When choosing a Coral Springs locksmith, it can be beneficial to gain an understanding of what you're getting. The path to becoming a locksmith is not the same as getting a college degree. But working in this field requires training and skill, which can be acquired in a variety of ways.
And the expertise that locksmith's possess isn't limited to simply picking your residential or automobile lock in the event you're locked out. There are many types of locks, some of which have very basic inner workings and others that are highly sophisticated. In addition, residential locks tend to be very different from commercial locks. Vehicular, safe, and electronic locks offer yet another set of challenges. Combine that with a wide range of lock types and high-tech circuitry and our job is never done.
So locksmiths not only have to be able to crack these locking systems, we have to know how to repair, install, and maintain them. This requires a certain level of education, training, and experience.
While some locksmiths focus their training on the in's and out's of locks, locking hardware, and systems, others will expand their formal knowledge to include areas such as starting a locksmithing business and understanding the legal issues surrounding access, privacy, etc. These additional courses enable aspiring locksmiths to get their start faster and to avoid common mistakes.
In a moment, we'll cover the various ways that someone can become a locksmith. While hands-on experience is the ultimate testament of a quality locksmith, knowing how they might have entered into the industry will allow you to ask questions.
Paths to Becoming a Locksmith
Depending on the method of training, it can take six months or up to four years to become a locksmith. As you might have guessed, some locksmiths with limited training may not get involved with certain complex locking or security systems. Of course, this doesn't mean that they can't handle most standard residential, vehicle or commercial locks. With that said, here are the two most common paths to becoming a professional locksmith.
Formal Training Program
Believe it or not, there are a number of locksmithing schools, community colleges, and trade organizations that offer a full curriculum for aspiring locksmiths. For example, the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) organization has a wide network of training programs spread across the United States, Canada, and Australia. The training can take place online, in a classroom, or via mail correspondence. Some of these programs offer scholarships and financial aid to those who qualify.
In most instances, you should have your high-school diploma to be accepted or receive aid.
Depending on the locksmithing program you choose, the training can be geared toward vehicular, residential and commercial locks, safes, and alarm systems. Or it can extend into areas such as the latest in high-tech security, closed-circuit television, biometrics, etc.
Start as a Locksmith Apprentice
Some individuals my choose to begin their locksmithing career by working under the supervision and tutelage of an experienced locksmith. Or, they may start as a clerk in a locksmith company and request to learn the ropes of a locksmith.
An apprentice may work under several locksmiths before branching out on their own, or be given the responsibility to lead a large or complex installation.
Although not generally required, Locksmiths can prove their knowledge and proficiency by taking a test to gain certification. As mentioned above, ALOA is the most prominent organization that offers a certification program. You can take a test to become a Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL) which is a prerequisite for taking an even more advanced test to become a Certified Master Locksmith.
ALOA also owns another association called the Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA). So someone who would like to specialize in safes and vaults can become certified in this area. In this case, the individual would be classified as a Certified Professional SafeTech or a Certified Master Safe Technician.
So there you have it. Just when you think that a locksmith is just a lock-smith, you realize that there is a whole other world. For sure, there are locksmiths that handle and focus on traditional lock and key components. And that's fine for the vast majority of vehicles, homes, and businesses. But you see that some locksmiths are perfectly capable of working with high-end and very complicated security systems, vaults, and more.