Locksmiths are skilled in the installation and repair of locks and other security devices.

What does a locksmith do?

As a locksmith you could:

  • cut and copy keys for homes or businesses
  • repair broken or damaged locks on motor vehicles
  • supply, fit, or replace locks on UPVC doors and windows
  • specify, supply, and install electronic-access control systems, preventing unauthorised entry to domestic or commercial properties
  • repair or reprogramme remote key-fobs that are damaged (including the provision of emergency roadside assistance)
  • install, open, repair, or remove safes and security cabinets
  • provide advice to a range of people on how to keep themselves and their possessions safe
  • maintain records of locks, keys, and other work you complete

What do I need to do to become a locksmith?

If you already have practical experience, such as carpentry or joinery skills, you could apply for jobs directly if you’re prepared to start as a trainee.

Although there is no official UK regulation or licensing, and there are many training providers, the National Careers Service recommends training with the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), which offers accredited courses recognised by the police, the Home Office, the British Standards Institute, and the Association of British Insurers. There are beginners’ courses lasting from one to five days for people with no industry experience, and advanced training courses covering the latest locksmithing tools and specialist techniques.

Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Administration
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Mechanical knowledge
  • Patience
  • Problem solving
  • Technical ability

Related subjects

  • Design technology
  • Maths

Essential qualifications

  • Pass a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (required for MLA accreditation), or the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme in Scotland

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Locksmiths work with members of the public, as well as corporate businesses and the public sector. You could expect to spend most of your time working outdoors, especially if you provide a specialist service such as roadside assistance.

You could work as a small independent retailer in your own shop, or become a franchise based in a larger retail chain.

Locksmiths are also employed by companies as part of a small team, or on a self-employed basis, which will involve travelling to customer sites, and often requires you to be on call to provide out of hours availability on a rota basis.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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