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Apprenticeship

Locksmith

Locksmiths install, adjust and repair locks, make keys and change lock combinations on residential, automotive, commercial and institutional locksets and door hardware. They also may install and maintain more sophisticated security systems. 

  • Avg. Salary $49,890.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.84
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
Also Known As

Customer Service Representative, Key Duplicator, Safe and Vault Technician, Vault Technician

NOC & Interest Codes
The Locksmith is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Locksmiths
NOC code: 7383.2
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to manipulate lockpicks in cylinders to open jammed locks and locks without keys, and to fabricate parts

METHODICAL

Interest in replacing worn and damaged parts by chiselling, filing, scraping and other tooling to correct dimensions

innovative

Interest in analyzing information to disassemble locks such as padlocks and door locks to locate defects

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In general, locksmiths:

  • sell and install high security lock systems and key control systems, window bars, deadlocks and keyless entry locks
  • repair, replace or adjust damaged or defective components of an entrance or exit door (for example, door closers, hinges, electric release mechanisms and sometimes the door itself)
  • service, code, recode, rekey or re-pin any locking devices
  • design or maintain master key systems
  • help clients re-gain access to secured areas by means of bypassing locking devices.

Specific duties vary depending on the area in which locksmiths work:

Shop locksmiths:

  • service and adjust key machines
  • repair locks
  • re-key locks
  • make keys for locks
  • open cylinders when keys are not available
  • prepare master keys from code
  • repair or make keys for auto locks brought into the shop.

Mobile locksmiths work from mobile units. In addition to the duties of shop locksmiths, they also:

  • repair locks in the field
  • open door locks with a lock pick
  • open and make keys for automobiles
  • install locks, door closers and emergency exit hardware
  • replace hinges and re-align doors
  • install security bars
  • install and repair electric strikes and electronic security hardware
  • service and change combinations on safe and vault doors.

Safe and vault technicians have additional training in safe and vault servicing and trouble shooting. They open, rebuild, paint, move and install safes.

Locksmiths who service bank equipment work with mechanical and electronic time locks, time delay devices, night deposit units and combination, electronic and key locks for vaults and safes.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Locksmiths usually work a five day week but may be on call nights and weekends to respond to emergencies. Self-employed locksmiths may work longer hours.

Some shops, especially mobile units, may be small and crowded, requiring locksmiths to work around benches, counters and stock. They sometimes are required to work in awkward or confined spaces, climb ladders, or move safes that weigh over 25 kilograms. Those working in mobile units may be required to work in adverse weather conditions.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Locksmiths need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical ability
  • good mathematical ability
  • an understanding of computers
  • patience and stamina
  • tact when dealing with the public
  • good vision and hearing
  • good hand-eye co-ordination to work with small and intricate parts
  • reliable, accurate and honest
  • able to work independently 
  • interested in keeping up to date with new developments in security. 

They should enjoy doing precision work, solving problems and helping people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, a locksmith must be licensed by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General under the Alberta Security Service and Investigators Act (SSIA) and must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized trade certificate.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Knowledge of computers, electronics, welding, carpentry and metal work is an asset.

During the apprenticeship program, apprentices must hold a valid Locksmith Apprentices Training Licence issued by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (3 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at Red Deer College and by distance delivery.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Locksmiths are employed by locksmithing companies, related security firms and institutions.

Experienced locksmiths can advance to supervisory positions or set up their own businesses. Most locksmiths consider this a life-long occupation. Alberta certified journeyperson locksmiths who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Locksmiths are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7384: Other trades and related occupations. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 1,200 Albertans are employed in the Other trades and related occupations occupational group. This group is not expected to grow from 2016 to 2020.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Increasing public awareness of theft is creating a need for more security measures so demand for locksmiths is expected to remain fairly stable.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $25 to $40 an hour plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice locksmiths earn 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70% in the second, 80% in the third.

Locksmiths are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7384: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c..

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. occupational group earned on average from $20.17 to $34.62 an hour. The overall average wage was $27.84 an hour. For more information, see the Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Fabrication
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: justice.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta website: www.plaa.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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