What they do
Locksmiths assess the security needs of their clients, install appropriate alarms and locking systems, and access/maintain control systems and security systems. They may also need to repair or maintain locking or security systems. This may involve working with traditional mechanical locks or highly technical electronic security systems in homes or commercial properties. Besides residential security systems, locksmiths may also be employed to work on security systems for government organisations or for the automotive industry. Many locksmiths are self-employed.
A locksmith would normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However they need to be prepared to work weekends installing systems, and to be called out at any hour to 'rescue' people who have locked themselves out. This is especially true if they are self-employed.
Locksmiths may work in a shop or out, on-the-road. They will often have to work on a client's premises. They may be required to work in awkward or confined spaces.
Tools and technologies
Depending on the area they work in, locksmiths my need to be adept in using specialised tools, such as welding equipment and those used in precision handy work. They may also be involved in security systems utilised in the information technology industry.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a locksmith, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in locksmithing. The apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
In Western Australia (WA), locksmiths who install security equipment must undergo a National Police Check and a referee check before obtaining a Security Installer Licence, which is issued by the Licensing Services division of the WA Police. Contact Licensing Services for more information.