With the country in a bit of a state at the moment and times of uncertainty many people could soon be looking for a career change. Over the past 16 years I’ve seen a huge number of locksmiths come and go. However the great recession of 2008 brought the biggest influx of locksmiths I’ve ever seen. Some of these company’s are still around today but many are now long gone. With another recession potentially looming around the corner I thought this might be a good time to talk about locksmithing as a new career choice. So Should you consider a career as a locksmith?

Will Becoming A locksmith Be Easy?

Before we get too far into this post let’s be clear on one thing. It WONT be easy! Once you start doing A bit of research on this subject your are bound to start coming across locksmith training websites. Most of these sites are going to talk about how amazing a locksmith career will be, how you can learn in as little as 5 days and how locksmiths can earn a huge amount of money. Whilst the money side of things might be true for some, for many this won’t be the case.

The first thing to think about would be if being a locksmith is so lucrative why would other locksmith company’s be training people to come into there industry and potentially take work from there own area? In my opinion a lot of these training company’s are set up to make big money because there’s not big money in doing the normal locksmith work.

The second thing to consider is training time. Locksmithing is very complex with a massive amount of lock types and applications available. Think about your current job, could you have learnt your job inside out in 5 days or less? What you need to consider is after doing some initial training, your are going to have to build on this yourself because you certainly won’t know everything once your training is complete.

Ok so enough of the negativity……..

Locksmithing can be an amazing career, helping people to feel more secure in there homes and businesses, helping people who’ve been burgled and sorting a number of different issues out for customers. It can be extremely rewarding.

As with most things in life you will get out what you put in. After some initial training you will still need a lot of practice. From a training course you will probably learn the basics of a few simple lock types but it will be up to you to expand your knowledge as much as possible in your own time. Many locksmith forums and Facebook groups are available and you should spend a lot of time focused on picking up as much info as possible and networking with other locksmiths. However the most knowledge will come from experience, usually things in a classroom will be based on a perfect scenario but in the real world things will no doubt be trickier. This would include things like trying to replace an obsolete product, bowed and twisted doors, weather conditions or even trying to work in the dark if you are going to work nights as well.

Locksmith Tools

A lot of consideration should be placed on tools. Your going to need a lot of tools to complete different types of jobs and the cost of these tools will soon mount up. Obviously basic hand tools will be required. Hammers, screw drivers, chisels etc.. Along with power tools like a good quality drill, impact driver, electric planes, grinders etc.. Then the specialist lock picking equipment which is kind of endless and will probably need to be built up over time after first buying the essentials such as hand picks and electric pick guns.


This is really a personal preference, some well established locksmiths carry a huge amount of stock. This is to try complete most jobs on the first visit to a property. This obviously saves a huge amount of time and also money wasted on fuel having to do a second visit. This is something that’s going to be much more difficult at the beginning as you won’t have a good idea what sort of stock to carry until you learn what locks are popular in your area. Also the cost of having all that stock sat unused in a van can really start to add up to a lot of money so might not be wise for somebody just starting out there career as a locksmith.

Advertising For Locksmiths

Advertising is going to be very important and again unfortunately very costly. There’s many places to get work from and in an ideal world most of the work would come from word of mouth as its free. The problem with word of mouth is it takes time to start bringing in that sort of work so your going to need to get work from elsewhere in the meantime. Its no secret that the main source to advertise any business nowadays is online. So your going to need to pay somebody to build a website for you if your not able to do this yourself. Having a website alone will not bring in any work. People need to find that website and we all know the number one place a customer will look is on Google. So again another expense paying a company to help you rise up the google rankings. As you guessed it this can be another costly expense. In the meantime you need to be listed on as many free listing sites as possible.


If you want to do any trade job which involves traveling to customers houses your going to need a van. Yep you guessed it more expense. The associated costs would be the initial cost of the van. Either buying out right, finance or a lease. Then comes fuel, insurance and repairs. Also with the rise in tool thefts from vans extra security should be a top priority for any tradesman vehicle.

Business Insurance

When working in a customers house no matter what trade you are in business insurance is a must. For normal day to day work insurance cover of around £1m would be plenty but when tendering for certain contracts the company will specify a minimum amount. From experience this is usually around the £5m mark. Insurance is usually split into public liability and indemnity. Usually the bare minimum would be public liability but indemnity should be considered as well before your start your career as a locksmith.

Book Keeping

An often overlooked aspect is accounts and book keeping. Being self employed means you will have to do some book keeping in one form or another. A couple of options to consider would be book keeping software you can use yourself to submit tax returns to hmrc. The second options would be to pay an accountant to do this for you. Both methods will incur additional yearly costs.


So as you can see we’ve only covered a few basic essentials. Already the associated costs would be quite high. Locksmithing can be an amazing and rewarding career. But equally it can be expensive, tiring and stressful. Without a doubt you will get out of it what you put in. Sit back and wait for work to come your way and you probably won’t succeed. Get out there and chase it, work hard, put in the long hours, network and you could have an amazing career as a self employed locksmith. Hopefully this article gives you a bit of food for thought and may have covered a few things you haven’t considered.



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