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Updated / Apprenticeship

Locksmith

Locksmiths install, service and repair locks, originate and duplicate keys, on residential, automotive, commercial and institutional locksets. They also may install and maintain more sophisticated security, access control, and security camera systems.

  • Avg. Salary $60,587.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.26
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 1,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Lock Technician, Safe and Vault Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Locksmiths (7383.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Trades and Related Occupations (H523) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. (7384) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c. (7384) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

56%
56%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Locksmith is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Locksmiths
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 Mar 31, 2020

In general, locksmiths sell, install, and service locks in both the residential and commercial markets ranging from basic to high security locks, keyless entry locks as well as some access control systems, window bars, and other related hardware. They also:

  • 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, recode, or rekey locking devices
  • Design or maintain master key systems
  • Help clients re-gain access to secured areas by means of picking or bypassing locking devices

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

Shop locksmiths:

  • Service and adjust key machines
  • Repair and re-key locks
  • Originate (make original) and duplicate keys for locks
  • Open cylinders when keys are not available
  • Prepare and maintain masterkey systems
  • Make keys and program transponders for vehicle 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 lock picks and other bypass tools
  • 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, service, change combinations, paint, move and install safes.

Locksmiths who service bank equipment work with mechanical and electronic combination locks, time delay devices, safety deposit box locks, night deposit units, ATMs, CRUs, treasury safes and bank vault doors.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Locksmiths usually work a 5-day week but they can also expect to 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, which means working around benches, counters and stock. Locksmiths sometimes are required to work in awkward or confined spaces, climb ladders, move safes, and lift over 25 kilograms. In mobile units, they may have find themselves dealing with adverse weather conditions.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Locksmiths need:

  • Accuracy, patience and stamina
  • Reliability, honesty and self-motivation
  • Mechanical, math, and computer skills
  • Tact when dealing with the public
  • Good vision and hearing
  • Hand-eye co-ordination to work with small and intricate parts
  • The ability to work alone

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Knowledge of computers, electronics, 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 (three12-month periods) that includes 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 admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

Red Deer College

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Locksmith

Locksmiths install, service and repair locks, originate and duplicate keys, on residential, automotive, commercial and institutional locksets. They also may install and maintain more sophisticated security, access control, and security camera systems. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Security Services and Investigators Act [pdf] and Security Services and Investigators (Ministerial) Regulation [pdf], you must be licensed by the Government of Alberta to possess locksmith tools or work on locking devices or master key systems, maintain key code records, or cut, make or sell keys or other lock-operating devices for which duplication is restricted.

Under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Locksmith Trade Regulation [pdf], locksmith apprentices must be registered with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training to learn the trade.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship in Alberta is 3 years (three 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in each year.

Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Locksmiths trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they are licensed and hold a certificate recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Security Programs
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
P.O. Box 1023 Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2M1
Canada

Call toll-free within Alberta: 1-877-462-0791
Website: alberta.ca/security-profession-licences-permits.aspx

For a list of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices, click on “Contact Us” on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca)

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

Locksmith apprentices are often required to provide their own tools.

Experienced locksmiths can advance to supervisory positions or set up their own businesses. Most locksmiths stay in this profession, making it a life-long occupation.

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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the H523: Other Trades and Related Occupations occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson locksmiths wage rates vary but generally range from $25 to $40 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70% in the second, 80% in the third.

Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $43.14 $22.66 $18.45
Overall $21.00 $43.14 $29.26 $28.43
Top $25.00 $50.00 $34.70 $34.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

56%
56%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

33%
33%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

11%
11%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: www.alberta.ca/justice-and-solicitor-general.aspx

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta website: www.albertalocksmiths.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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