Becoming a Locksmith
Becoming a locksmith will involve completing an accredited locksmith course. The centre in which you undertake your training should be an approved centre by an awarding body, such as the NCFE. The length of courses will vary by provider; however you should be looking for a course that is at least 5 days. This will ensure that when you complete the course that you have gained enough knowledge to successfully practice locksmithing.
Who are the NCFE?
What does ‘Accreditation’ mean?
How long does it take to become a locksmith?
What do I need to become a locksmith?
The benefits of becoming a locksmith Keytek®
Locksmith career progression
Specialised Locksmith Courses
Where to do your locksmith course
Why work for Keytek®?
The NCFE (Northern Advisory Council for Further Education) are a national Awarding Organisation. They have been designing, developing and certificating nationally recognised qualifications for over 150 years. The NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The NCFE offers over 500 qualifications at different levels and in a wide range of subject areas including vocational qualifications and further education. The NCFE is one of only a few awarding bodies that can provide an accreditation in locksmithing, it is important to have a recognised accreditation when becoming a locksmith to be able to sub-contract for companies.
Earning an accreditation shows not only your employers, but your customers that you are trained to a professional level. It shows that you have the skills to pass an assessment, as well as the commitment to being at the highest level you can be. Many national locksmith companies will not let you sub-contract unless you have a recognised accreditation.
Here at Keytek® we offer courses between 1 and 8 days. However it takes experience and practice to become a skilled locksmith. Our shortest accredited course is 5 days, as we believe you need at least this much teaching and guidance to learn enough to be a competent locksmith. Within your work as a locksmith you will come across a number of different scenarios and situations, as no two jobs are the same, you will be constantly enhancing your skills.
The one thing you definitely need to become a locksmith is a valid UK driving licence as a large part of the job requires travelling to help customers, so a van will be needed to carry your tools and replacement parts. However there is more than just transport to think about when becoming a locksmith. Before becoming a locksmith, you need to consider the following things;
Can you empathise and offer support and guidance when needed? These qualities are important when it comes to providing work within sensitive situations, after a burglary for example. Your customers are likely to be emotionally distressed and may need your help in securing their home, so it is important that you can make them feel at ease when you are there.
Do you have a keen eye for detail, and can you carry out delicate procedures? This needs to be considered before becoming a locksmith as part of the role may involve opening a door without causing damage. Non-destructive entry is a key skill for a locksmith, so being able to use specialised tools to open intricate locks is essential.
Are you good with your hands? On some of your jobs, you may have to work on wooden doors, you will need a little carpentry skill to make sure you leave the door neat and un-damaged. Would you be able to leave a wooden door neat and tidy?
Are you persistent and tenacious, with a determination to complete any job? Within your career as a locksmith you are going to come across some difficult situations. Nobody wants to hire a locksmith that gives up after the first failed attempt. You will be working mostly alone, so being able to take the initiative and find solutions to problems is crucial.
One of the main benefits of becoming a locksmith is job satisfaction. Once you have had the necessary training to operate as a locksmith, your experience and skill will grow with every job you complete. Every new job will present a new challenge for you to overcome and with that comes a tremendous feeling of fulfilment. Being locked out of your home or car can be a very stressful situation and our engineers feel great satisfaction when they can help a person resolve their issue. If you care about giving your customer piece of mind then you will be very happy with a career in locksmithing.
Being a mobile locksmith who sub-contracts for Keytek® means that you can tailor your working hours around your needs. This is not your standard, everyday 9-5 job. If you need every Wednesday afternoon off to take your kids to a club, that’s fine. Or if you find you have a spare day on a weekend then you can just let us know and we will find you work. By striking the right work/life balance you will be able to earn a good salary and enjoy your home life.
One of the most positive aspects of have a career in locksmithing is that the earnings are relatively recession proof. People always need locksmiths, whether it’s because they’ve locked themselves out, need to change the locks after a house move or need to make sure their security measures meets their insurance needs. This means that locksmiths are always in demand, people like to have peace of mind that their home and businesses are secured effectively and that’s where you would come in.
With new locks coming on to the market every day, including the new phase of ‘smart locks’ a locksmith will never stop learning, the more advanced your skills are the more complicated jobs you can take on. The room for growth within the locksmith industry is never ending.
Auto locksmithing is different from traditional locksmithing, as it is specific to cars. A trainee locksmith who takes an auto locksmith course will be taught how to; strip, understand and rebuild a range of vehicle locks, lock picking and decoding both cylinder and laser locks, along with an overview of immobiliser systems, transponders and diagnostics, and much, much more.
You can also become a Safe Specialist by taking another course. As safes are designed to withstand tampering and unwanted entry, you will have to have specialist training to be able to work on them. The course would involve learning a number of different techniques to be able to open most safes, using various different tools. Safe specialists are always in demand as there are many things that can prevent an owner getting into a safe; electronic failure, safe lock failure and of course forgotten codes.
Another course you can take is for Access Control. This is usually used in business to control foot traffic for an entire workforce. It can involve key cards, electronic codes and video and audio entry systems. You will be trained on how to program and reprogram electrical security measures and understanding wiring diagrams.
The NCFE and other awarding bodies provide accreditations for locksmithing, so it is best to do your training at a place that has approved centre status. If you wish to sub-contract with a bigger company then it is essential that you get an accreditation. There are not many NCFE certified training centres in the UK, so make sure you do your research into where you go. You need to make sure the course you undertake is suitable for your needs. Most locksmith courses are pretty hands on, but there is a small element of written work and if you take the Keytek®5 or 8 day course, you are assessed throughout the week, with a final practical assessment at the end. The 8 day course includes 3 full days of on-site training after this assessment.
Depending on what level of accreditation you want the course may differ slightly. Here at Keytek® we offer a 5 and 8 day course, which are accredited to a level 4 (the highest in the industry), however all of our locksmith courses provide a non-destructive course which will teach you about the techniques needed to open a door without damaging it. The 5 and 8 day courses boast the most in-depth and detailed programs, containing training on; cylinders, key cutting, and mortice locks, along with much more. What makes our 8 day course the most comprehensive course is the 3 days of on-site training. You will be given the opportunity to shadow our qualified locksmiths on the road and pick up some essential experience.
At Keytek® we pride ourselves in the support we give to our locksmiths. Not only do we provide a steady stream of work for all our locksmiths across the country. We are also available for support 24/7; an engineer will be able to call our technical support team at any time of the day or night. If one of our locksmiths is unsure about which is the best method to gain entry into a home, our ELO team will be on hand to offer any guidance they require. If one of our locksmiths gets lost or cannot find the address of a job, our office team are equipped to help them pinpoint the exact location, or put them in touch with the customer to help guide them in. Keytek® knows that you require a steady income and will actively try to secure you as many jobs as you require. However, if you phone us to say you need the day off; you will not be bothered with calls from the office. Locksmiths are required all hours of the day, so you can pick working hours that suit you. Being a sub-contractor locksmith offers you the flexibility to create your schedule, and means you can balance your work/home life to whatever you require.