How to Become a Locksmith in Oregon

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How to Become a Locksmith in Oregon

Most people reach a point in their lives when they need to try something new.

If that is you, you could possibly become a locksmith in Oregon.

Here are the steps to help you find gainful employment in this field.

Steps to Become a Locksmith in Oregon

Local and national locksmithing agencies, including ALOA, offer the most information about locksmithing in Oregon.

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Here is an introduction to what you will learn when seeking career guidance.

  1. Evaluate certification levels. This will help you set your goals as you seek out appropriate locksmithing training. A little research will help you decide how far you need to go to prepare for official certification.
  2. Register for the ALOA Six-Day Course. It is the one that will provide you required preparation for seeking licensure. It works hand-in-hand with the proficiency test you must take after this course is finished.
  3. Enroll in the right classes. Some require that you have already taken the fundamental courses. Therefore, watch out before you register to make sure you are in the one meant for your skill level.
  4. Start seeking apprenticeship opportunities. It is an on-the-job training program that will help you become more confident in your locksmithing abilities before you look for a job.
  5. Search for full-time jobs. You do not necessarily have to wait until you have completed all your training to look for jobs. Communicate with local hardware stores, for instance. Your instructors can also provide leads.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

Oregon seems to provide clearer instructions than other locations on locksmith licensing requirements.

You can easily seek more information on who needs a license at the state’s official website.

If you plan to pick locks or force any kind of security vault or safe open, you are most likely going to need approval from the state.

This also requires an FBI background check and proof of age and identity.

Additional requirements may apply if you plan to run your own business.

Locksmith Programs

Before you apply to any official certification program, you must acquire the ALOA Fundamental Locksmith (AFL) training.

After five days of coursework, you will take a proficiency test to complete your six-day introductory course.

After completing the AFL step, you then can try for one of five additional licenses.

  • CRL – After your initial proficiency training, you can apply to become a Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL). You will want to seek some mentorship or obtain on-the-job experience before committing to this track. There are 10 mandatory categories of locksmithing skills you need to know, and you can also choose two elective categories and make sure you pass tests on them.
  • CPL – To obtain your Certified Registered Locksmith license, you will need to pass in 12 more proficiency categories. This certification extends beyond the fundamental and entry-level duplication, identification, security, and safety issues learned in earlier courses.
  • CML – Now, you will enter the world of wireless and electronic security systems. By now, you should know at least 90 percent of what you need to know to operate as a Certified Master Locksmith (CML).
  • CPS – The Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS) calls for a keen sense of detail, and you must demonstrate that your customers can trust you. Obtaining a CPS gives you access to safe and vault locksmithing accounts, which is one of the highest privileges you can achieve as a locksmith.
  • CMST – The Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST) provides the most trust by your future customers or bosses. This proves you have achieved all the competencies needed for successful Oregon locksmithing.

Recommended Schools

You might find the training you need at Portland Community College or a trade school near you.

Otherwise, ALOA makes recommendations for people seeking online training.

Just make sure the courses you take teach you what you need to know to pass your certification.

The state government site and the Pacific Locksmith Association can provide you with more information about approved training programs.


The average locksmith’s salary is $53,928 in January 2022.

It ranges between $46,785 and $60,797, and you might find the most opportunities in Albany, Portland, or Eugene.

If you continue education beyond the highest available certification levels, it will help you stay current on technologies and earn more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Portland $56,212
Eugene $52,802
Salem $53,315
Gresham $56,140
Beaverton $56,212
Hillsboro $56,032
Medford $51,665
Springfield $52,683
Bend $52,201
Corvallis $52,548

Regional Salary in Oregon

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Eugene, OR40$43,710$21.02$59,260$29,840
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA140$48,400$23.27$68,070$33,320
* 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 Oregon locksmithing license cost?

You can visit the information on this page to find out.

The fee as reported in 2022 for all parts of the licensing application process totals about $240.

How often do I have to renew my license?

Check the state website.

As of 2022, it apparently only needs renewal once every two years instead of once a year like some states.

Am I required to have insurance?

Insurance can save you from a world of financial hurt, but it is not required.

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