How To Start Your Own Locksmith Business

If there’s a trade that always has work, it’s the locksmiths. The reason is simple – every house has doors, and every door comes with a lock.

It’s been like this for a long time, with the first locks being used by the Ancient Egyptians some 6,000 years ago. In modern times, however, it’s not just locks that locksmiths work with. They also deal with car key service, installation and maintenance of security systems, provide file cabinet and safe box services, and so on.

The best thing is that not only is there always work for locksmiths, but this job is also very well paid.

How Much Does a Locksmith Make?

According to the information available at, the price of locksmithing services ranges from as little as $25 (plus service call fees) to as much as several thousand dollars per project. What this practically means is that a locksmith’s salary depends on the amount of work they’re getting.

Of course, locksmiths’ earnings depend on a number of other factors, including their location. For instance, a locksmith doing business in downtown New York City is going to have a significantly higher salary than one working in rural Mississippi. Still, generally speaking, a locksmith in the United States earns between $50,000 and $80,000 a year.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Locksmith?

You don’t need a Ph.D. to be a locksmith, but you do need at least a few weeks/months of training to learn the trade. There are literally hundreds of training courses to choose from in the United States, with the ones certified by the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) being the most common.

Locksmith training courses may not take too long, but in order to become good at this job, you need experience. Some believe that it takes at least a year before a locksmith newbie has mastered the trade.

How To Start Your Own Locksmith Business?

If you have zero experience with the locksmith business, our advice is to go out and get some before starting your own business. Finishing a course might not be enough for this. Instead, you might want to gain some valuable experience by working as an apprentice to an experienced locksmith for at least a couple of months.

Only once you’ve gained enough experience are you ready to start your own locksmith business. Unfortunately, your skills aren’t enough to get you started in this trade. You also need money to launch your locksmith company as a business.

You need to create a legal entity for your business, which you’d then register for taxes. You also need to open a bank account for your company, as well as set up accounting. All these things cost money, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The biggest portion of your investment money will be spent on locksmith gear.  

What Kind of Equipment Do I Need to Get Started?

The kind of equipment you’ll need for your business depends on the kind of locksmith services you plan to provide. The locksmiths from offer several dozen different services to their customers, including things like home lockout service, car lockout, lock rekeying, master key system service, and so on.

If you want to keep things simple – and deal with lock installation/repair – you will need to get yourself only the basic tools, which shouldn’t cost more than $3,000 in total. Among those are things like:

  • Laser key-cutting machine
  • A set of lock picks of different shapes and sizes
  • Plug spinners
  • Pick guns
  • Broken key extractors
  • Formed-end tweezers
  • Padlock shims
  • Lighting scope

Apart from the tools, you will also need a van or some other form of transportation. After all, most of the work locksmiths do is done on the field.

How Do I Advertise My Business?

Same as any other business, this one too requires a good marketing strategy. Advertising your locksmith business the old-fashioned way is one option – put up billboards showcasing your company, pay for TV/radio commercials, classified ads, and so on.

In the 21st century, however, there’s another method to promote your company. You can do it over the internet. The thing is that most people look for local businesses using Google, which is why it’s of crucial importance to create a good website.

By “good”, we mean a website that looks nice, that’s easy to use, and which has all the info users need. Of course, you don’t need to have the best locksmith website in the world, but your website needs to be the best in the area you operate.

Apart from creating a website, it’s also smart to create a Facebook page for your business, as well as profiles on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Final Thoughts

As long as there are doors and locks, there will be locksmiths needed. It may not be the most glamorous profession, but it certainly does have its advantages. Steady work and income are just a few of them, but flexible working hours and respect of the community are also important. After all, locksmith’s work at many different hours and must be trustworthy individuals. All in all, it’s a good idea to look into locksmithing as a profession.


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