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A career as a locksmith requires many different skill-sets. These, complemented by the appropriate training, can make it a rewarding, well-respected career – and perhaps the key to your success in the civilian workplace

What’s involved?

As you might expect, the practical side of the locksmith’s role is very varied, and depends on factors such as location, job scenario and customer. Many locksmiths love the challenge this presents on a daily basis and, because the majority of the work is light, it’s a career that suits a wide range of people. 

Being a ‘people person’ is a must, though – locksmiths spend a huge amount of their time dealing with people in a variety of stressful situations. Imagine how you would feel if you had just been burgled or had locked yourself out of your property … The locksmith is required to deal with members of the public in similar situations, so needs to be understanding and sympathetic, while getting the job done. That’s why honesty and integrity are essential skills, as is the ability to think through a problem logically and see a job through to completion. 

The day job

The services of skilled and highly trained locksmiths – regardless of whether they are self-employed, completing private work, or working with national or local companies of varying sizes – will always be in demand at every domestic and commercial level. These requirements could take the form of anything from working at a customer’s home, business or even vehicle, to much more complex work – for example, working on safes or complex electronic systems on large commercial sites. 

Working as an emergency reactive locksmith requires flexibility in terms of working hours, and there is a fair amount of time spent on the road travelling from job to job. If you like the idea of being your own boss, the role of a locksmith might suit you – that is, if you don’t mind working odd hours and driving that extra mile to help a customer in distress. No one knows when they might require the services of a locksmith as most of the work is very reactive – so, needless to say, as a locksmith you must be prepared to drop everything and attend the customer in their hour of need.

But, thanks to the fact that the majority of the work is not planned and is very reactive, the locksmith industry is virtually recession-proof. A customer can’t say when they might find themselves locked out of their property, but when they are they have little choice but to seek the services of a professional locksmith.

For more job info …

on income, skills, working hours, entry requirements and more …

visit the National Careers Service website

Get qualified

In the past the locksmithing industry was a comparatively difficult one to get into. Nowadays, however, there are many training facilities throughout the UK revealing the secrets of the trade, and allowing easy access to the industry for those who would like to work in it. 

Finding a good training facility is vitally important in terms of giving you the best possible start in your new career. Although the locksmithing industry is not currently government regulated, and there are no regulations governing it, responsible training centres have ensured that they are independently regulated in order to raise standards within the industry.

There are currently no government-backed qualifications either; there are, however, a number of quality training providers offering courses at various levels and accreditation in locksmithing. On some courses, candidates are given the opportunity to have their skills assessed by industry experts in purpose-built, practical training environments. It is important that you do your best to check out exactly what kind of accreditation or qualification you will gain from a course before you part with any money. 

Use your ELC

Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELCAS website and is at level 3 or above. For full details of how to make the most of your ELC, refer to the in-depth features elsewhere on the Quest website

Getting known

For the self-employed locksmith there are many opportunities to operate a successful business. As with any business, your success will be governed by the amount of effort you put in. If you are willing to put in the hard work and dedicate yourself to the smooth operation of your business, then you – and it! – are very likely to succeed.

Have you got what it takes?

Due to the nature of locksmithing work, and the skills required, it’s clear that the profile of a military Service leaver fits the bill very well, with many of the skills gained while serving easily transferable to the role of locksmith. 


Having the correct training is of paramount importance. Ensure you are getting the best possible training for you – if a course seems very cheap, there’s probably a good reason for that! Most locksmiths in the industry train and operate as an ‘emergency locksmith’, and this will contribute to the majority of their workload, but look at other locksmiths in your area, try to identify any ‘niches’ within the region (cars, for example) and ensure that this additional skill-set is in demand.



With thanks to Keytek™ Training Academy for supplying the information on careers in locksmithing. Keytek currently provides the highest level of training in the locksmithing industry, offering level 4 accreditation.


Keytek® Locksmith Training Academy | Locksmithing
Learning a trade like locksmithing has long been a popular option for those leaving the armed forces; however with many companies offering varying standards of training choosing the right provider can be a difficult decision to make.
Nationwide, South West
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Keytek® Locksmith Training Academy | Locksmithing
Join the UK’s leading and largest Locksmith community, for a profession which has variety, flexibility and most importantly the luxury to design your own career.
Nationwide, South West
See all our jobs See all