How to Become a Locksmith in Rhode Island

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How to Become a Locksmith in Rhode Island

Do you feel like you are in a dead-end career and need other options?

If so, you could become a locksmith in Rhode Island.

Here’s how.

Steps to Become a Locksmith in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s local locksmithing association does not appear to be readily available like in some other states.

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However, you can contact The Associated Locksmiths of America for more information.

  1. Explore training requirements. Find out what certification level will land you the jobs you want.
  2. Sign up for the ALOA Six-Day Course. This will help you achieve the ALOA Fundamental Locksmith standing, which has become a prerequisite for enrolling in the intermediate and top certification tiers.
  3. Complete recommended classes. Make sure you find out from ALOA which online or in-person courses would include essential locksmithing skills that your future customers will need.
  4. Apply for apprenticeships. You could request referrals from your locksmithing instructors about this. Having as much on-the-job experience as possible will help you secure gainful, full-time employment in the future.
  5. Seek job opportunities. Start this as soon as possible. You perhaps can make an arrangement with the company you work for as an apprentice, for instance.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

Rhode Island does not seem to have any locksmithing requirements on the books.

However, there is an understanding within ALOA and local locksmithing chapters that you must adhere to professional standards.

When applying for jobs, you more than likely will have to at least pass an FBI background check and prove that you are at least 18 and have a photo I.D.

You may, however, possibly start an apprenticeship as young as 16 years old, but that depends on the businesses hiring and local municipalities.

As far as licensing requirements are concerned, you are probably going to need one for your business if you are self-employed.

Locksmith Programs

Upper-level locksmithing certifications are optional, but they could prepare you for high-paying opportunities.

They start with the Six-Day Basic Locksmithing Course sponsored by ALOA and include one of six other categories, including the preliminary AFL training.

The ALOA Fundamental locksmithing certification program introduces you to necessary safety information.

It also shows you the differences between keys and demonstrates lock or security repair techniques.

At this stage, you do not become certified yet, but you will take an exam to prepare you for one of the following locksmithing certifications.

  • CRL – A Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL) will receive knowledge and skill instruction pertaining to at least 10 mandatory categories. You will also need to pick two additional electives of your choice and prove proficiency in them before obtaining a CRL.
  • CPL – You will need to show your instructors that you can competently carry out at least 12 additional types of locksmithing tasks to obtain your Certified Professional Locksmith certificate. By now, you will have quite a diverse list of expertise that will impress future clients or employees.
  • CML – As a Certified Master Locksmith (CML), you will enter a world of electronic and wireless security systems. This requires that you can practically apply about 90 percent of what you learned in your training to real-life situations.
  • CPS – The Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS) allows you to operate as a safe and vault technician. This involves being trusted with classified information in privileged places. Strict hiring protocols usually apply at this level, since so much more sensitive information is at your disposal than at the other levels.
  • CMST – This takes you above and beyond your safe and vault training at the CPS level. Think of the CMST (Certified Master Safe Technician) as a “solidification” of the time you spend learning your craft. You probably will need to continue your education after this as technology updates itself, but the CMST will take you as far as you need to go to stay on top of your field.

Recommended Schools

Look up local trade schools near you.

If they do not have a certification program specifically for locksmithing, find out what kind of security or police training they have.

Any Rhode Island university or community college would also benefit you in case it has a business or accounting class if you plan to operate as a self-employed provider.


In Rhode Island, a locksmith can make an average of $57,068 per year.

However, they can earn as high as $64,337.

You may find the most opportunities in Providence or Cranston.

Usually, higher populated areas have the most need, but some people traveling in nearby remote locations could require emergency roadside assistance.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Providence $56,851
Warwick $56,851
Cranston $56,851
Pawtucket $56,851
East Providence $56,851
Woonsocket $56,797
Coventry $56,742
North Providence $56,851
Cumberland $56,851
West Warwick $56,851

Regional Salary in Rhode Island

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA80$62,540$30.07$78,390$46,820
* 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

Do I need a business license to be a locksmith?

If you are operating on your own, yes, you do.

If you plan to work for an employer, that business would already have a license.

How much does the locksmith business license cost?

It depends on what kind of company you want to run.

Expenses range from approximately $200-$300.

Find more information about how to obtain a business license on the Rhode Island Department of State website.

Do I need insurance to be a locksmith?

If you are self-employed, you will want to consider it.

Your employer probably has coverage for tools, theft, loss, or damage.

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