How to Become a Locksmith in Iowa

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How to Become a Locksmith in Iowa

There is a career that is always in demand, and with security being a large issue in Iowa, locksmiths are in demand as well.

Being able to properly secure your home, business, storage unit, vehicle, or anything else of value is done by a locksmith.

As a locksmith, you are responsible for not only installing a variety of locks but replacing them when they are damaged.

You can also be called around the clock, seven days a week, for emergencies.

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This job is essential for your community, especially as security becomes a growing need for residents and business owners.

Keep reading for more information on locksmiths in Iowa.

Steps to Become a Locksmith in Iowa

If you want to become a locksmith in Iowa, there are a couple of steps you need to take.

Purchase the appropriate tools for your business including the following most common needs:

  • Lock by-pass tools
  • Key Decoder
  • Code Cutting Machine
  • Duplicator for copying keys

Take any online courses that you are pursuing.

You need to apply for your business license in your county.

You will need to identify yourself as a locksmith.

While there is no requirement for education, if you are planning to take this course, it is ideal to do it before you apply for your business license.

Once you have your license, you can begin working and advertising for clients.

Locksmith Licensing Requirements

While you do not have to be licensed in the state of Iowa, you do have to register your business when you apply for your business license.

As a locksmith, it is recommended to obtain a membership with a professional membership group.

The largest one that most Iowa Locksmiths join is the Associated Locksmiths of America.

They offer a variety of tools and resources to their members.

There are certifications available such as the Proficiency Registration Program (PRP) where you have a standard understanding and knowledge of locksmithing.

As a locksmith, you can even get certified in areas like Safes and Vaults.

Such certifications can open your business up to larger clients and expand your salary expectations each year.

Locksmith Programs

If you would like to pursue a locksmith program, there are several available online:

  • Penn Foster – Online Program
  • Ashworth College – Online Program
  • – Online Program
  • Day courses are offered through the local IOWA chapter of ALOA.

It is important to keep up with current trends and training for locks.

As more technology is involved with security and intertwining security systems with locksmiths, taking courses periodically will help you with certifications and maintaining quality customers.

When you obtain these specialized services because you can service unique locks, your clients will return to your services and keep you in mind for others who may have similar issues.

You have to be willing to adapt to the changes in clients and markets in order to maintain success as a locksmith.

Salary Expectations

As a locksmith, most experience a decent salary in Iowa.

The average salary for most locksmiths averages around $53,000 annually.

This is due to covering the basics of locksmithing, being available for emergency visits, and doing repairs.

Those who make more than this salary not only open their availability up for emergencies, but they also specialize in different locks and expand their business so that they can do more than just the basic services.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $52,206
Cedar Rapids $51,291
Davenport $51,448
Sioux City $46,009
Waterloo $49,047
Iowa City $50,869
Council Bluffs $51,109
Dubuque $50,883
Ames $51,719
West Des Moines $52,206


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Iowa, the state government, have a specific program they require?

No, all the state requires you to be operational as a locksmith is to apply and have an approved business license.

When you apply for that license, you have to describe your business plan.

Unfortunately, this leaves the market open to having a variety of locksmiths, which is why large clients with multiple buildings use locksmiths that have some form of certification that can be verified.

If I want to take a program, does it have to be in person?

With the advancement in technology and many programs spanning across regions, you can choose to take these programs online if you are not able to attend in person.

Many of these programs allow you to log on and view modules at your own pace.

When you have reviewed and completed certain assignments, you are then able to take quizzes and move forward with certification.

Do I need all of the required tools in the beginning?

Depending on what services you are willing to provide when you first start as a locksmith, you will need tools for those services.

You do want a complete set of the basics so that you can provide all of the necessary services.

As your business and certifications move into more specialized locks and working with security systems, you may need to add to your tools and upgrade your equipment.

Most locksmiths need a specialized truck with toolboxes designed to hold the different pieces of equipment.

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Earn your accredited, affordable Locksmith career diploma online with Penn Foster in as little as 2 months!

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