How to Become a Locksmith in Texas

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How to Become a Locksmith in Texas

You can become a locksmith in 17 months or less in the state of Texas for a cost of zero dollars to $899 by completing an apprentice training program or attending school.

If you are looking for a career that lets you start quickly and earn a fair income, think about becoming a locksmith.

You can do much more than cut keys and install locks with a degree or on-the-job training in this field.

Steps to Become a Locksmith in Texas

Becoming a locksmith in Texas takes about two years, regardless of the approach you take.

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The Texas Department of Public Safety, Regulatory Services Division – Private Security Bureau (PSB) regulates the locksmithing trade in the state and issues locksmithing licenses.

You must obtain a license to legally operate in the state of Texas.

Background Check

You must have a clean record to become a locksmith.

When you apply for your license, or to become an apprentice, the PSB runs a criminal background on you.

The Board overlooks only a very few convictions, so if you already have a conviction on your record, phone them first to find out if it qualifies for an exemption.

Four Training Options

You have four options to become a licensed locksmith.

Two options require schooling, while two options utilize on-the-job training.

All of the options require about the same amount of time:

  1. Obtain a job as an apprentice. Apprenticeship requires two years of work with a licensed locksmith who belongs to a trade association, such as the Texas Locksmiths Association. The business helps you obtain your locksmith’s pocket card as an apprentice.
  2. Successfully complete a 48-hour locksmith course that covers the essentials.
  3. Successfully complete an approved curriculum at a locksmith trade school.
  4. Work full-time for a licensed locksmith/lock shop for one year.

Successfully Pass the Qualified Manager’s Exam

After you complete the consecutive years of apprenticeship or full-time employment with the locksmith, or either school program, you take the Qualified Managers exam.

Successfully passing the exam qualifies you to open your own lock shop.

At this point, you may apply for your license.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Locksmith

Apply to the PSB for your license.

You will need to provide your schooling transcripts or proof of your locksmithing employment.

Once you obtain your license, you must complete continuing education each year to maintain it.

Under the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 35.291 – Continuing Education Courses, you must complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years.

The first year consists of seven hours of locksmithing courses and one hour of ethics or one hour of applicable laws and rules of the security industry.

Locksmith Programs

Texas locksmiths typically apprentice to become locksmiths.

If you want to pursue an academic program in locksmithing, you will need to complete an online program.

Ashworth College offers a complete program of study that you can complete at your own pace in as little as four months or as long as 17 months.

The tuition costs $899.

The school offers payment plans, so you can place a down payment of as little as $1.

You can pay for the entire program at one time or set payments per month with the smallest monthly payment of $50.


A US locksmith earns about $54,145, the median salary for the position.

The range extends from $46,973 per year to $61,041.

In Texas, locksmiths earn an average of $53,084 with a salary range extending from $46,053 to $59,840.

Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $55,498
Dallas $53,793
San Antonio $52,650
Austin $53,251
El Paso $47,359
Fort Worth $52,759
Arlington $52,672
Corpus Christi $50,820
Plano $53,562
Garland $53,677

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Austin-Round Rock, TX110$46,200$22.21$61,420$34,580
Corpus Christi, TX30$42,420$20.39$58,640$30,330
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX480$44,670$21.48$61,350$30,500
El Paso, TX50$37,790$18.17$48,260$29,010
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX340$46,280$22.25$61,060$31,870
Killeen-Temple, TX40$43,730$21.02$56,750$30,280
Lubbock, TX40$39,400$18.94$57,050$29,400
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX30$39,510$19$51,660$29,440
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX110$42,830$20.59$57,880$30,700
* 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 does a locksmith in Texas do?

Texas regulations describe a locksmith as an individual who “sells, services, installs, or maintains mechanical security devices.”

They may also conduct consumer education on security and lock types, serve as a physical security consultant, cut and duplicate keys, and assist in lockout situations with vehicles and structures.

What are the minimum qualifications for a Texas locksmith?

Like all other states, Texas sets minimum requirements for a locksmith license.

The general eligibility requirements include:

  • An individual of 18 years of age or older
  • Mentally competent
  • Non-dependent on alcohol or drug
  • Pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice criminal background check
  • No Class A misdemeanor or felony with exception of a pardoned offense
  • Honorably Discharged from the Armed Services, if served.

What related positions exist that also require a license?

A lock shop might also offer the installation of security alarms and access control systems.

This requires separate licensing.

If the lock shop offers electronic access control device installer services of installing, maintaining, or repairing any access control device or security alarm system, the servicer must register under their local chapter as an alarm systems installer or access device installer.

USA Locksmith Training by State

  1. Avatar for Mic Mic

    Are tools and hand on materials provided? Thank you

  2. Avatar for Mukiibi, Isaac Mukiibi, Isaac

    I would like to be advised on how I can become a GSA certified Locksmith. I’m a Ugandan by nationality, I served along the US Military during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (OIF-OND) the supported the US Embassy in Baghdad under PAE Government Services. So if I get certified under this field, I’m most likely to get a living since I also know about OPSEC. Kindly let me know.

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