You must consider all the pros and cons before you begin any new career.
Would you enjoy working as a locksmith?
If so, this moderately competitive occupational path might interest you.
Do not ignore the challenges that you will have on the job, however.
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Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Locksmith
- 2 Cons of Being a Locksmith
- 3 Should You Become a Locksmith?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Being a Locksmith – Summary Table
Pros of Being a Locksmith
The pros of being a locksmith differ between working for another employer or starting your own company.
Either way, you can think of it as a rewarding opportunity.
Low Start-up Costs
It usually costs significantly less money to start than, for example, a restaurant, bar, grocery store, or shopping mall and auto-mechanic center.
You may only have to invest approximately $6,000-$35,000 if you desire to venture out on your own.
It is even less expensive if you do not have to work as a subcontractor when hired on with another company.
After all, employers would typically pay a portion of your liability insurance and bonding expenses.
Job Security (No Pun Intended)
There is always a need for locksmiths, and I have an example: One I know locked some keys in the trunk of a vehicle and bent the spare one, so it would not fit in the keyhole.
Many additional scenarios come up that would require your services, such as a damaged safe that does not open or close or a faulty alarm system.
Unlimited Income Potential
The demand for locksmiths reportedly decreased in 2019 from 2018.
However, that does not mean you will not have any opportunities.
Do not let reports of a three percent drop in the need for locksmiths within the next 10 years discourage you.
You just need to know how to find the right opportunities.
Short, Inexpensive Educational Track
To start, you may only need to attend school for a year or less before operating as a certified locksmith.
However, it depends on the licensing requirements in your state.
Your personal goals also influence the length of time spent in post-secondary training programs to become a locksmith.
For the time required to spend in classrooms, locksmiths can come out more ahead financially than people who become teachers, bankers, or in some cases, doctors or lawyers.
Can (Almost) Start Immediately
Once you have completed the ALOA and state-recommended locksmith certification tracks, you probably can start working as soon as you pass your licensing exams.
When performing tasks with the guidance of a trained locksmithing services provider, you can possibly begin earning money as soon as you are done with the six-day basic training.
A Decent Living Wage
You could make at least $20-$30 per hour working as a locksmith in the beginning.
After a couple of years, you maybe could make double or triple that amount, and federal employees may earn at least $60,000-$10,000 a year.
If you decide to operate your own business, you could generate millions of dollars profit per year even if you do have employees.
Set Your Own Prices
You may earn more money working on your own than if you work for an employer.
In fact, the average self-employed locksmith might make at least $75,000 or more per year to start if the person has all the capital and equipment to run the business.
If you have your licenses, you can set your own fees for each service you provide.
Prestige and Intrigue
If you always wanted to become an expert in a specific niche, locksmithing work could be your chance regardless of age because of the little time required to train.
It will not take long for you to feel the privilege of performing services that call for some advanced skills, and people will look up to you if you know what you are doing.
You will also notice how intrigued people can be when they find out what you do for a living.
Think of the smiles on people’s faces and the way they will sigh in relief as they exclaim “thank you!” for your help.
They know you have abilities they do not have, and that is why they called you in the first place.
You will have the satisfaction of knowing you did some good for someone.
Opportunities for Advancement
There are about six different levels of locksmithing certifications.
This reduces the chance that you will no longer feel challenged as opposed to working in any standard entry-level job, such as a janitor, restaurant employee, or office assistant.
You may even have privileges to top-secret safes, which will make you feel accomplished because not everyone has that chance.
Cons of Being a Locksmith
Takes Time To Find Customers
You have unlimited earning potential, especially if you want to run your own locksmith business.
However, it may take you a while to build up a clientele.
Expect to perhaps have a part-time job or live on business grants and loans for at least a few months until enough people have referred you.
There is no need to worry, however, if you have determination.
Requires Repetitive Motions
Apparently, locksmithing sometimes requires you to use the same muscles repeatedly.
You might experience some mental boredom as well if you end up performing the same key-making activities day in and day out.
Of course, you can combat boredom by taking continuing education courses that will help you learn more advanced skills.
Must Like People
You are going to encounter endless scenarios during which people may feel frustrated and panicked.
Do you have the patience to deal with this?
If so, great.
However, if you would rather not have any contact with people, you might rather consider a career in an IT department or work at home than becoming a locksmith.
Ruins Your Clothes
I am not trying to be superficial.
You might end up looking like an auto mechanic after a day’s work of the most challenging locksmithing problems you had to solve.
Of course, there is no need to worry.
You can always have separate clothing for your job than you do for private social situations.
Up-Front Cost High
Even though it costs less than starting other businesses, it still might cost more than the money you have.
However, you can always gain experience in a well-paid position for a company that might hire you for full-time work.
Consider planning your finances for the startup costs as soon as possible if you would rather work for yourself than someone else.
Strict Background Checks
The schooling and licensing process do not have to take much time.
However, you may have to prove there is no question that you meet the standards of trust and safety that the customers want.
They also need to know they will not have their possessions, account information, or money get stolen.
Still, if you have excellent work references even from non-locksmith-related experiences, you should not have a problem finding work.
Any shoplifting or theft offenses and low credit scores could lessen your chances of becoming hired.
Sometimes Boring, Sometimes Stressful
On a typical workday, you might become either super bored or frustrated with the potential work overload.
You also might sometimes feel stressed out that some issues you cannot immediately resolve.
That is a challenge when people need access to their vehicles or want to get back into their home or place of business.
You are going to deal with quite a bit of unpleasant or ungrateful reactions from people sometimes too.
Most locksmiths do earn a minimum of $46,000 or more, which equals to about the average United States salary.
However, your income can drop whether self-employed or employed by another company or not.
The difference may not matter much if you have budgeted for the times when you will make less money, but income fluctuations can still catch you by surprise.
Should You Become a Locksmith?
Whether you should become a locksmith depends on your career goals, financial resources, and lifelong dreams.
It is an ideal occupational track for someone who may want to become a part of a local police force, work as a security guard, or serve the government in fighting crime.
You also may want to become a locksmith if you just enjoy anything to do with keys or helping people.
Anyone who likes to work with their hands, especially if employed in fabrication, also might enjoy the work someone in this profession does.
If it is what you want to do, start exploring available locksmith training options, and do not procrastinate the first day of an exciting future.
You will want to refer to the ALOA site for more information about educational and licensing requirements before you commit to this as your chosen career path.
Eventually, you could even become a person who can open or repair people’s vaults and safes with the upper-level SafeTech certifications available via SAVTA, an ALOA division.
Pros and Cons of Being a Locksmith – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Locksmith||Cons of Being a Locksmith|
|Low Start-up Costs||Takes Time To Find Customers|
|Job Security (No Pun Intended)||Requires Repetitive Motions|
|Unlimited Income Potential||Must Like People|
|Short, Inexpensive Educational Track||Ruins Your Clothes|
|Can (Almost) Start Immediately||Up-Front Cost High|
|A Decent Living Wage||Strict Background Checks|
|Set Your Own Prices||Sometimes Boring, Sometimes Stressful|
|Prestige and Intrigue||Unpredictable Earnings|
|Opportunities for Advancement|
Read the full guide: How to Become a Locksmith