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Summary of occupation

Locksmiths assess the security needs of their clients, install appropriate alarms and locking systems, and access/maintain control systems and security systems. They may also need to repair or maintain locking or security systems. This may involve working with traditional mechanical locks or highly technical electronic security systems in homes or commercial properties. Besides residential security systems, locksmiths may also be employed to work on security systems for government organisations or for the automotive industry. Many locksmiths are self-employed.

ANZSCO description: Installs and maintains locks and related security devices and systems. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names: Metal Trade Worker
Specialisations: Access control systems specialist, Automotive locking systems, Door and window architectural hardware specialist, Safe specialist, Safemaker
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A locksmith needs:

  • to be responsible and honest
  • good customer service skills
  • to enjoy problem solving
  • to enjoy manual work and have good hand-eye coordination
  • to be willing to work on weekends or be called out at irregular hours
  • to be fit to climb ladders and to lift heavy objects
  • to be willing to keep up to date with new developments in security.
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Working conditions

A locksmith would normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However they need to be prepared to work weekends installing systems, and to be called out at any hour to 'rescue' people who have locked themselves out. This is especially true if they are self-employed.

Locksmiths may work in a shop or out, on-the-road. They will often have to work on a client's premises. They may be required to work in awkward or confined spaces.

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Salary details

Locksmiths, classified under precision metal trades workers, can earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week on average ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a locksmith develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.​

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Tools and technologies

Depending on the area they work in, locksmiths my need to be adept in using specialised tools, such as welding equipment and those used in precision handy work. They may also be involved in security systems utilised in the information technology industry.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a locksmith, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in locksmithing. The apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete.

In Western Australia (WA), locksmiths who install security equipment must undergo a National Police Check and a referee check before obtaining a Security Installer Licence, which is issued by the Licensing Services division of the WA Police. Contact Licensing Services for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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