How to Become a Locksmith in Maryland

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How to Become a Locksmith in Maryland

Are you excited about starting a new career as a locksmith in Maryland?

If so, congratulations on an exciting adventure.

Make sure you prepare yourself for the challenges you may face, however.

It also helps to know how to begin the steps toward your career goals.

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Steps to Become a Locksmith in Maryland

  1. Carefully research your educational options. This does not mean that any education you wish to enroll in would not have any value if it lines up with your career goals. However, Maryland government agencies may require you to take a certain curriculum to ensure you have the right knowledge come time to take your locksmith certification exams.
  2. Enroll in appropriate classes. You need to consider your skill levels when choosing your courses. If you have never performed locksmithing duties before, it is best that you start out with the six-day basic course. The Associated Locksmiths of America has established the protocol for this along with state and federal agencies.
  3. Apply to an apprenticeship program. This will benefit you as you work toward your goal of becoming your own boss or operating as a locksmith without requiring supervision. For now, you will work for another professional who has passed all the certification tracks you aspire to earn.
  4. Apply for your license. By this time, you will have passed the proficiency exam in at least 10 mandatory categories and have received the minimum amount of training as designated by ALOA. Make sure you also know the regulations concerning locksmith licensing eligibility.

Licensing Requirements to Become

When you qualify to become a locksmith, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Registration will issue your license.

You have to be at least 18 years old and will need to pass both a federal and a state background check.

The state’s DOT also requires you to disclose your living whereabouts for at least the previous 36 months or provide a permanent business address.

Other licensing qualifiers include confirming your good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Trade Name Registration.

Every employee you hire needs to undergo the same approval process you do if you choose to operate as a self-employed business owner.

Otherwise, you are only responsible for yourself come time to obtain your license.

You must have liability insurance that covers at least $300,000 worth of accident or damage expenses, too.

Locksmith Programs

Every state has similar standards regarding locksmith training, and they usually follow the guidelines set by ALOA to abide by federal mandates.

Your course work may vary a little, but all of it will consist of modules teaching you 10 mandatory testing categories.

In addition to those, you must pass plus available elective courses related to additional certifications you want to achieve.

You may have the chance to apply for your locksmith license after taking a six-day course that covers important fundamentals of security and safety.

However, make sure you pass your test first.

Locksmith Certification Levels

After you take the Six-Day Basic Locksmithing Course defined by the ALOA, you will then apply for the AFL (ALOA Fundamental Locksmith) status.

This permits you to work as an apprentice until you have completed at least one upper-level certificate program.

Upon obtaining your AFL status, you will receive introductions to a multitude of locksmithing fundamentals: Key types, duplications, lock opening techniques, and security and safety.

You will also receive information about the responsibilities you would perform at different stages of locksmith certification.

ALOA Certifications

The First “Official” Certification Level

To obtain the Certified Registered Locksmith license (CRL), you must pass at least 10 mandatory categories of the Proficiency Registration Program exam.

By this time, you will be near ready to venture out on your own.

Make sure you also choose two electives you would most have a passion for pursuing when employed after certification.

The Second “Official” Certification Level

The Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL) must pass with a minimum score of 70 percent, which is the minimum passing score for all ALOA licensing levels.

By the time you apply for this license, you will have already completed the requirements for achieving your CRL.

Now, to obtain the CPL, you must demonstrate proficiency in 12 additional elective testing categories.

The Third “Official” Certification Level

The Certified Master Locksmith level calls for the passing of nine more proficiency categories.

ALOA calls the CML the “highest level of locksmith certification.”

You will need to show, however, that you know at least 90 percent of what you trained for well.

Along with that, you must have demonstrated performance in the most necessary locksmithing and electronic security categories.

SafeTech Certifications

ALOA offers two SafeTech certifications through its Safe & Vault Technicians Association division.

The Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS) certification proves that you have the skills required for operating in 17 additional vault and safe categories.

After that, the Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST) license brings you one step closer to the career of your dreams, such as perhaps working for law enforcement or a government security agency.

Recommended Maryland Locksmith Schools

You could try Prince George’s Community College.

They offer four different locksmithing courses.

The ALOA also has a variety of resources you can use for online training regardless of your current location.

You can refer to this Maryland DOT documentation to find out more about approved curriculums before you take your classes.


In January 2022, a report indicated that Locksmiths in Maryland make an average of $55, 826.

You have to take into account the cost of living, but residents here can make $1,000 or more per year above the U.S. national average.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore $55,661
Frederick $58,158
Gaithersburg $60,111
Bowie $60,147
Rockville $60,201
Hagerstown $54,887
Annapolis $57,373
College Park $60,274
Salisbury $57,718
Cumberland $49,683

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD120$56,840$27.33$74,480$32,390
Salisbury, MD-DE**$45,520$21.88$64,090$30,140
* 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

How much does the annual Maryland locksmithing license cost?

You must pay $225.00 as of 2021.

That does not include the price of your required liability insurance policy or any bonded protection you purchase.

How long will it be before I get my license?

Maryland has established a 15-day approval period to ensure you do qualify to operate as a locksmith in the state.

Contact the issuing agency if you have any questions about your application status.

Can I work in other states?

That depends on whether that location requires you to have a license or not.

It is best to obtain your licenses for each state where you plan to run your business.

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