Prior to undertaking training of any sort to become a locksmith, you need to do some due diligence of your local area to find out if there’s room for you to move in with your own service, or find work with a larger security company near you.
With an abundance of locksmith training courses available, it’s easy for anyone to provide you training on the basics, which isn’t going to be long. Promises are out there of 3 day training and make £50’000 per year fixing peoples locks. This is because there are no universally recognised qualifications, and in due time, it probably will be sorted out, with regulations brought in.
The MLA (Master Locksmith Association) are currently working on the development of an apprenticeship in Locksmithing, so you need to be sure your qualifications are recognised, so you and your customers know you have the right credentials, and not from some fly by night training company.
The danger in some training courses is that people fork out a fortune to learn the ropes of the locksmith trade, then find with the little training they do have, they can’t find the work, so they set about doing what was done to them, making use of their training, by offering the training to you. Don’t be caught in that loop, and the best way to steer clear is to do your market research.
The first thing you should be doing is looking at the competition. Figure out the amount of people around you, readily available to help someone who has lost their keys. A few of those services already established will be able to get those one-off jobs, and in the residential locksmith field, those are one-off.
A job done right should last a lifetime and people won’t be in the habit of losing their keys and locking themselves out. Try to contact established and reputable locksmith services, while respecting their time of course, and get their opinions on how to access the career, and what worked well for them. Most will try to sway you away from becoming a locksmith, as it is competitive.
More locksmiths is less work for others. The usual will be about the huge amount of overheads to market your services so that people know about you. It’s estimated that 40% of a locksmiths’ turnover is spent on advertising and marketing, which will eat heavily into those proclaimed high figure salaries. After knowing a bit about your competition, you can begin to look at where there are current gaps you could do training on, and then bring speciality skills to the market, and fill that gap. To do that, you need to know…
Otherwise known as a residential locksmith, you’ll be working within homes. The most frequent emergency call out you’ll have is going to be “Help, I’m locked out,” and you’ll be the hero that saves the day. That’s a typical emergency callout though.
Other sorts of jobs you’ll be on is working with local housing authorities, and real estate agents, replacing the locks of private let properties, prior to new tenants moving in. There are also additional residential security services such as installing safes to protect the family valuables.
As a commercial locksmith, you’ll be working on larger properties, such as office buildings, garages, warehouse facilities etc. Some commercial buildings may need high security padlocks for outbuildings used for storage. You might also find yourself working between commercial locksmith services, as well as internal security, locking off private areas to other staff, as well as providing high security safes to keep important documents in as well as the company’s cash flow.
In this type of work, you’ll be mostly working with customers locked out their vehicles, which isn’t something that can provide a steady flow of work. It’s handy as an additional service. If you choose to specialise in this service, then it might be a good idea to specialise in the key cutting side of it. Modern day security has keys with enhanced security measures, making it more of a skill than an ordinary key cutter could provide. If vehicle replacement or additional keys aren’t available locally, then that’s a gap you may want to train to fill.
Safes are a security option used for business and home security, and once installed should last a lifetime. It’s an additional service similar the vehicle key cutting service, which can choose to include in the amount of services you offer.
This is part combination between residential and commercial locksmith services. It will involve installing and maintaining multiuse access control systems, mostly used in flats as a security measure where there’s high foot traffic, and to stop just anyone walking in, who shouldn’t be on the premises. Other areas can be in be in larger businesses where they want to limit who can enter different areas of the building, by having key card security systems installed.
Electronic systems go beyond installing a burglar alarm. As a specialist in this field, you could be responsible for installation and maintenance of CCTV security systems.
The above are only six types of services locksmiths can offer. Going beyond that, there are also security gate installations, applicable to both homeowners and businesses alike. Before you decide on which one you want to train to become, look at the services already available in your area, and work out where there’s room for your services.
There’s no point training to become a locksmith, only to find that the competition is too fierce to find work. Do due diligence first, find a gap in the market and fill the void.