In Summary - Locksmith
The Work - Locksmith
Locksmiths supply, fit, service and repair a wide range of locks. They also give people advice on ways to improve the security of their homes or business premises. Locksmiths are highly skilled; their work involves everything from basic key cutting to emergency opening procedures and the installation of sophisticated security systems.
Many locksmiths work from a shop and offer a call-out service to do a wide variety of different tasks. Others are mobile and offer a 24-hour emergency service. They deal with emergency access problems, for example, when someone has lost their keys, locked themselves out of their house or had a lock damaged during an attempted break-in. They may also do this at the request of the police, local authorities and housing associations. Call-outs can involve travelling in the local area at any time of the day or night to gain access to a vehicle or building. Locksmiths often work outdoors, sometimes in bad weather.
When fitting a new lock or replacing a faulty one, locksmiths first talk to the owner or builder of the property to discuss their requirements. Locksmiths often give advice on security and fire safety issues, using their expert knowledge to recommend the most appropriate security systems for the customer. Some customers (for example, businesses and large organisations) have sophisticated requirements, for example, electronic locks, master key systems and closed circuit televisions. Larger projects of this kind may involve locksmiths in co-operation with building companies and security guard firms.
After talking to the owner or builder of the property, the locksmith advises which type of lock assembly is most suitable. The locksmith measures and marks the exact position of the new lock, and then uses tools to cut or chisel holes that fit the lock exactly. Using screws, the locksmith secures the mechanisms. They make sure mechanisms work properly, making minor adjustments if necessary.
Locksmiths who work in retail outlets give advice and sell security products to the general public. This may include selling padlocks and safes, and producing duplicate keys either by hand or using key cutting machinery. Some locksmiths work for specialist firms, advising property owners on security issues.
Locksmiths may become involved in auto-locksmithing (fitting locks in cars), for example, hel
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Cut new or duplicate keys, using keycutting machines.
- Cut new or duplicate keys using impressions or code key machines.
- Disassemble mechanical or electrical locking devices, and repair or replace worn tumblers, springs, and other parts, using hand tools.
- Keep records of company locks and keys.
- Set up and maintain master key systems.
- Insert new or repaired tumblers into locks to change combinations.
- Install door hardware such as locks and closers.
- Open safe locks by drilling.
- Move picklocks in cylinders to open door locks without keys.
- Install alarm and electronic access systems.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Interests - Locksmith
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Locksmiths need a high level of technical skill and expert knowledge of a wide range of lock assemblies and other security devices. To be a locksmith, you need an interest in mechanical and electronic gadgetry; carpentry skills would be very useful. You will need a comprehensive knowledge of sophisticated techniques and technology, including master keying and electric locks.
You will deal with the public, so you must be a good communicator and able to get on with a wide range of people at all levels.
Above all, locksmiths must be honest, discreet and able to inspire confidence. This career involves a lot of responsibility and public trust.
You should be analytical and possess an enquiring mind; attention to detail is also a necessary skill for a locksmith. You may need a full driving licence.
Entry Requirements - Locksmith
Many employers provide their own training that is carried out by senior qualified locksmiths. In some cases training may take up to five years.
Practical craft and engineering skills will give you an advantage in entering this work.
Licensing of Locksmiths Contractors Announced
Legislation dictates that all security employees including locksmiths now have to be licensed.
Following the signing of Regulations by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, the PSA announced that the critical date for the licensing of contractors in the locksmith sector would be the 1st February 2017. Announcing the introduction of licensing the PSA’s Chief Executive, Paul Scallan said “The extension of licensing to locksmiths is another major milestone in the regulation of the private security industry. I would like to thank all those involved in the process over the past 2 years and in particular the members of the working group who developed the standard for licensing, PSA 55:2016.”
The PSA will start accepting applications from contractors for this new sector from 1st November 2016. In order to obtain a licence, contractors will require a certificate from a PSA approved certification body certifying compliance to PSA 55:2016.
Last Updated: November, 2016
Pay & Salary - Locksmith
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 42k
Entrant: 18 - 23
Experienced: 23 - 42
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.