The requirements for becoming a locksmith in the US vary from state to state and in some cases from county to county.
Some states, such as Texas require a person to provide proof of passing a two-year apprenticeship for a licensed locksmith. Other states, such as North Carolina require locksmiths to pass a state exam in order to get a license. Unfortunately, the requirements for starting a locksmith business are not so demanding in all states, which increases the risk of hiring a locksmith who has neither the skills nor the competence to perform their job.
Generally, taking courses at specialized locksmith schools, and doing apprenticeships for experienced and Certified Master Locksmiths is recommended for those who are willing to work in this business. There are various courses offered, starting from the basics of the locksmith trade, and others specializing in specific areas of this business.
Investing in a good education in this field is what every responsible locksmith should do, to ensure that the job is performed properly, the risk of damaging customer’s property is minimized, and that a good reputation is built in the region where they choose to work.
Successful completion of these locksmith schools or courses will lead to the issuing of a certificate. The certificate though is not a license.
Working for a certified locksmith and gaining the knowledge and practical experience from such an apprenticeship is the best way to become a good one, and to be able to become a licensed one, depending on the licensing requirements of the state or county.
The various types of locksmith jobs require different skill levels. Probably, the easiest and less-skilled type is the emergency locksmith job, which in many cases requires simple tools and involves fast work.
General locksmiths will need to master the art of lock installing, key making, re-keying locks, etc. Commercial locksmiths have to know how to install gates, locks, develop and implement master key systems.
To become a safe technician requires a lot of knowledge, expensive tools, years of experience, and quite expensive and extensive technical documentation, which is more time-consuming and a large investment will be necessary for locksmiths who choose to work in the area of opening and repairing safes and vaults.
In South Florida, a locksmith license is required only by the Miami – Dade County for every Miami Beach Locksmith. All people who want to get a license for performing locksmithing services in the county, will need to acquire a license from the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER). The applicant is checked for a criminal background, as well as for compliance to the Locksmith ordinance requirements. Also, the County requires that licensed locksmiths working in the area have locksmith insurance and identification by the RER Department in order to work in the County.
This is why, when you call for a locksmith or before you chose a locksmith to do a job for you, you are entitled to ask for proof that they are licensed and insured to perform their services.