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.
You can train as a locksmith by taking courses accredited by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). The MLA is recognised as the authoritative body for locksmithing 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.
- Pass a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), or the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme in Scotland
Where to find out more
- Master Locksmiths Association (MLA)
- British Locksmiths Institute (BLI)
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.