Some states require locksmiths to have a license or certificate before they can start a business or start providing services to their clients. But what are the usual cost of becoming a certified locksmith?
An in person locksmith program usually cost $1,000 to $3,000, and may last several days to 2 semesters. There are some programs that lasts for 10 days with Safe and Vault training course and cost $2,800 to $3,000. Others are a 5 day locksmith training course for $1,300 including all materials and course supplies and a 10 week locksmith training course for $1,200.
Locksmith apprenticeships can be formal or informal and cost up to $100, with opportunities to earn money on the job. For example locksmith apprentices working in New York must register for a license for $75 for fingerprinting and up to $25 for the two-year license. Locksmith companies hiring an apprentice may pay a percentage of a normal wage while providing hands-on training. Glens Key Lock and Safe Company in Salt Lake City, UT, hires one apprentice locksmith every one or two years at a starting rate of $10 per hour plus training.
Online programs that are considered to be the common training option which cost $400 to $1,000 including the mailed tool kit and study materials. In some institutes they include a training manual with a step by step procedure, photos, instructional DVD, tool kit and key duplicator for $900 while others offer a similar course for about $700 that includes textbooks, online exams and a diploma upon completion.
Certification through the Associated Locksmiths of America costs $60-$300 per exam. For example, to become a Certified Registered Locksmith, ALOA members pay $60 ($100 computer-based test) and non-members pay $215 ($300 computer-based test). Applicants may test for proficiency in different areas like general locksmithing, automotive security or safes and vaults.