The answer to the title question depends on the state where you want to practice.
Currently, 15 U.S. states require locksmiths to have some sort of licensing or registration.
Licensing requirements also vary by state.
For example, in California locksmiths don’t need special training from an accredited school in order to obtain a license.
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Locksmiths in Illinois, on the other hand, need to pass a licensing exam administered by the state and, in order to pass this exam, they have to complete a locksmith training course or an apprenticeship.
However, even if you’re not required to go to locksmithing school, having some formal training in the field can look really good on your resume.
Moreover, most businesses won’t hire a locksmith that is not certified or registered with a credentialing institute.
How Does a Locksmith Course Look Like?
Typically, by going to locksmith school you will learn about:
- types of locks and how to disassemble and reassemble lock types
- re-keying tools
- lock picking methods
You will also study different other topics depending on the locksmith specialization and the school you choose.
Basically, there are three types of program you can choose from if you want to start a career in this field:
- local in-classroom locksmith training programs
- online locksmith courses
Each of the above options has its pros and cons, and it’s best to choose the program that best meets your schedule and educational needs.
While apprenticeships focus mostly on hands-on training, classroom training will also cover the theoretical aspects of locksmithing.
Online classes, on the other hand, will give you the opportunity to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your home.
Some schools also teach students about CCTV and recording options, alarms, and other detection systems.
How Do I Choose the Right Locksmith School
A great source for information for those who want to start a career in locksmithing is the Associated Locksmiths of America.
By visiting their website you will have access to a list that includes 34 locksmith schools that are located across the United States.
Before enrolling at any particular school is best to contact them in order to find out more about the classes that you will need to take to meet the licensing requirements that apply in your state.
Tuition costs and other expenses also vary depending on the school and the type of program you choose.
While online programs usually cost less than $1000- a cost that also covers study materials and a tool kit, in-person locksmith training can cost up to $3,000.
Course length also varies, some can be completed in several days while others are one or two-semester long.
Therefore it’s best to gather all this information before enrolling in a training program.
If training is not a requirement in your state, there are many other useful resources that can help you learn the skills need for this career.
You can find instructional videos online, or purchase locksmith books and guides.
Regardless of the path, you decide to take, make sure that you apply the skills you learn in class to real-life situations because practice makes perfect.