How to Become a Locksmith in New Mexico

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How to Become a Locksmith in New Mexico

If you feel like you are in a dead-end job and need a change, you could become a locksmith.

Take a few moments to find out how to provide locksmithing services in New Mexico if this vocation interests you.

Steps to Become a Locksmith in New Mexico

  1. Review educational requirements for your state. New Mexico agencies provide information about how to run a locksmith business and how to help you succeed. See also the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) website for guidance on training and licensing.
  2. Sign up for locksmith training. Your primary training should include all fundamentals you need for licensing and building customer trust.
  3. Look for on-the-job learning opportunities. You will start out by training with a qualified, licensed New Mexico professional before you venture out on your own. This on-the-job experience usually starts when you take on an apprenticeship position after fundamental knowledge verification.
  4. Apply for your locksmithing license. Now, ALOA does not indicate that New Mexico requires a locksmithing license. However, 2012 regulations make provisions about professionalism when lock picking. Your future customers will trust you more if you have an official locksmithing certificate than if you do not.
  5. Start looking for a permanent position. If you decide to work as a self-employed locksmith professional, you can prepare for that by networking with people who might need your services. Otherwise, make sure you start exploring your opportunities to work with an established company that needs your help.
  6. Continue your education. Lock, key, combination, and wireless security technology continue to change. You will need to periodically update your training to accommodate future customer needs.
  7. Prepare for future opportunities. This may include running your own locksmithing business or managing someone else’s operation. Keep working on improving your skills until you excel beyond what you ever thought you could.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

As of February 2022, this locksmith association does not have New Mexico on the list of states requiring a license.

However, 2012 New Mexico legislation indicates the importance of upholding professionalism when performing locksmithing duties.

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Furthermore, you may need a business license if operating on your own, and this may include proof of liability insurance coverage.

If you do need a license, it typically costs between $200-$300.

That does not include other fees, such as the cost of certification issuance after you complete your recommended coursework.

You can contact someone from the New Mexico License & Regulation Department or the New Mexico Economic Development department for more information.

You will also receive guidance from your instructors concerning NM licensing when enrolled in classes.

Locksmith Programs

The University of New Mexico does provide training according to OSHA standards.

This involves making sure its students understand the expectations of performing locksmith duties in the state.

Safety and trust remain one of the top concerns of anyone requiring locksmithing services in NM, and ALOA has designated up to six training or licensing opportunities to help you succeed.

The Introductory Training

Introductory training often involves a six-day course, which includes an exam you would take on the last day.

After you have completed this step, you will have achieved ALOA Fundamental Locksmith status.

This may not give you the freedom to work on your own just yet.

During this time, you will still have to work under someone who has locksmithing experience and related certifications.

The Three ALOA Certifications

Available licensing includes the Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), and Certified Master Locksmith (CML).

As a CRL, you would have passed 10 mandatory training categories and two elective specializations.

When reaching the CPL level, you would have already passed in 12 more elective testing categories in addition to those you passed at the CRL level.

To achieve CML status, you have to show proficiency in at least 90 percent of all training categories.

This includes proof that you have knowledge of various electronic security matters.

Two More Upper-Level Certifications

ALOA has established an additional entity called the Safe & Vault Technicians Association.

Through this agency, you can obtain two additional locksmithing certificates.

These include the Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS) and the Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST) licensing levels.

Acquiring the CPS demands that you show that you have competency in at least 17 safe and vault training categories.

The CMST further validates your expertise in resolving safe and vault security issues.


The average salary in New Mexico ranges about $10,000 less than the United States national average.

Do not let that concern you because the cost of living varies throughout the country.

You would make about $49,488 operating as a locksmith in New Mexico, with most of the needs for your services to arise in highly populated cities, such as Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or Santa Fe.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Albuquerque $50,690
Las Cruces $46,023
Santa Fe $51,167
Rio Rancho $50,528
Roswell $47,485
Farmington $50,116
Alamogordo $48,297
Clovis $48,776
Hobbs $48,335
Carlsbad $47,485

Regional Salary in New Mexico

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM50$38,910$18.71$47,970$29,900
* 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 long does locksmith training take?

The time studying to become a locksmith usually takes about three years of on-the-job experience.

However, it could require anywhere from a few months to a few years of formal education depending on your career goals.

Do I have to start my own locksmithing business?

You do not have to start your own business to operate as a locksmith in New Mexico.

Your instructors can provide you leads to area companies that need your expertise once you pass your certifications.

When can I start performing locksmithing duties?

As an apprentice, you can start as soon as you show you passed initial safety and fundamental training.

However, you will need at least several months of experience before applying for a job, and it helps to have at least three years of experience to run your business.

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