traditional locksmithing for business.

They cover lockpicking.

That is not the same thing, but they do provide an affordable starting point to see if you enjoy the topic matter.

At about $15 per course, you can take a class to see if you like it.

The online school offers five courses with new ones added regularly.

That is because individual instructors with lockpicking skills create the classes to pass along their knowledge.

A Locksmith’s Salary

You will make just under the median income in the US as a locksmith in Arkansas.

In the US, the 2021 median salary for a locksmith ranges between $46,898 and $60,939 with a midpoint of $54,059.

Location influences how much you earn as does education, certifications, related skills, and years of experience.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Little Rock $50,027
Fort Smith $47,220
North Little Rock $50,027
Fayetteville $49,194
Jonesboro $49,718
Pine Bluff $48,383
Springdale $49,194
Conway $49,540
Rogers $48,903
Hot Springs $49,540

Regional Salary in Arkansas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR40$38,990$18.74$60,730$28,740
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Locksmiths and Safe Repairers, OCC Code 49-9094, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a felony conviction and become a locksmith in Arkansas?

You cannot have a conviction and pass the background check that locksmiths require of their employees.

This is not a state requirement, but a recommendation from ALOA that its members follow.

How can an Arkansas locksmith increase their salary?

While you work for another party, you will earn the hourly wage that the company pays.

You can qualify for raises by completing additional training and continuing education credit hours.

As you amass experience, you also increase your salary level.

Learning automotive locking mechanisms, residential, commercial, and industrial locks will also increase your value to your employer.

When you open your own business, you can offer courses to teach locksmithing.

You would need the experience and training for this, something that master locksmiths offer.

A master locksmith typically has their certification, six years experience at a minimum, and conversant knowledge of all four lock specialties.

You could also offer security consulting services to help businesses and homeowners design safer environments.

What tax laws apply to an Arkansas locksmith?

In Arkansas, a locksmith must adhere to the Gross Receipt Sales Tax law, which combines Arkansas and local tax.

The sales tax your business charges depends on the location of your business’s service provision.

That means if you helped a homeowner regain access to their house in Hope, AR after they locked themselves out, you would combine the local sales tax value of Hope with the Arkansas state sales tax to determine the percentage of sale tax.

If you helped a teen locked out of their car in Ft. Smith, AR, though, you would charge the local sales tax in Ft. Smith combined with the state sales tax.

This is true even if your business is located in Little Rock.

You also must obtain an Arkansas Sales and Use Tax Permit before you open your business.

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