What exactly does “smith” mean? A "smith" of any type is one who shapes metal pieces, often using a forge or mould, into useful objects or to be part of a more complex structure. Locksmithing, as its name implies, is the assembly and designing of locks and their respective keys.
When to Call a Locksmith? There are many situations in which it is a good idea to call a locksmith. Locksmiths we can provide you with any locksmith service that you need. Locksmiths make keys for homes, offices, and cars. Some can even install security hardware (such as deadbolts) and access control systems. Licensed locksmiths can help you gain access to your home, office, or car if you happen to get locked out.
Locks and Safes Locksmiths install and repair locks and safes. Some install and repair electronic alarm and surveillance systems. They are best known for letting people into their homes or cars when they lock themselves out. Before opening doors, locksmiths assess whether the people who called them are really the property owners. To open locked doors, locksmiths insert lock picks into locks and move them around. If people have lost their keys, locksmiths may replace or re-key their current locks. Sometimes locksmiths are called because locks are jammed. Once they have opened these locks, locksmiths take them apart and repair or replace the worn wheels and springs. In addition to their other duties, locksmiths use key cutting machines to create duplicate keys.
Digital Locksmiths Developments in technology have had a major impact on this occupation. Simple lock and key mechanisms are slowly being replaced by thumb print and retinal scanners, pin pads and electronic swipe cards. Keys are now being produced using computerized machines, which turn out keys at a much faster and more accurate rate. As a result, electronic and computer skills are becoming more important for locksmiths.
How to become a locksmith Interested individuals can learn to be a locksmith through on-the-job training, which usually takes one to twelve months. Employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and machine shop are useful. Candidates can prepare for their on-the-job training by taking a correspondence course in locksmithing or attending courses at a vocational/technical school. In some areas locksmiths must be licensed. Locksmith shops are often family businesses. Locksmiths do hire people who are not part of their family, however. Interested individuals can apply directly to locksmith shops or to industrial firms, schools, hospitals, and government agencies. Employers often place classified ads in trade magazines and newspapers. Prospective locksmiths can also try searching job banks on the Internet. State and private employment agencies may be helpful in finding a job as well.
Experienced locksmiths can become supervisors or managers in large shops. Many locksmiths go into business for themselves. They often run their businesses right from their homes. A small investment is necessary to get started. Locksmiths can expand and upgrade their skills by reading technical journals and taking training classes given by the Associated Locksmiths of America. The outlook for locksmiths is good. The field is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014. People want and need better security devices for both their homes and their businesses. The employment outlook is especially good for locksmiths who can install and repair electronic alarm systems. Locksmiths earn an average of $31,331 per year, according to salary.com. Benefits vary depending on the employer. Some employers provide paid vacations and holidays, health insurance, and pension plans. Those who work for small shops and those who are self-employed must often provide their own benefits.