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become a vehicle locksmith

How to become a vehicle locksmith (and get your career started)

Overview: Learn how to successfully start your career as a car locksmith.

People actually what to know how to become a great locksmith. How do we know? We were doing some research on locksmiths, and a related question was “what makes a great locksmith?” Whether people want to know to advance their career or they want to make sure they’re hiring the right locksmith, it’s helpful to know what it takes to become a car locksmith — and a great one, at that.


Career Summary

One search engine site summarizes the duties of a car locksmith as such: A car locksmith provides a range of services relating to access and entry to secured objects and premises, changing, maintaining, and fitting locking devices for public and private clients. A locksmith may work from a store, on a travelling basis or for a company network, and may work to actually construct locks using metal work skills (although the majority of work is now completed by changing pre-made parts).

Experience, Qualifications, Skills

Having a mechanical background can differentiate a standard car locksmith from a stellar car locksmith. Mechanical people love to work with their hands, and this is one of the essential skills that a locksmith needs to possess. Really, if you don’t love working with your hands then you most definitely will not excel at being a locksmith.

A majority of the actions carried out by a locksmith require constant use of hands to solve problems, pick locks, and generally fix things (like broken car key extractions for instance). If you are not passionate about your job, the chances of you becoming good at it are slim to none. This takes us to our next point: skills.

  • Manual dexterity and practical thinking

  • A good understanding of lock and security mechanisms

  • The ability to market and run an independent business

  • Being able to drive in order to be able to reach clients

  • An interest in locks and keys

  • Good customer service skills

  • The ability to use a range of specialist tools

Experience of the trade is often extremely important, hence the fact that most locksmiths complete apprenticeships with more experienced tradesmen to gain vital practical tips. Formal qualifications are more useful for gaining certification and finding out what it is necessary to learn, rather than how to actually complete different tasks. This is something that can only really be achieved through practice, gaining experience of different mechanisms and honing skills to a high level.

Related reading(s): 15 Characteristics You Must Have To Become A Stellar Locksmith


Given the traditional nature of the locksmith trade, the standard progression of a successful career as a vehicle locksmith is to complete a course then become apprenticed to a more experienced locksmith, before becoming, in time, an independent operator.

After this, further courses can be completed to gain more specialist knowledge (for example: specialize in electronic locks) and a locksmith can aim to expand a business in a traditional way, taking on new staff and so on.

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