If you’ve ever locked yourself out of your home in the middle of the night, you’ll know what a valuable service is provided by a locksmith. They turn up at all hours, and can either replace the locks on your property or help you break in. Setting yourself up as a locksmith can be lucrative, especially if you’re prepared to offer a 24 hour service to your customers. There are a few legal requirements though, and you’ll need to be properly trained first.
There are lots of different training courses around which will help you learn the skills needed to become a locksmith. There are lots of providers offering beginners’ courses, but you should look for one accredited by City and Guilds which will ensure your training meets the required standards, and will provide you with the chance to obtain a nationally recognised certificate. A week long course will cover things like getting broken keys out of locks, fixing locks on UPVC doors, picking locks and other ways of getting through windows and doors. The course will end in an exam, and if you pass, you’ll have your locksmith City and Guilds certificate. Another entry route is through an Apprenticeship, where you’ll learn on the job through a combination of practical teaching and college day-release courses.
Master Locksmith’s Association
Being a locksmith isn’t a protected occupation; that means you could set up tomorrow with no training and no experience and it wouldn’t be illegal to call yourself a locksmith. Members of the public however do want to be sure that they can trust a locksmith to do a good job, and therefore usually choose someone who is a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). In order to join the MLA you have to prove a basic level of competency by completing an accredited training course and passing the exam. You also have to have your work inspected and approved by another experience locksmith to ensure it comes up to scratch, and finally, you need to be vetted.
Vetting for Locksmith
Locksmiths have all the skills and tools needed to break into any building, so the MLA works hard to ensure that only appropriate people are approved to join. Locksmiths fall into the group of people who require a basic disclosure check to be carried out. This is organised by the employer and looks at what unspent convictions the person applying for the check has. This system is designed to stop people who have an extensive criminal past from applying for a job as a locksmith and getting access to people’s houses or commercial property.
Locksmiths can earn anything between £16,000 and £30,000 per year for a newly-qualified locksmith working for a company. Apprentices usually earn the minimum wage until they are qualified. Experienced locksmiths who set up their own business can start to earn considerably more, especially if they are offering to cover evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Many locksmiths also diversify into offering similar security services such as CCTV installation which can boost their earnings further.