How Do I Become a Locksmith Apprentice?

Angela Farrer

You can become a locksmith apprentice by gaining acceptance to an employer-sponsored period of locksmith training. Some adult vocational or trade schools have locksmith courses of study that combine both classroom learning and hands-on practice of this trade, although these programs are sometimes not as widely available as traditional locksmith apprenticeships. Some established locksmiths who teach apprentices may require or at least encourage mastery of basic locksmith terminology and tool usage prior to accepting a candidate who wishes to become a locksmith apprentice. Before applying for an apprenticeship, examine the different areas for locksmith specialties such as banks vaults, automobile locks, or commercial safes that business establishments routinely keep.

A locksmith apprentice must be familiar with a variety of locks.
A locksmith apprentice must be familiar with a variety of locks.

Some preliminary research will often help you make the best decisions concerning your locksmith apprenticeships. Conducting a few informational interviews with journeymen locksmiths is a good way to gauge whether you could work as a locksmith apprentice with any of them. Various locksmiths may have different job duties, pay rates, and lengths of time for apprenticeships that can range from one to five years. Personality compatibility can also be a factor, just as with any type of work environment. You want to get along well with any journeyman locksmith before applying to become a locksmith apprentice under him.

A locksmith apprentice may use a laser key cutting machine to make or copy keys.
A locksmith apprentice may use a laser key cutting machine to make or copy keys.

Once you have chosen to become a locksmith apprentice under a certain experienced locksmith, you also want to verify that he has the proper certification. Many regions require every locksmith to pass a comprehensive certification exam that covers all areas of the trade. A small number of locksmiths unfortunately choose to become self-taught while skipping certification, and receiving training from one of them is often viewed as questionable at best.

An application for a locksmith apprenticeship generally requires proof of high school graduation. You may also be asked to fill out a separate form or submit a resume detailing your relevant education and past employment. Prior experience working with tools is often considered a plus, as is completion of at least one correspondence course covering the basics of locksmithing. You might also need to pass a police background check and be fingerprinted, depending on the local laws of your area. Since a trained locksmith has a set of skills that can potentially be misused, a past record of certain criminal acts, such as larceny, will generally exclude a candidate from acceptance as a locksmith apprentice.

Locksmith apprentices must submit to a backround check and fingerprinting.
Locksmith apprentices must submit to a backround check and fingerprinting.

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