What Does a Master Locksmith Do?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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A master locksmith installs repairs or replaces various types of locking mechanisms on behalf of consumers or business clients. The term master locksmith is used to differentiate highly trained professionals who belong to industry associations from inexperienced individuals who work in this field. In many areas, industry associations administer practical and written examinations that these professionals must pass before being able to refer to themselves as masters of this trade.

Some people employed in these roles work for security or construction firms while others are self-employed. Most locksmiths can install simple devices such as door handles, dead bolts or door chains but a master locksmith can also install more complex equipment such as digital or electronic locks on cars, bank vaults of safes. In some areas, people working in this field are regulated and industry regulators or government entities regularly arrange training sessions during which these professionals are taught how to handle complex locking mechanisms. Typically, a master locksmith has obtained all of the licenses that are necessary to handle most of the commonly used locking systems.


Although a master locksmith can work with a variety of different equipment, many people employed in this field focus on one type of locking system to keep operating costs low, purchasing only the tools that are necessary for work on those specific devices. Therefore, some people specialize in installing security systems for commercial firms while others mainly cater to the needs of homeowners. Prior to beginning work, the master locksmith normally provides the client with an estimate, and the client will either agree to the price or attempt to negotiate a lower rate. In some instances, the final cost may deviate from the quote although laws in some countries put caps on the amount that a worker can charge in excess of the estimate.

Many locksmiths are mobile which means they spend the majority of their time on the road assisting clients in their homes or driving to meet people who have locked themselves out of their cars. Other people employed in this field conduct the majority of their business in an office or workshop. These individuals generate income both by selling locking devices and cutting keys for cars, homes and other types of property.

Some experienced locksmiths recruit trainees or apprentices, and these individuals receive on-the-job training for a period of time. Afterward, the apprentice may go into business with the master locksmith or start his or her own firm. In such instances, the experienced professional will usually assign the least complicated jobs to the trainee. Sometimes, a master locksmith may spend the majority of the time overseeing junior employees rather than actively working on locking mechanisms and devices.


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