What Degrees and Education Programs Are Available in Locksmithing?

Although few schools offer recognized degrees in locksmithing, aspiring locksmiths can find training courses at either a community college, a technical vocational school or through an apprenticeship. Schools offering Locksmithing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Locksmith Education, Training, and Career Overview

Locksmiths work with safes, locks and various other security mechanisms. This work often involves installing hardware, repairing damaged locks, managing key and alarm systems, and opening locks that are no longer in service due to malfunction or a lost key. Apprenticeships, educational courses, certification and diploma programs are all training options which are commonly available to those who may be are interested in becoming a locksmith. Such programs may vary in duration or overall style, but they typically all have similar course content.

Important Facts About Locksmith Professionals

Certification Locksmith accreditations across a variety of relevant specialties are offered through Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).
Licensing Local and state licensing requirements vary significantly, and may range from highly stringent to virtually non-existent.
Work Environment Security and hardware shops, government offices and other 'information sensitive' agencies, and small businesses are common employers of locksmiths. Some locksmiths may also choose to work as self-employed contractors.
Job Outlook (2014-2024) Employment opportunities in this field are expected to decline by 15% nationally.
Median Salary (2014) $38,600

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


Locksmith apprentices study with a master locksmith and learn through an extended on-the-job training program. At the end of an apprenticeship, locksmiths are fully trained in the trade and have a solid work history to present to prospective employers.

Individual Locksmith Courses

Students can design their own educational program in locksmithing through schools that offer individual courses. As an example, the Charles Stuart School of Locksmithing offers individual courses taught by working locksmiths who are up-to-date on the latest advancements. The curriculum prepares students to obtain the license needed for locksmithing in New York. Available courses include:

  • Key Cutting and Duplication both by Hand and Machine
  • Lock Installations
  • Master Keying
  • Safe Combination Changing
  • High Security Locks
  • Auto Locksmithing
  • Emergency Openings (forced entry)
  • Auto Opening
  • General Lock Construction
  • How to Operate your Own Business

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs teach the fundamentals of locksmithing over a short period, preparing students for entry-level locksmithing jobs. Graduates of the program may pursue the Registered Locksmith designation. Topics covered during the course include identifying different types of locks, keys, and security systems, understanding key duplicating systems, re-keying lock cylinders, master key basic systems, installing high security locks, and cross-referencing key blanks.

Community College Programs

While associate's degree programs in locksmithing are rare, many community colleges offer professional training programs lasting six months to a year. These programs lead to a professional diploma or certification. Students enrolled in a community college program will learn locksmithing techniques, industry standards, as well as relevant legal, ethical, and safety practices.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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