How to Become a Commercial Locksmith in Philadelphia
One of the easiest misconceptions one can make about commercial master locksmiths is that they only have the knowledge and training to cut new keys, repair broken locks, or aid you in getting into a vehicle that has been locked out. In today’s world, a commercial locksmith in Philadelphia is going to be able to provide much more than the traditional service that locksmiths are generally known for, due to how advanced our technological systems have become. In this article, we will take a look at how one can become a locksmith, what type of career prospects are available, and what type of locksmith services can be provided once fully licensed and trained.
What Type of Educational Training is Needed to Become a Locksmith?
If you are planning on entering the trade, you will need to possess both mathematical and mechanical ability, have excellent eye-hand coordination, spatial perception, vision, and manual dexterity. You will need to be able to understand lock and key specifications, understand operating manuals, and have a basic knowledge of electronics, metalworking, and mechanical drawing. In most cases, the training comes from on-the-job training that is obtained either through an apprenticeship or through employee training programs. However, it can also involve a combination of training and classroom experience as well. If you are looking into becoming a Philadelphia locksmith, there are plenty of locksmithing schools and training programs available online and in-person. These can be found through the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) website.
Individuals who choose to take part in a locksmithing training program, will be able to take courses in topics such as key duplication, basic master keying, lockset functions, key blank identification, codes and code equipment, key impressioning, professional lock opening techniques, home and business security systems, safe and vault locks, automotive locks, and high security locks, just to name a few. A lot of the skills that are obtained through training programs can be practiced at home as they give you the necessary tools and know-how for application in all environments.
What Are The Requirements for Licensure and Certification?
Due to the fact that locksmiths are granted access to sensitive areas such as individual’s homes and are often required to work with high-security environments, such as vaults and safes in banks, many states require locksmiths to have licensure. Beyond being able to show both employers and clients that they are qualified and reliable, commercial locksmiths in Philadelphia should consider obtaining voluntary certification to show that they have met the high standards of training and experience that some services require. Other than having approved training and licensing, a lot of states require locksmiths to pass a criminal history check which requires proof that they are employed by a licensed locksmith.
Which Voluntary Certifications Are Available?
Other than obtaining a license, locksmiths in Philadelphia can also pursue voluntary certifications that, when completed successfully, recognizes the professionalism and proficiency of the locksmith with a designation. Individuals who go through the Associated Locksmiths of America training courses can receive certifications for various levels of expertise including Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), Certified Master Locksmith (CML) and Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL). Typically, one would start by pursuing the Certified Registered Locksmith designation and take additional training and on-the-job experience prior to attempting the examinations for the Certified Professional Locksmith and Certified Master Locksmith.
According to the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) website, to become a Certified Registered Locksmith, one must achieve a passing grade of at least 70%+ on the mandatory section which includes ten categories and two specialized electives of choice. The mandatory categories for this are cylinder servicing, key duplication, professional lock opening techniques, lockset servicing, cabinet, furniture and mailbox locks, lockset functions, basic master keying, key impressioning, key blank identification, and codes and code equipment. For the two electives of choice, there are twenty-six categories to choose from which can be seen here but include topics like safe combination locks, keyless mechanical locks, alarms, and time locks.
How Long Does Training Take?
This is completely dependent on what training programs an individual chooses to take, but generally speaking, it can take as little as two months to several months or even a few years depending on how specialized the designation that the individual is seeking. If one is completing an apprenticeship, this could last anywhere from two to three years.
What Are The Job Prospects and Potential Salary?
Although the industry growth in locksmithing has slowed down for all occupations within the field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment will grow approximately seven percent by 2020. For those who want an excellent shot at employment will want to certify themselves as this allows them to offer more services than what others in the area may be able to provide.
In terms of salary, the median yearly pay is approximately $37, 500 in the United States as of 2012. However, over time, this salary does increase with proper training, experience, and reliability. Most locksmiths who participate in apprenticeships will begin working at minimum wage. Locksmiths who choose to take on more specialized certifications, more responsibility, and expand their services will generally find more long-term success than those who stay with the basic knowledge.
How Does Finding a Job Work?
If it is your first job as a locksmith, this will generally come in the form of a trainee position at a company or an apprenticeship through an already certified locksmith. To find and apply for your first job, approach licensed locksmiths in the Philadelphia area to see who is willing and able to take on a trainee. If you work hard and are able to take on a variety of situations, you may be offered a position after your training period has commenced. Other than this, locksmiths may find jobs at hardware stores, security equipment manufacturers, or with large organizations that maintain important buildings such as universities and hospitals.
To learn more about becoming a locksmith, either speak with licensed and certified commercial locksmiths in Philadelphia, talk to the local trade schools in the area, or read more at on the Associated Locksmiths of America website.
posted by Expert Locksmith Philadelphia on Saturday, January 12, 2019