Learning the Locksmith Craft Teaching the locksmith craft can begin at a very young age. When a child has an interest in the mechanics of things, in how things fit together and how they come apart, it can lead to a future with locks and other interesting mechanisms associated with locks. The locksmith trade can be learned by experimenting, self-taught courses, apprenticeships, from a family member in the business, from videos, or through distance courses. It takes a combination of these things to advance to the professional status. If you choose to learn by experimenting, you could be setting yourself up for suspicion if anyone knows of your skills and something is stolen from an area you visited. A lawsuit or jail time could ensue if the wrong person with a vendetta against you were to incriminate you falsely. Becoming certified may be a step towards a legitimate and positive image of your craft and your character. Should you desire to become an apprentice from an established locksmith, it is best to determine that this person is certified. Know also that there are many aspects of the business to learn and you may need more training than an apprenticeship from one person. If that person specializes in automotive locksmithing and you desire to learn military locksmithing, you'll have a start in the right direction but will need more information and experience. If you've considered becoming certified through a school or distance course, make sure that the school is certified and that the place where you purchase your distance course is legitimate and accredited. If the school is a sham, even though you may learn everything you need to know, it may make your certificate a sham as well. Your investment should be placed in respectable establishments. Learning which area of locksmithing you'd be happiest choosing may require some research and/or experimentation. Even if you choose an area and later decide to change your focus, the knowledge you've acquired could still come in handy in your career path. Courses in becoming a locksmith can take nine months to two years to complete. There is much to be learned through additional experience besides the courses. You'll need to update your knowledge and skills as time goes on. The beginning of your career will usually involve books, hardware, and a key making machine. There are many helpful forums on the internet to point you in the right direction and provide helpful hints as well. Knowing which equipment to start with is a must. If you have a limited budget to begin with, you'll want to get the most from your money. You can't put all your money into the books and skip the key blanks. You'll need both. Locksmiths service many types of businesses. Unlocking cars is not the only way to make money in the business. Many small towns don't even have locksmith services. If you can afford to run the business out of your home, you could be extremely helpful to people in rural communities. Building a name for yourself through word-of-mouth in small areas can lead to loyal customers who are happy to spread the word and advertise for you. This in turn leads to contracts with bigger businesses. Learning the locksmith craft involves people skills as well as book work. Terms of the Locksmith Profession Have you ever heard of a slim jim? No, it is not a piece of beef jerky or a skinny rock star. It is a slender metal tool created for sliding between the door frame and the window on a automobile door to gain entry when a set of keys has been locked inside said automobile. It has been possible to buy a slim jim through perfectly legal means over the years, causing the automotive industry to fight back with tougher entry methods. Were you aware of a tool called an electric lock pick gun? These are used to open pin tumbler locks, which make up a huge majority of locks sold in America. These guns contain metal needles that vibrate the pins upward and are valuable to the security profession. A clutch-headed screw is not a silly pet name for a friend. It's a threaded screw that allows fixed clockwise action for wood or metal. Although other screws are used in locksmithing, this one is not your average screw. If you would like to sound sophisticated, you could practice using the term escutcheon. It might win points with someone you are trying to impress with your new knowledge of the locksmith trade. It describes the cover for the key hole of a lock similar to a mortice (also spelled mortise). A mortise is not a yoga position. It is a method that allows a face plate and trim to be exposed, placing the lock case within a hole in the door or drawer. Locksmiths must be literate and familiar with the terms of their trade. It helps if their customers have an idea of the terms as well. These terms are necessary when ordering parts for the replacement or installment of locks. If the customer has a problem with the lock after installation, it is helpful if he or she can describe the parts. Being a locksmith involves a decent grasp of the English language. Spelling is important as well. Advancement may depend on recognizing the spelling of the terms for a test or to be able to communicate effectively on paperwork. It is a positive step to become acquainted with the books and publications of the locksmith trade, even before becoming certified. Technology demands attention on a regular basis because it changes and evolves so quickly. An ongoing education is part of the job for a dedicated locksmith. If you are really good at the mechanics of the locksmith trade but have trouble with spelling, keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy for the paperwork aspect of the job. Conveying the proper image on paper is important for high-profile business. If it is necessary to send a letter to a business, your grammar, spelling, and punctuation will put a negative image on your business if it is incorrect and sloppy. Other interesting terms in locksmithing include sash, rose, and spoon. Some of the terms can be very fun to play with and add an area of interest to the lingo. But more importantly, they add an air of sophistication to the locksmith who uses them wisely. Things to Learn as a Locksmith A locksmith must, of course, learn the basics of being a locksmith. The locksmith must learn the tools necessary, the machines used, the locks and systems on the market, key identification, panic hardware, electronic security, business security, home security, and tax information. The locksmith must also learn advertising, bookkeeping, employee information, hiring techniques, safety measures for him or herself, safety for the employees who will be left at the office, pricing, and customer relations. Being a locksmith involves much more than a person might realize. This is a craft that is becoming more and more sophisticated as the technology and the laws increasingly become more complicated. The knowledge of the locksmith must change and grow with the business and the modern world. Customer relations are important for any business. It is important to gain the trust and the respect of the customers to be able to maintain the business. The locksmith must learn how to respect the customers' privacy and private information. The locksmith must learn how to communicate effectively with the public. Learning how to locksmith from an accredited institution is important both for the quality of information provided as well as the end results. If you learn locksmithing on your own through books or personal experimenting, you will not gain the necessary credibility to earn your place in the business world. This may gain you a very small following of customers, but it will also carry great risks. Knowing how to gain access into people's homes, businesses, and vehicles must be treated as highly confidential information. It is possible to operate a small locksmith business. If you want to specialize in only automobiles, you can concentrate on an education and equipment for the locksmith knowledge for that particular field. You may want to expand your knowledge to focus on locksmithing for residences only or businesses only. Locksmiths have a choice of several areas to learn and specialize. You can choose to combine all the areas and learn one area at a time, expanding your knowledge and your business slowly. One thing to remember when choosing the field of the locksmith is the demand in your area. How many locksmiths are already available? What are their specialties? Are there any public complaints about the local locksmith businesses? Are there any public needs that aren't being met? How can you put your business one level higher than those that are already available? Knowing which questions to ask is also an important learning step for a locksmith. Being a locksmith can be very rewarding for the right person, but it is important to research the field to learn if this is the right business for you. Two more questions to ask while learning about being a locksmith are: what hours must you keep, and what demands will this field of work place on your family? The public can be unforgiving in times of desperation. If a storm has damaged a home or a business, if a criminal has broken into a home or business, or if security system has malfunctioned, will you be able to accommodate the needs of your customers? As always, preparation is the key to success! The Art of Locksmiths Locks have been created in boring, plain, mechanical fashion, solely for the purpose of security with no thought or care to the art world. Locks are, after all, a means of privacy and protection, which doesn't usually bring art to mind. However, there have been many designs of the lock that would make a locksmith proud to say he's a part of the lock world. Decorative locks can create quite a stir in displays for businesses and homes alike. Part of the allure of certain pieces of furniture is the design of the lock. Art and creativity have improved the looks of the functional lock as well as the decorative lock. Improving the looks also boosted popularity and sales. There are combination locks now that make school children quite happy. Locks that light up, bright colors and interesting shapes have enhanced school supply shopping for both mothers and children. The craft of the locksmith is an art in itself. But the artistic improvements in the locks elevated the recognition of the makers of those locks and also of the locksmiths who must know how to work them. Making the locks look better didn't improve memory. People still forget where they put keys, lose their keys, and forget their combinations. There is also art in the photographs, clip art, stationery, and historical documents related to locksmithing. Paintings, posters, and ancient memorabilia all make the locksmith and his equipment an interesting part of art. Locks are found in pictures that don't even focus on locksmiths or locks. Locks contribute to history and genealogy. You'll see locks in historical references to churches, old general stores, and banks. There's art in the business cards and advertisements the locksmiths use. There's also art in the key blanks, which have become quite decorative. There's art in the colors and designs and even in the bright key tags you can place on your keys. Keys are now manufactured with themes such as Disney characters, cartoon characters, football team logos, American flags, and animals. Locksmiths must stay in tune with what sells in today's society to enhance their businesses and draw the attention of the youth. Chinese locks are art pieces because of their unusual opening procedures. Their shapes make them interesting, but they're functional as well. The craftsmanship is outstandingly artistic. The French have some creative designs in their locks as well. Sometimes the artwork is not necessarily in the lock itself but in the framework around the lock. There is also artwork in the locks of old as well as the locksmith tools of old. Ancient tools add to the quality of museums, giving credit due to the craftsmen who created the tools. Sometimes art is not recognized as such until it becomes a part of what is considered ancient. There is artistic quality in the locksmiths of old as well. Houdini was a famous locksmith who awed the public with his antics and magical quality to picking locks in his escape routines. He brought a flair to the art world as well as the locksmith world. Art is like beauty; it is in the eye of the beholder. Tools and Equipment for Locksmiths Locksmiths have to put several thousands of dollars into their tools and equipment investment. They may start out in the hundreds, but the cost will grow as the business grows. If a locksmith is interested in specializing in several areas, there are different tools for each area. Aside from the normal tools of the trade, such as key blanks and a key making machine, a locksmith must break down the types of key blanks into different categories and buy other items to go along with these. Key blanks come as at least six different types of residential blanks (from $5 to over $50), ten brands of commercial key blanks, and automotive key blanks for domestic and foreign vehicles. How is the locksmith to keep up with all the different keys? He/she must buy key tags, drawers, and key towers (tower only with no blanks, $500). These keys require key cutters. There are at least six different kinds of cutters. A manual duplicator costs $400-$600. A semi-automatic duplicator costs $655-$1600. An automatic duplicator costs $800-$1300. A tubular key duplicator costs $400-$1200. Code cutters cost $1900-$3100. Then there are your cutter wheels which cost in the range of $33-$340. A locksmith must buy pins, pinning kits, picks, pick sets, tension wrenches, and many different locks. There are hospital locks, government locks, gate locks, electronic hardware, furniture locks, biometric fingerprint locks, and electromagnetic locks ($200-$700). Every locksmith who has trained with a distance school will know about Kwikset locks and IICO key making machines. These are standard equipment for locksmiths-in-training. There are academies that teach courses on a course-by-course basis to further educate the craftsmen. There are also transponder keys that require a code machine to code the key for the vehicles to work in the ignition. Newer model vehicles with added security methods use electromagnetic fields of energy that are sent to a computer in the car. (This is an example of technology and computers sneaking into yet another area of our lives.) Coding keys in this manner is a way to increase security for the automobile owner as well as reduce costs for the insurance companies. There are older vehicles still in operation that require the simple use of the Slim Jim tool, so a locksmith must keep older tools around as well. Besides accommodating people who can't afford the newer, more sophisticated vehicles, there are collectors of antiques who won't want their cars damaged. So, the locksmith must know how to open the vehicles in a way that causes the least amount of forced entry. Even people who don't own expensive cars are proud of what they own and won't appreciate damage. As is evident, there is much for a professional locksmith to learn. Much of it can be retained by repetition. There are many locks that use the same tools and methods to unlock. But for the loads of information that can't be retained, the locksmith must rely on paper tools. These exist in the manuals and written information that must be kept for reference purposes. The Cost of Being a Locksmith A good, trustworthy locksmith must invest in more than just an education. But the bare minimum of education would cost close to $1000 for a home-study course, so the business does require an investment. The person must invest in themselves, their education, their equipment, their business location, advertising, insurance, and more. Any business worth having is worth a quality investment. One might have to start out small with just the basics of everything and the cheapest of everything. As the business grows, the cost of running the business should also grow to improve the customer base and the modern technology as well as any refresher courses that may be necessary. An important point to consider is the quality of your equipment. If you can afford to invest in better equipment, it could save you money in the long run. Sometimes cheap supplies don't last long enough to make their purchase worthwhile. Locksmith supplies are sold in many places, and it may pay to shop around. But the costs of being a locksmith will also be determined by what type of locksmith you would want to become. If you are only going to specialize in automotive work, you would not need to spend as much as you would if you were to invest in equipment for government security purposes. Other costs of being a locksmith would include the sacrifices you would have to make to achieve the success you desire in the business. Being dedicated to learning the craft so that you can advance to the point where you can own a big business will leave less attention for other areas in your life. You must pay for your education, your tools, and your transportation. This may mean less money for family extras. Are you prepared to make sacrifices for the benefit of your future as a successful locksmith? On the other hand, if it is only a small business you desire and the results don't need to come about soon, you may be able to learn slowly and still have plenty of time for your family life. If being a locksmith is only to be a hobby for you, there are even less sacrifices you would have to make. There's also the issue of your business location. If your family would have to move for your business to flourish, other sacrifices could be at stake. If you live in an area where you wouldn't be able to work out of your home or where you wouldn't earn enough money to pay your work expenses, you face the choice of either putting your ideas of locksmithing aside or of uprooting your family. This means educational changes for children, possible career changes for the spouse, moving expenses, and so on. Another cost of being a locksmith involves hiring employees. That leads to issues of worker's compensation, employee insurance, more paperwork, and time devoted to the hiring process. If you are determined and dedicated to the craft, you will be making an investment towards the future that could carry on for years to come. Weigh your options well. The cost may be overrun by the benefits! High Priorities for Locksmiths Shunted locks are just one of the items an emergency locksmith must know well. A shunt is the process of turning aside or moving to an alternate course, a bypass. Shunted locks come in different brands. One of those brands is that of a British company named Bramah. The prices for a Bramah shunted lock can go up to $193. These locks are made for wooden doors, metal doors, sliding doors, and cabinets. A shunt switch is used in a vandal-resistant mortise lock. These locks are used in places such as emergency exits. The complexity of these alarm locks requires educated intelligence on the part of the locksmith who may be required to repair or replace such a lock. Locksmiths may also be called in a situation where an exit or emergency door has been locked or jammed. There are doors that must legally remain unlocked. Any time they have become illegally obstructed, the locksmith may be called to undo the damage. Sometimes these doors are obstructed because of poor management or because of disgruntled employees. Locksmiths can be especially important to hospitals, convalescent homes, ambulance services, and police stations. Emergency and health care facilities are of high priority in a locksmith business. Although some people would categorize simply being locked out of their vehicle as an emergency, there are situations that are of a higher priority. If someone's health or life is at stake or if a criminal situation occurs that requires immediate response, the priority must be put on these situations. Some emergency locksmith businesses that advertise fast service operate from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco, California. There are several businesses that operate out of many offices across the United States. One has to be especially careful about hiring an emergency locksmith. There have been instances where locksmiths who have operated for years have been found to incorrectly bill the customers out of greed. One locksmith was fired from a hospital after eighteen years of service because he became greedy. He had an elaborate scheme which involved two other employees as well as him. This is an exception to the norm, though. We have to place our trust in someone, and there are many locksmiths who work hard to earn the trust and deserve it. Just as there are people in other professions who turn bad, there are also bad locksmiths. It doesn't make the profession bad, just that person. In general it is an honorable and respected position and the men and women who enter it must go through a lot to become professionals, including becoming registered in a way that allows the police department and the Better Business Bureau to investigate their background. The majority are proud of their upstanding public image and work hard to maintain control of it. Locksmiths working with emergency personnel and police are another way they keep us safe. They repair damage done by criminals, install systems that make it harder for criminals to gain illegal entry, and provide us with a sense of inner peace. What Are Some of the Dangers a Locksmith Faces? Being a locksmith in today's world contains dangers as much for the locksmith as it does for the person who needs the locksmith services. People should be more suspicious of who they allow to work on locks for their businesses and homes because of the courage of today's criminals, the technology, and the availability of supplies that fall into the wrong hands. The locksmith has to be protected from false accusations, from being blamed for damage he or she did not do, and from being sued. Being in the locksmith field of work is a career choice to take seriously and with pride for those who want to excel and be respected and recognized. As with any other career, there will be locksmiths who are trustworthy and reliable and those who are less worthy of the public's business. For people who are forced to call a locksmith with no time for preparation to check into the different backgrounds of the locksmiths in an area, it can be a danger for their future sense of security. Anyone who has phobias or who is unnaturally suspicious could suffer severe health problems simply because they don't know how much they could trust the locksmith. A locksmith who is running the business as a sham can put the public in danger of theft, rapes, beatings, or even murder. The unknown can create problems mentally and emotionally for the person who is unstable. Locksmith education is offered to anyone who is willing to pay for the course. This puts the public in danger because the student does not have to prove a criminal background before he or she is approved for the course. There is also the danger the locksmith is put in because they have no assurances of the intent of the person for whom they are about to do business. The locksmith's safety is just as important as the safety of the customer. The locksmith must know their own rights and must be in charge of their own self-protection. Their reputation comes second to their own safety. Locksmiths who are unfairly accused of wrong-doing are in danger of losing much-needed business. They must fight for their reputation and to be able to acquire new customers and keep them. The locksmith must also take precautions to arm themselves with the proper licenses, insurance, and certification as well as take steps to protect themselves physically. There are dangers in having access knowledge to people's homes and businesses because of the potential for wrong-doing by trespassers, disgruntled family members or friends, divorcees in battle, unhappy business partners, and in being in any remote areas. Another danger lies in the locksmith hiring employees who may have questionable backgrounds. Besides the locksmith having to worry about protecting himself from his customers or other dangerous people or situations, he also has to protect himself from hiring the wrong employees. Being a locksmith can be a profitable, enjoyable business with many rewards as long as the proper precautions are taken. Hiring a locksmith can safe and secure as long as the proper precautions are taken. Awareness pays off from both perspectives! Are Bump Keys a Threat to Locksmiths? The public knowledge of bump keys did not make the locksmith industry happy. It opened up public scrutiny and negative images for locksmiths because it spread open knowledge of how vulnerable the public can be with the locks that are on the market. Privacy was made insecure and uncertain. Bump keys gained popularity and gave the public a glance into the world of the locksmith. The glance, however slight, made the job seem easy. A locksmith faces many challenges aside from the types of locks that can be opened with bump keys. But the public knowledge brought forth both positive and negative attention to locksmiths. In some aspects it showed that more credibility needed to be gained from those legitimate in the business to ease public concern over those who are not. It caused more work for locksmiths in some ways because of the amateur criminals who adopted a belief that they could get away with more wrong-doing in an easier way. It also showed many ways our modern locks were failing us. Locks are designed by locksmiths, manufactured in factories, sold for public and private use, and then worked on by locksmiths who must pick the locks for people who lose keys or leave them locked inside the building or vehicle. It's somewhat of an amusing circle that moves from the locksmith and back to the locksmith. Not everyone, of course, was willing to take the bump key attention to heart. It lost popularity after the initial shock was over. Locksmiths are still a respected group who are much needed; in some ways, the attention brought by the bump key information enhanced business for locksmiths. Bump keys are certainly not the only way a criminal can enter your home, business, or vehicle. If a person is determined to enter and is persistent, there are many other ways to accomplish unlawful entry. Not every criminal would want to take the time to learn the proper way to make and use the bump key. Locksmiths will continue to flourish in their trade, and if the truth be known, have had occasion to use the bump key as well. The real threat to the public is in not taking responsibility for their own safety and not taking criminals seriously. Lock bumping is not new. The Dutch and German locksmiths experimented with it many years ago. It's just another form of lock picking that was put in the public eye that people had not realized was a threat all along. So, even though the public and the locksmiths frowned on the bump key knowledge becoming public, it was only a matter of time before it surfaced. The interest died down once the spotlight was removed. Life goes on. Locksmiths are still respected in their field and will continue to be such. Lock manufacturers didn't suffer enough for it to affect them on a large basis. The bump keys are only a small part of the tools that fall into the wrong hands. There is no way to keep every tool that could possibly cause unlawful entry out of the criminal's hands. Hence the job security of the locksmith will remain secure! Famous Locksmiths If you aren't familiar with any famous locksmiths, it's no surprise. Many locksmiths prefer to keep a low profile except to gain a reputable business. There are famous locksmiths within the locksmith community who are well-known for their skills as lock pickers and dominate the hobby. But as for the famous locksmiths who take their profession more seriously, little is put in the public eye. Schneider Locksmith of New York City is famous in their area of the states. But this is a famous company, not an individual. An individual of olden days who was famous for the locksmith skills was an Englishman named Robert Barron. He improved security of the lock itself with the invention in 1778 of the double tumbler lock. There was no modern day security, no electronic technology to help him. He used the impressive skills of his mind and hands to create his masterpiece of the era. Another famous locksmith was Jeremiah Chubb. He patented a detector lock back in 1818. This particular lock had six levers and won him a monetary award as well as ongoing fame. Mr. Chubb was located in London. Locks were made from wood long, long ago. They have amazed, confounded, and frustrated people over the years. They have made some people and companies rich (the inventors and manufacturers) and made others secure. No longer made from metal, these mechanical contraptions have come a long way over the years. One famous locksmith known for other talents was Houdini. He was a magician who thrived on escape tactics. The escape tactics depend on locks of some form or fashion. Houdini was an expert lockpicker who captivated audiences with his skills. The King of France, also known as Louis XVI, was a very famous locksmith. He was known for his reign as a bad king, but his passion was with locks. He had unusual and outstanding skills as a locksmith. This may not have won him any medals of love amongst his followers, but it did put him in history as a famous locksmith. It used to be that one had to be an apprentice to learn to be a locksmith. Being an apprentice has great benefits, one of which is recommendation from the mentor. Passing on the trade can be as rewarding as learning it from a master of the trade. One famous locksmith was Arthur C. Smith. He specialized in ship locks in the late 1800's. Located in Wolverhampton, which is in the English West Midlands, Mr. Smith put his mark on the world. French locksmiths were known for their artwork on their locks. Resembling fancy scrollwork, these locks were fashioned in the true French elaborate designs. The French liked beauty in many areas of their lives and their locks were not to be left out. A famous American locksmith known for his bank locks was Linus Yale, Jr., of New York. James Sargent, also of New York, patented a time lock mechanism, which made him yet another important locksmith. As you can tell, locksmiths are important all over the world and throughout history. They are an important breed of human in our society, and yet one of the most overlooked. Locksmiths are constantly put to the test and should be famous for their endurance! Stories Related to Locksmiths Locksmiths encounter some interesting situations in their line of work. In one instance, a locksmith received a lock cylinder from a car door that had been taken off the car because the owner lost the keys. In another instance, a locksmith had to open a mausoleum niche so that a potato chip can could be removed. Someone had taken the body's remains out of the hallowed space and left the can in place. Locksmiths get frantic calls in the hot summer to unlock car doors when preoccupied mothers or fathers accidentally lock their keys in the car with their infants or toddlers. They get calls in the winter when parents lock their keys in the cold cars or the cars that are left running. Unfortunately, these stories don't always end on a positive note. A locksmith of the year 1977 had to remove a wad of mud left by a colony of wasps in a lock on the door of a University mausoleum. The mausoleum is a historical monument of artistic beauty. The tomb was built in 1888 and is the home of Egyptian sphinxes of granite, bronze outer gate, polished granite doors, Italian marble walls, ceilings and floor, and three sarcophagi of marble cut. A sarcophagus is a coffin of sorts, like the mummies of Egypt were placed in before being taken to their tombs. Some locksmiths who unlock car doors or the doors to homes require the person they are assisting to provide proof of legal entry to show that this person has a legal right to enter. The professional must protect himself/herself from being prosecuted for aiding entry to the wrong person. Locksmiths have had to come to the rescue of people recovering from a night of too much alcohol consumption. The people get drunk and lose their keys or lock the keys in the vehicle. Locksmiths also have had to rescue the elderly whose caretakers would lock themselves out of the house. They have been counselors to customers who would be in the mood to confide their troubles as the locksmith is working. Locksmiths have saved people from going to jail when they lock themselves out of their cars at busy intersections. The profession exposes the locksmith to people who are many times in a frantic mood because of a missed appointment, who may be late for work, who have an emergency to get to, who must catch a plane or a bus, and people who have locked their keys inside the car while it's still running. There are most likely plenty of stories that someone in this profession would be embarrassed to tell. Many stories have been forgotten over the years. Many stories would be too sad to tell. But the gratification the locksmith gets from the customers who truly appreciate the help and show it is sure to be worth the effort. No job is perfect, and there are probably as many drawbacks as there are happy memories. But as with any other job, there will be good days and bad days and plenty to relate to the children and grandchildren. Games for Locksmiths Being a locksmith is not necessarily a boring job. There is the limited interaction with the customers to keep a locksmith in touch with the human side of the business. The work gives the locksmith focus. The travel provides stimulation. The technological changes and education to keep up with the times provides mental growth. So, what about the fun? Even these mechanical minded members of our community like to have fun. The challenge of picking locks is viewed as a game for some locksmiths. As they grow in their experience, they are able to take on more complicated tasks. It is said that a locksmith sees a lock as a puzzle. A locksmith plays a part in the game called World of War Craft, unlocking boxes in the trade screen. A game called Crack the Code allows the locksmith to click on numbers and enter until the combination is correct. Cleaner Scrape is an online game featuring Bob the Locksmith. There's also a Kensington Lock Picking online free flash game. Gridlock is another fun online game for lock pickers that offers three levels of difficulty to accommodate beginners to the more experienced. A board game that relates to the locksmith trade is called Break the Safe. It's a fairly new game created by Forrest-Puzan Creative. Players have to work as a team to find the keys, disarm the traps, and evade the guard dogs. On a bigger scale, locksmiths can join in a Dutch Open lock-picking competition in the Dutch village of Sneek. This offers intellectual stimulation and fun for any locksmith or lock picker lucky enough to participate. Some of the world's most accomplished lock pickers attend this event. Another large event for lock pickers and locksmiths is held by the Locksport International. DEFCON 14 held workshops, talks, sales of tools, speed competitions, tool making, and demonstrations for the enjoyable event that welcomed amateurs as well as professionals. A Lock Picking Pogoda will be held in Cleveland, Ohio in April of 2008 for locksmiths and lock picking enthusiasts. Featured will be your regular American locks, Chinese knock-offs, cabinet locks, and high security locks. Safe cracking is also on the agenda to present a challenge for those who are brave enough to give it a shot. Locksmiths aren't the only ones who enjoy the locksmith events, games, and clubs. There are people who enjoy learning about locks and how they work just for the fun of it. It can be gratifying to bust the secrets of the lock companies and manufacturers. This isn't necessarily a bad idea. It provides a challenge to show these businesses where their vulnerabilities lie so that improvements can be made. People who learn how to pick locks are not just criminally-minded individuals. Although this possibility does exist, it is only a part of the group of people interested in this trade. Locksmiths do, of course, enjoy other activities besides lock picking games and events. Just as doctors want more fun than just playing the board game called Operation, the locksmiths are going to be unique individuals who will want more fun than just that which revolves around their craft.
Bank Locksmiths Bank locksmiths are not shade-tree locksmiths who learn their trade in the backyard and go on to work for themselves in a run-down building in a bad area of town. A bank locksmith must learn their craft legitimately from an accredited institution and provide licensed, verified backgrounds with certification. Anyone entrusted with the security of public finances has to be spotless in their reputation and have impressive credentials to earn the bank business and support. Vault and safe locksmiths have a challenging job that throws them in the face of temptation on a regular basis. Their iron will is of the utmost importance, as is maintaining and improving their education to keep up with technological advances. A bank locksmith must know proper etiquette as well as proper procedures. They must also be able to explicitly trust their employees and business partners. Who they hire as help is just as important as who they work for. The locksmiths who specialize in the banking field must have knowledge of safe deposit box services, timelock cleaning and service, combination changes, vault services, preventive maintenance of physical security products, emergency vault and safe opening, and obsolete door refurbishments as well as on-site key duplication. Bank locksmiths must know alarm systems. They must know fire alarms as well as intruder alarms. Bank alarm systems must be complicated in order to be effective. They involve knowledge of power sources, programming, testing, operating, and possible malfunctions. Taking care of the needs of a bank may also involve opening, rebuilding, painting, moving and installing safes. An apprentice must be willing to cooperate in many areas and be able to work without constant supervision while being trained. The apprentice must have concern for safety and be comfortable with working in small spaces. A bank locksmith must have solid mechanical mathematical ability, good personal presentation, good communication skills on paper and in person or on the phone, and a desire to stay educated with new security equipment developments. Some banking stores have locksmiths on staff. These locksmiths also service ATMs. Since being introduced in the late 1960s, ATM machines have made incredible progress and have become a valuable asset to our society. They gave the locksmith yet another challenge to learn and continue to provide another part of the job's security. The way a bank locksmith dresses is important to their success and credibility. Bank employees need to feel secure with this person they entrust to their safety and not embarrassed to do business with him/her. Locksmiths who conduct themselves with class and sophistication will gain more respect and help people feel more comfortable in their presence. One way to do this is to dress in a way that shows respect for oneself. If you are just starting out as a locksmith, consider your personal image. If you can afford to invest in some sort of uniform, you will present a more positive image. It will also help people learn to recognize you easier when they learn to associate your clothing with your business image. You will, in a big sense, be advertising yourself. Airport Locksmiths If you are a locksmith going to an airport to travel for your own personal business or pleasure, you are sure to take note of the many different locks in an airport. There are locks on employee lockers, drawers and cabinets, supply closets, outbuildings, luggage, restricted access areas, planes, motorized carts, the many vehicles in the lots, etc. There is no doubt that locksmiths have done their share of visiting airport parking lots to unlock automobiles for weary travelers. Airport security is under higher scrutiny these days, which aids the locksmith by elevating their importance as well as hampering them by putting their skills and reputation under more intense scrutiny. Locksmiths who service airport equipment must be able to welcome corporate accounts. They must be bonded, insured, masters in their trade, and security consultants. They must perform services for some very high profile customers and do so in a discreet manner, using class and finesse. They must dress as a professional, speak as a professional, and work as a professional to make the uppermost impression on the bigger clients. Some of the services an airport locksmith would perform include: 1. Restricted key systems 2. Locks and safes 3. Electric strikes 4. Panic bars 5. Mail box locks 6. High security locks 7. Access control systems 8. Buzzer systems 9. Exit alarms 10. Door and frame repair Some of the hardware companies an airport locksmith would become acquainted with are Gray Tools, Medeco, Makita, Edison, Irwin, Lepage, Freud, Dominion, Canaropa, Para Paints, Kaba, Sargent, Corbin-Russwin, and Yale. An airport locksmith must have a wide range of knowledge and skills to be able to handle the variety of automobiles they will encounter. He/she would have to make keys, repair locks, change locks, provide 24 hour service, and repair ignitions. There is a wide range of personalities that any locksmith has to encounter on a regular basis. But in an airport, emotions often are on high because of the excitement and anxiety in the atmosphere. Travelers and employees are harried, tired, angry, sad, worried, and excited. This puts customer service in the high priority category. Relating to people who are in an extreme emotional state takes patience and empathy. Offering a kind word, showing restraint, remaining calm, and reserving opinions is important for the locksmith. It's more humane as well as being a boost to the image of the business and reputation. Word of mouth is an extremely important form of advertising. If building a big business is important, or creating a franchise line of businesses is a goal, then the word-of-mouth from the various types of people in an airport is a positive step forward. Being considerate to the "little man" is just as important as being considerate to the "big boys" of business. If you are doing business with anyone associated with an airport, you should place emphasis on considerate behavior. It will take you farther in life as well as in business. You should be able to understand your limits as well as recognize your potential. Prison Locksmiths Some prisons have been known to teach locksmith skills to inmates. There has been some controversy over this for obvious reasons. Why would prison officials give someone the tools to become an even better criminal? To learn the craft, the group has access to tools that can be made into weapons. Prisoners are quite creative in learning how to make and hide weapons. They're also creative in the weapons they do make with what few tools they are provided. So, allowing the prisoners to become locksmiths not only teaches them a skill to enhance criminal behavior, it also provides access to something that could later harm another inmate, guard, or nurse. But there has been much information and attention on reforming criminals as opposed to merely housing them during their time of incarceration. It is true that people who go to prisons can become reformed individuals who decide to turn their lives around for the good of the public. There are people who are falsely accused and incarcerated who deserve a chance to improve their skills. But people who are put in the position of changing locks and maintaining security systems are supposed to be free of criminal backgrounds. Much criticism occurred over the television series that provided information on improving security in homes. Professional criminals would be called to stage a break in to show the homeowners how vulnerable their security systems actually are. The homeowners would watch the whole ordeal on camera; then a professional locksmith would go in to change the locks and enhance the security system for the home. Some said this only set the stage for amateur criminals to learn more tricks. However, just as much damage is done by well-meaning individuals who keep valuable information from the public. How do our security measures improve? They improve by exposing the weaknesses. So, someone who has actually been in prison or jail for breaking and entering would be the best person from whom to acquire information. Locksmiths have been called to several prisons across the globe because of staff carelessness. Keys are placed in the hands of what is supposed to be competent, trustworthy individuals. Allowing anyone to take these keys home after work only sets up the temptation for misuse and the chance to misplace a highly valuable set of items. Even long-term employees can become tempted by wrong-doing. High priority is supposed to be placed on keeping the criminals in their jails and prisons, which should mean high priority to protect the very keys that are necessary to keep them there. When keys are lost to a prison, thousands of dollars must be spent to re-key and/or replace locks for the facility. Prisoners must be kept on lockdown while the locks are being replaced or re-keyed. This is an example of a simple mistake that cost the institution a large sum and also provided job security for the locksmith. Not only does the locksmith have to keep the prisons safe, they also have to keep the employees safe in their own homes for the times a prisoner could be released who has a grudge. Government Locksmiths Government locksmiths become licensed under the Security Industry Protection Act. Three important institutions associated with government locksmiths are Master Locksmiths of America, Associated Locksmiths of America, and British Locksmiths Institute. One of the important aspects of the government locksmith's job is discretion. With a country's security at risk, any government office must be serviced only by the most trustworthy of locksmiths. The locksmith must know more than just their doors and windows; they must also know security systems, safe locks, telephone keys, drawer locks, and vehicle locks. High priority is important for the items the government locks protect as well as for the people the locks protect and the paperwork. Any business must protect its important paperwork and investments, but government business takes on an upper level of importance. A government locksmith is not just needed to pick locks and provide extra keys. Government locksmiths must be top experts in their field in both customer privacy and the actual work provided. The safety of these high profile clients and what they stand for, weapons, money, records, and personal items is high priority. It is not only the government of a country that is important; it is also the government of local and state that is a concern to a government locksmith. Any level of government must be treated with special care. If the wrong things happen with local government it can have a domino effect upon other government bodies. Anytime someone can wreak havoc with documents, forms, equipment, public safety, and privileged information, the locksmith is called to upgrade security. A locksmith for a security service provider can earn as much as $66,000 per year in California. They must have knowledge of the latest and best quality equipment and techniques to service their clients and build the best reputation for themselves. A government locksmith must have electronic and computer skills that are updated. Their knowledge of lock and keys are not all they have to practice. They must also understand thumb print and retinal scanners, pin pads, and electronic swipe cards among other things. Because passwords are considered a security hole, retinal scanners have taken on more importance. Retinal scanners are a form of biometric identification. They bypass passwords to move into a more complicated means of identity and security. For a retinal scanner, there is an enrollment process that captures the sample. The sample is stored in a template to be used for future authentication comparison. The template is matched against data, such as a user name or PIN. Retinal scanning provides high accuracy, but it still meets some user resistance because of the misconception that a laser is shot into the eye. Focus on a given point is significant for accuracy, which can cause a small problem for someone with eyesight handicaps. Other high technology advances for locksmiths to learn in a high profile field like government work are: voice recognition, iris scanning, signature verification, and facial recognition. So, as you can see, a locksmith who specializes in government work can be much more than just a lock picker and key maker. Connecting the Virtual World to Locksmiths Besides being a form of advertisement for locksmiths, the virtual world is also a source of connecting to others in the business. It is a place to connect with customers and a place to shop for ideas. The locksmiths can check on laws, find out about advancements in their field of work, and learn tricks of the trade online. The virtual world is a great place for the locksmiths to buy supplies without having to travel to stores and shops or order through physical catalogues. This saves them money that can be spent in other ways to enhance the quality of their businesses. They can save time choosing what items to put in their shops to sell, which brands, compare prices, and check feedback on possible brands or equipment. The locksmiths can also use the virtual world to explore competition in their field. They can learn from other locksmiths, pass on information of their own, and explore other parts of the world for places to do business. The virtual world also allows the locksmith a way to build a positive image for the profession as well as his/her own business. If they have a comment section, a suggestion section, or games on their own web site, it can help connect them to their customers and potential customers. Building interest in their businesses is one way the locksmiths must practice public relations. The internet allows the locksmiths to pay their bills for their businesses. It can save them time and effort to set up online banking and bill paying. The post office also allows postage to be bought online now, which is another way the locksmiths can save money in their business. There are online games for locksmiths to enjoy that relate to their profession. This gives them a fun release for their tensions and will exercise their mental skills at the same time. There are also virtual museums where the locksmiths can keep in touch with the history of their craft and the tools and hardware of the craft. There is also the information gained online about the upcoming conferences, events, and associations that may be of interest. The businesses that make the tools for locksmithing are also important for the craftsman to understand what they sell. They should know all they can about the products, brands, and manufacturers of their equipment and the hardware they use in residences and businesses. This is especially important should there be a malfunction or a recall on any security systems or tools. Should further education be a necessity, there are many schools that have websites providing information on courses such as keyless entry, lock picking, and much more that a locksmith would need to keep up-to-date on their skills. The locksmith may want to consider putting a product information section on his/her web site. A question and answer section may be helpful as well. Sometimes it is necessary to give something away to get more back from potential and existing customers. Taking an interest in the customers and business associates should take place on the internet as well as in the real world. Canadian Locksmith Associations Professional Locksmiths Association Nova Scotia is one of the groups a locksmith in Canada would want to be involved with to increase their chances of a solid career in locksmithing. There is also the Association of Professional Locksmiths, the Canadian Alarm and Security Association, the Master Locksmiths of Quebec, Inc., and the Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta. While it is not necessary to overwhelm your schedule and your interests, joining at least one of these important groups can provide positive benefits. One of those benefits is to be able to keep abreast of the latest news and happenings in the world of the locksmith. Another benefit is to build a bond between yourself and others in the same field of work. Making a positive image for a locksmith and his/her business is just one of the most important investments towards a healthy future in the business. Canadians take pride in their country and in their training for locksmiths. An apprentice must first be hired as a trainee, then must find a journeyman for a mentor, and finally must enroll in the apprenticeship program. Eight weeks of class at a college is required followed by an exam that is administered by the government. There are four periods of training this way that must be completed successfully before being given the honor of the Journeyman Locksmith title. The Canadian locksmith must do more than simply memorize the test material to pass the written exam. He or she must understand and apply the material with competence. The hands-on learning is supervised by the instructor. There is an annual locksmith auction for Ontario locksmiths, a golf tournament, a locksmith academy, an electric door operator class, and a locksmith convention. The basic locksmithing courses cost $300. There are separate costs for each area of locksmithing. Panic Exit Devices course costs $275, Lock Picking costs $175, Basic Safe Searching costs $275. There's also Access Control, Door Closer Installation, Tricks of the Trade, and many more courses available for advanced learning. There is, of course, an at-home course that one can enroll in that suggests a budding locksmith can earn over $17 an hour after only nine months of training. Much like the distance courses offered in the United States for locksmiths, Kwikset and IICO are listed as the locks and key making machinery used during training. This course does give locksmith skills that are necessary; however, apprenticeship under an established locksmith gets you paid while you learn real life situations rather than textbook versions. You can learn much from a seasoned professional including what not to do! Whether you are learning in Canada, the United States, or Australia, the education and apprenticeship are necessary to establish a base for a locksmith career. Learning on your own may give you the barest of starts, but you will need to prove yourself worthy of your title. Many times the only way to convince future employers or future customers that you deserve their business is to be able to show valid certificates and licenses. Landing the big accounts will mean showing that you had the devotion and interest to prove yourself trustworthy. Being a Woman Locksmith Being a locksmith is certainly not determined by whether or not a person is a man or a woman. Women who are interested in the field do face challenges a man doesn't necessarily face, but they aren't disqualified from becoming locksmiths solely because of their gender. Women are capable of performing the mechanical tasks the job requires and a few women over the years have bridged the gender gap to excel in the field. If someone prefers to be in a career such as a locksmith, they will deal less with the public than they would if they were in a job such as waitressing or teaching. It is more of a one-on-one, in-the-shadows type of position. Although it does put a person in the public eye, it is not a socially demanding position. There are female locksmiths in several parts of the world. There is one in Russia, one in North Carolina, one in England, one in California, and one in Rhode Island. There are very few documented in history, and the ones who are have low profiles. One of the few and most highly-esteemed women who have made history as a locksmith is Billie Boyd. She is noted as the first female locksmith in the Corps. Also chosen to be an official lockmaster and the second female for such a position in the Corps is Bernadette LeBleu. Both women can attest to the hurdles of having to prove themselves in a male dominated field. Women lock pickers enjoy the challenge and attend the conventions and events, but they are not given the public attention as these two women have been. Billie Boyd and Bernadette LeBleu have made locksmithing their dedicated career choice. Some of the battles a woman locksmith would have to face include prejudice against their abilities, sexual harassment or insults, compromise of personal safety, being taken seriously in the profession, and being able to gain the deserved respect. More is known about the women who compete in warfare than is known about women locksmiths. Apparently feminism has had little intrusion into this particular area. As a general rule, mechanical engineering is a field that leans towards the man's thought process rather than the woman's. The appeal just isn't there for most women. One famous female who is not yet considered old enough to be a woman is an 11 year old lock picker recognized at an event held for amateurs and professionals alike. She wowed the adults at the Locksport International DEFCON 14 event, picking up the talent quickly in the competitions. There can always be an exception to the norm. Being a woman locksmith has its advantages since there are so few women in the trade. A woman who does perform exceptionally will stand out more than usual because there are so few other women to compete. While there may be some drawbacks to such a career, there is also much to be respected about it. The type of personality required to perform the tasks must be the type to respect the privacy of others, be willing to be on call for emergencies, and be willing to work alone in many instances. Wild Locations for Locksmiths A locksmith may want to work in environments that offer more than what a small town or rural area can provide. In this case, there are other, more exciting areas of the world that need the services he/she can provide. If it's hustle and bustle and city lights that are craved, a city with a casino offers a wild location. The bright lights, busy and constant action, noise, and interesting crowds keep the job from becoming too boring. Racetracks are wild locations to work as a locksmith. The thrill of the action keeps the people pumped up with adrenaline. There are racetracks for cars, trucks, dirt bikes, and horses. These racetracks will have people who lock their keys in their cars and trucks, and offices, shops, and supply buildings that need protection from wandering intruders. Big cities like Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco or Los Angeles are exciting places in which to work. Big cities mean a bigger crime rate and more businesses and residences that need locks and security systems. The excitement of a big city is appealing to tourists as well as the residents and business owners. If it's natural wildness that a locksmith is after, there are beautiful locations that need the services offered. Alaska is one place that has many remote areas of beauty as well as businesses that require locksmiths. It is often thought of in a desolate way, but there are cities and communities and outdoor workers who need protection from thieves and curious residents and tourists. Hawaii is a dreamy wild place for a locksmith to find employment. The high rate of tourism offers constant action both human and in fun things to do. Offering natural beauty, a locksmith can find serenity as well as fresh customers on a regular basis. Washington, DC is a wild location for a locksmith. If you're the person living in this wild city, you can go through a directory that screens and rates locksmith businesses. Screening indicates that there is a high crime rate, which increases the rate of break-ins, which in turn provides more business for the locksmith. Australia is a naturally wild location in which to find work. A place of action in the more populated areas, it is also a place of action if it is animal entertainment you seek in your time off. Other wild locations to find work as a locksmith include the busy countries of China and Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Any place that is known for its tourism and has a high population is a candidate for good business. A wild location on another level is a college campus. Locksmiths are needed in college towns for the colleges as well as the other areas because of the higher population and constant action of the youth. A school is always a fun and interesting place to work because the kids keep it interesting. All locksmiths will have different ideas of what is wild in their line of work. Some have more extreme interests both inside and outside of work. If you're considering a locksmiths career, but worry that it might be too boring for you, there are many ways to make it more interesting. How Illegal Locksmiths Hurt the Public Illegal locksmiths caused annoyances in New York and several other states by placing hard-to-remove stickers on private property. They further insulted residents and business owners by using fake addresses and phone number to avoid getting caught. This is a popular scam tactic for locksmiths who are in the business for the wrong reasons. There are an unbelievable number of illegal locksmiths across the United States who operated many different businesses under many different names while being licensed under only one name. Many illegal locksmiths place ads in yellow pages with phone numbers that connect to national call centers. The addresses they use in their ads either don't exist or belong to abandoned buildings. Operating under a business name other than the one under which the locksmith is licensed makes it impossible to verify their license for any state level recourse of action for recovery when there has been a scam. It is recommended that any locksmith's state license be verified before you hire him/her. Taking the locksmith's word for verification only makes your family security vulnerable. The scam artists have access to your home, your personal belongings, private information, keys, codes, and safe combinations. If your instinct tells you there is something vague about their answers to your questions, it may be best to follow your instincts. The locksmiths who are doing business legally and who are trustworthy should not mind satisfying your curiosity about their legitimacy. Fake locksmiths get away with their illegal scams because they catch people in a jam, in a hurry, too upset to take the proper precautions, and either too lazy to take the time to check credentials or too na´ve. They also get past the legal system because of the cracks in the system. Sometimes the very laws we make to protect us are the laws that can also harm us when misused. One way to tell if a locksmith is honest is to check the advertising for their locksmith license number. It should be posted on all ads, invoices, and business cards. The locksmith should also carry an embossed pocket version of the locksmith license. He/she should be willing to give you the license number when you contact him/her. There are some other problems with illegal lock pickers. Code grabbers are illegal in the United States, so an individual who refuses to show proper credentials and possesses one is obviously not a certified, registered locksmith. Although there are tools that a burglar uses that are legal for a person to have in possession, such as lock picks, these are not legal in all states. In New York, Illinois, and the District of Columbia lock picks are illegal. In some places, potential burglar tools are only incriminating if you've been suspected of committing a crime or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. How could it be feasible to carry lock picks and other locksmith tools and be at the wrong place at the wrong time? There are lock picking games and events that allow for a lock picker to have possession of these items. There are people who are interested in such a past time solely for the entertainment value. So, not everyone who might carry the tools is an illegal locksmith or a criminal. The Lock Companies Behind Locksmiths Be it directly or indirectly, locksmiths deal with all sorts of companies in their line of work. Some big names for these companies are: Yale, Master Lock, Kwikset, Medeco, Schlage, Sentry, Olympus, Weiser, and American Lock USA. Yale created and patented the first compact cylinder pin lock in 1845. They're well-known as lock manufacturers and distributors. But they are only one of many who have made an important name for themselves. All locksmiths are acquainted with the Yale brand as well as the ones that follow. Weiser Locks offer fashionable doorwear. Their locks have been featured in films and used in the homes of Hollywood stars. They made a touchpad electronic deadbolt which allows temporary access for service personnel and babysitters. Locksmiths buy kits to rekey Weiser Locks when it is necessary. Locks are used in many areas of our lives. We use them for bicycle locks, gun cabinets, safes, mailboxes, patio doors, furniture, lockers, and tool sheds. There is a high probability that there is something in every area of a home that has a lock of some type on it. Locksmiths have to learn the different tricks to the many brands as well as some of their background. The Master Lock brand are most likely used in some way in every household in America. Master Locks are known well by locksmiths. They are used in homes, businesses, schools, and many industries. Kwikset manufactures residential door locks and door hardware. Deadbolts, door knobs, keyless entry locks, door levers, handlesets, and pocket door hardware are their specialties. Any locksmith in America can operate Kwikset brand products because they're popular. Keyless entry presented a learning experience for locksmiths worldwide. Sentry locks are well known locks, too. Their line of safes is widely used and are great products for protecting valuables. The products are especially valuable in cases where fire, burglary, or natural disaster has caused keys to be lost, forgotten, or damaged. Because burglars often use forced entry to steal from residences, a locksmith must know how to repair the damage done. This can include replacing the hardware that was damaged. If a locksmith doesn't sell the brand the customer prefers, they must know where to find the right brand and how to install it or at least know of a reliable or more improved substitute. Besides working with the brand names in their businesses, locksmiths can also find employment with lock manufacturing companies. Companies such as Sentry offer excellent benefits and perks to their employees. Some of these include dry cleaning services, on-site fitness centers, pre-paid legal services, and discounted insurance rates. American Lock manufactures locks for outdoor security and industrial security as well as many different types of padlocks. There are important items that must remain outdoors that often need to be locked for security purposes. Industrial security requires industrial locks. Besides the regular types of locks that are attached to outdoor equipment, there is also the equipment that has built-in locks. Lawnmowers, power boats, four wheelers, and other items that people invest in and need keys to use. Locksmiths can be called for these items as well, to keep from damaging the ignitions when a key is lost. So, the locksmiths must also be acquainted with the brands of locks used in outdoor equipment. Museums for Locksmiths One of the biggest museums in America that a locksmith would enjoy that is related to their craft is the Lock Museum of America. It's located in Terryville, Connecticut. With eight display rooms and plenty of advertisement, it is sure to draw people from all over the country. You don't have to be a locksmith to be interested in antique locks and the hardware connected to them. Antique doorknob collectors enjoy visiting museums for locksmiths. People who have an interest in old doors or in the artwork of the old locks and related items would enjoy this museum. Another museum for locksmiths and lock enthusiasts is the Lock Museum that is located in Willowhall, Staffordshire. This museum has been taken over by the Black Country Living Museum in an effort to secure its future. In an effort to preserve the contents and the relevance to history in general, the Black Country Living Museum took an interest in the Lock Museum. Blake's Lock Museum can be seen in the United Kingdom. California offers the Jehning Family Lock Museum, located in Mountain View. Paris, France is home to the Hotel Liberal Bruand. The Hanns Schell Collection is the world's largest museum of locks and keys. It's located in Austria. Locksmiths should also enjoy the metal locks and keys at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Shop in Key West, Florida. There's a Powerhouse Museum located in Sydney, Australia. Doorknobs are collector's items and are a part of a locksmith's work. There's a club called the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America. The interesting items in this club also include antique door hardware and extend to plates, doorbells, coat hooks, and window latches. There are beautiful doorknobs on display in the club's collection. The Antique Doorknob Collectors of America holds yearly conventions all over the country to learn and share their information. The club has a wonderful collection of Bennington knobs, mineral knobs, real estate hardware, and a group they call Fabulous Doorknobs-this group is made up of Victorian hardware, bronze knobs, and Wheeler knobs. Donald Jackson offers an impressive Roman gallery of locks, keys, and seal boxes that shows an interesting collection of security hardware. He displays an impressive image from a locksmith's grave stone showing Roman locksmiths at work. Mr. Jackson writes an informative, detailed article on ancient locks, collecting, and fabrication. West Coast Lock Collectors Association explores the history and ingenuity of locks. They have an annual lock show to thrill collectors and capture the interest of the public. Their table fees are $35 to anyone who is interested in adding their own collection to the event. They send out a quarterly publication to association members. This association is a hobby club that puts any income back into the company for operating expenses. Antique Padlocks offer internet viewing to provide a look into padlocks of eight different varieties as well as helpful links, patent information, and hardware companies who have marketed padlocks. As thieves became more determined, padlocks did lose some value because they could be cut with bolt cutters. There are still many around today, and there are still requests for locksmiths to remove them. They are sure to remain a part of museums as the years move forward. Locksmiths in Texas Texas Locksmiths Association provides education with training classes, scholarship funds for the children of members, continuing education, annual conferences, and trade shows. It's one of the prestigious associations for locksmiths and can be very beneficial to personal and professional growth. Board members for the TLA do not get paid for their services. Their dedication speaks volumes. They can provide a speaker to talk with groups, use personal expense money, and put a lot of time and effort into member growth and interests of locksmiths and public awareness. A woman locksmith in Texas can be hard to find. Even though women can earn more by being in a job that is in a male dominated field, not many women seem to be interested in this type of career choice. A woman could also earn more by going into the locksmith business for herself. The field is open to women and it could prove to be a good choice for a second income. The Department of Public Safety in Texas sets high standards for their locksmiths. They will only hire locksmiths who have been licensed by the DPS. As part of the Private Security Act, locksmith services performed in Texas require a locksmith to have a criminal history fingerprint check. The DPS offers a list of licensed locksmiths for people to verify their legitimacy. A locksmith operating in the state of Texas without a license is committing a misdemeanor. This carries a jail term of one year and/or a fine up to $4000. A locksmith company is considered a Class B fee on the DPS price list. The registration costs $412. A sole proprietor must submit an assumed name certificate along with an owner registration fee of $55. Other items that must be submitted are the application form, two fingerprint cards, a $25 FBI fingerprint fee, verification of experience, proof of liability insurance, a copy of Level One Certificate for the manager, and completion of a manager qualification exam administered by the Private Security Board. A Texas locksmith can join any one of several different associations to add to their credibility and increase public trust in their skills. There is the Associated Locksmiths of North Texas, the Greater Houston Locksmiths Association, the Locksmith Association of San Antonio, the Metroplex Locksmith Association, and the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas Locksmiths Association. Locksmiths in Texas do have the red tape to go through to become legitimate, but this process helps discourage those who aren't truly dedicated and truly dependable and trustworthy. Besides what has already been mentioned, the locksmith must also be licensed, bonded, and insured. Loyal customers and those who are willing to spread the good word about your business are worth the investment. Every little thing you do to enhance your business and your image will add up to a long-term of success, especially if it is the big accounts you are working towards securing. Image on paperwork as well as your office image and the personal image you present are important to your success. Learning customer relations is an important step towards your success as well. Knowing how to manage unruly personalities, someone in a panic who has locked a child in a car, or even how to perform CPR are also essential choices. These things help whether you are a locksmith in Texas or in another part of the world! Overseas Locksmiths Training for a locksmith to work overseas can be intense. Some of the levels include: Certificate II in Engineering, Certificate III in Locksmithing, Diploma of Engineering Technology. These are primary courses that provide training throughout Australia and overseas. The course duration for security technology is two years at two nights a week. The student must already have an existing trade qualification or be a minimum of 25 years of age. London has an impressive locksmith company that has been established since 1784. Bramah manufactures locks for domestic and commercial use. The company is an affiliate member of the Master Locksmiths Association, which you will find is a well-known association for the trade. The Bramah locksmith services go so far as to include a free security survey. The company employs five locksmiths. Some overseas employers require a locksmith to have experience as an apprentice and a National Certificate in Locksmithing. You're also required to be clear of any dishonest criminal convictions involving prison time! A locksmith must have a clear record for the employers or businesses to be willing to put their trust in the locksmith and the company with which they are associated. Having a background of security is helpful when obtaining a locksmith job overseas. Mechanical engineering, technology knowledge, woodworking skills, basic welding skills, and conference attendance are all helpful to secure an overseas locksmith position. Health and safety training may also be necessary for any locksmiths who work on construction sites. Ideas for places to work as a locksmith abroad include New Zealand, Canterbury, Australia, Wellington, and Auckland. The pay for an overseas locksmith can be as high as $50,000 a year depending on experience, qualifications, and age. Businesses overseas that employ locksmiths are much like those in the United States. Some of these include banks, motels, hospitals, and the auto industry. If you've considered an overseas job as a locksmith, research the challenges to make preparation easier. Shot records, visas, transportation, foreign languages, health care, living arrangements, and time away from family are all things that need to be determined and considered. What will you do for money until the first paycheck? Where will you stay? It could be the adventure of a lifetime as long as you go into it with an understanding of the situation and decisions you'll need to make. If you've never worked overseas, it may be helpful to become somewhat acquainted with the area you've chosen (or that has been chosen for you). Take a trip to the local library or check into any information you can acquire online. Going into a new place blindly can be too much of a culture shock and may only result in stress that could be avoided. Preparation is the key to success! A locksmith must travel to some degree even in the United States, but the roads and streets in a foreign country may be more difficult to navigate. Overseas driving is said to be more of a challenge than what Americans face on their own soil, especially if you aren't familiar with the habits of the locals. Addresses, phone numbers, and maps will become as important to you as the equipment used in your trade. If the employment will eventually lead you back to the United States, there are sure to be plenty of stories to share with friends and family!
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