While many locksmiths are self-employed or work in dedicated shops, many large institutions like colleges and universities and government and industrial entities employ locksmiths on a full-time basis. Locksmiths perform important duties that include repairing and installing locks and locking devices. Locksmiths also repair locks and manufacture keys. They also cut keys and maintain records related to persons to whom keys are given.
Locksmiths may also have contact with law enforcement in situations Locksmith Ballard where police report that locks are broken, leaving buildings unsecured. In these cases, the locksmith performs emergency repairs whenever needed, so most locksmiths are on call 24 hours a day. In an institutional setting, the locksmith functions as a quasi-security consultant who recommends the best type(s) of locking devices for specific applications such as securing hazardous and/or classified materials.
Locksmiths need a set of unique skills that enable them to open doors without keys by using lockpicking tools. They must also be familiar with electronic lock systems that use keycards. Besides manual or electronic typical locks, the locksmith repairs and maintains vaults and safes.
Record-keeping is an important facet of the locksmith’s job. He or she keeps track of keys or keycards issued, reviews work orders and keeps superiors informed via memos or emails.
Most employers seek locksmiths with 2 to 5 years experience. Other traits that define a good locksmith who will be attractive to employers are:
– Mechanical ability
– Manual dexterity
– Good vision (eyeglasses are acceptable)
– Superior hand-eye coordination
– Neat appearance
– Pleasant demeanor due to the need to interact with the general public
An electrical background and licensing by the Department of Consumer Affairs is required to work on alarm systems. Some California cities require that locksmiths obtain a police permit.
In California, locksmiths must also obtain a permit and be fingerprinted. A background check is part of the issuing process for the permit, which must be renewed every two years.
The average wage for locksmiths in California is about $48,000 annually. Locksmiths employed in a government, institutional or corporate setting usually have a benefits package.
Experienced locksmiths working for wages earn an average of $48,000 per year. The California Projections of Employment published by the Labor Market Information Division projects a 21% growth rate. Job opportunities for locksmiths licensed to install and service electronic security systems are particularly attractive. Although competition for these positions is expected to be keen, those applicants who land locksmithing jobs can expect a stable income with plenty of growth.