How to become a Locksmith

Locksmiths install, sell, test and maintain locks and related security devices and systems.

Personal requirements of a Locksmith

  • Enjoy technical work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to lift heavy items
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Attention to detail
  • Patient and tactful when dealing with customers
  • Good vision and hearing
  • Good verbal and written communication skills

Education & Training for a Locksmith

To become a locksmith you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Locksmithing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Locksmith

Locksmiths may perform the following tasks:

  • sell and install high-security lock systems, key control systems, all types of mechanical locks and keyless-entry locks
  • repair, replace or adjust damaged or defective components of doors, including door closers, hinges and electronic release mechanisms
  • change mechanical and electronic key codes
  • design, manufacture, install and manage restricted master key systems
  • determine customer security requirements and assess risks through discussion and on-site inspection
  • assist clients to gain entry to premises, automotive vehicles, safes or high-security storage containers such as filing cabinets
  • recommend appropriate security and locking systems such as safes, strong rooms, alarms, closed-circuit television (CCTV), and door and window locks
  • install, replace and maintain locking systems, alarms and access control systems
  • test the performance of locks and security systems
  • repair jammed, worn or damaged locks by manipulating, dismantling, repairing or replacing defective parts
  • sell locks, safes and associated hardware
  • cut new or duplicate keys for locks and other security systems and devices
  • keep records of specifications of installed locking systems.

Working conditions for a Locksmith

Locksmiths may be required to work weekends, on call and after hours. Some locksmiths work in mobile units, travelling between jobs. They may also be required to work in confined spaces and outdoors.

Employment Opportunities for a Locksmith

Locksmiths are employed by locksmith and security firms. There may also be opportunities for self-employment. They can specialise in lock manipulation, key manufacture and identification, access control installations, safes and automotive work. Work may include domestic, commercial, government, retail and automotive situations. Demand is largely dependent on concerns about security and security upgrades involving electrical security, access control and alarm monitoring systems.


Safe and Vault Technician

A safe and vault technician opens, rebuilds, moves and installs safes.

Additional Information
In some states and territories, locksmiths who install security equipment must undergo a National Police Check. Locksmiths working with security equipment may also be required to obtain a licence, or work under someone with a licence, issued by the police department or relevant regulatory body in their state or territory. Membership of the Locksmiths Guild of Australia and Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia is available to anyone interested in this industry. Visit their websites for more details.
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