How to Become a Locksmith in North Dakota

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How to Become a Locksmith in North Dakota

The red tape behind becoming a locksmith can greatly vary depending on the state.

Requiring licensure and other regulations have become a controversial topic with some locksmiths supporting it and others in opposition.

The pro-licensing argument is unqualified locksmiths will not be able to conduct business, thus giving customers the best service.

On the other hand, long-time locksmiths oppose this government regulation due to the training requirements and additional fees that could impact their bottom line.

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With a future projected growth due to advancements in technology, locksmiths are and will continue to be in high demand.

If you live in North Dakota and are considering locksmithing as a career path, keep reading to learn more about the steps, requirements, educational programs, salary, and questions related to the profession!

Steps to Become a Locksmith in North Dakota

The process to become a North Dakota locksmith is straightforward by following these steps:

Step One: Earn a High School Diploma or GED

The minimum requirement to become a North Dakota locksmith is to hold a high school diploma or GED.

While the state does not require this, most employers will be interested in this minimum requirement.

Step Two: Complete a Training Course

Also not required but beneficial is for you to complete a locksmithing training course at an accredited college or vocational school.

Going through this formal training will give you the skills necessary to succeed as a locksmith.

Training teaches students how to repair and pick locks in commercial and residential buildings, duplicate, and make keys, understand the mechanics of a variety of locks, and evaluate the security of installed locks.

Courses specialize in various aspects of locksmithing like automotive or motorcycle.

Many programs also offer the business and legal aspects of this career if you plan to open your own company.

Step Three: Sign Up for an Apprenticeship

In addition, or as an alternative to schooling, you can gain training by signing up for an apprenticeship with an experienced locksmith.

Many apprenticeships are unpaid but allow trainees to learn the business, legal, and technical aspects of the industry from actual experts.

Unlike many other states, North Dakota does not require an apprenticeship to find a job but having some experience always helps.

Step Four: Join a Professional Organization

ALOA offers excellent opportunities for new and existing locksmiths to add to their professional portfolios.

While these organizations are not required by North Dakota, members enjoy access to continuing education options, insurance options, bonding, legislative representation, and computer-based testing.

These resources can strengthen business operations and expand your customer base.

Step Five: Become Insured and Bonded

If you are planning to open a locksmithing business, you want to sign up for bonding and business insurance.

The policy must include liability and auto-covered to protect your personal and business assets in the event of an accident, mistake, error, or lawsuit.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

To become a North Dakota locksmith, there are not any specific requirements to set up a new business, like in other states, which has its pros and cons.

On the plus side, the process is fast to get started and there are few barriers to entry.

On the negative side, any person in the state can claim they are a locksmith, without proof, to scam people out of money or commit theft.

The result of this has been a negative reaction to locksmiths in certain areas of North Dakota.

However, if you are interested in this career choice, this should not deter you.

Instead, it should motivate you to prove to North Dakota communities that real and skilled locksmiths exist in their state!

Locksmith Programs – Length, Cost, What Schools Offer Them

North Dakota locksmiths are not required to belong to professional membership groups, like the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).

However, joining these groups and completing advanced education in the locksmithing field will build trust with your customers while sharpening your skillset and being aware of the latest technologies.

Best of all, locksmith training at the following schools can be completed online:

Ashworth College

With an entire program cost of $749, Ashworth College offers a four-month online program where students learn the mechanics behind electric and manual locks for a variety of applications.

Elite Continuing Education University

The ECEU offers individual locksmithing classes which can be considered continuing education.

Depending on the level, classes start at $25 and are a single credit hour.

Penn Foster

Another online program that costs $749 is offered through Penn Foster.

This program can be completed in under one year and is one of the most comprehensive options available.


The median income for a locksmith in North Dakota is $47, 761 with pay ranging from $35,675 to $59, 383.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Fargo $50,798
Bismarck $51,773
Grand Forks $47,761
Minot $50,961
Mandan $51,773
Dickinson $50,961
Jamestown $50,474
West Fargo $50,798
Williston $50,961
Wahpeton $49,986

Regional Salary in North Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Fargo, ND-MN**$42,080$20.23$59,910$31,020
* 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

What tools are required to become a locksmith in North Dakota?

The most common tools include a code cutting machine, re-keying kits, key extractor, key duplicator, lock by-past tools, and a key decoder.

Is official locksmith licensure required in North Dakota?

No, while locksmith licensing is available for those who wish to create trust within the community, it is not required to practice.

Does a criminal record prevent me from becoming a locksmith?

No, while individual companies may not hire you in the field because of a background check, anyone can become a locksmith in North Dakota since licensing is not required.

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