There are few professions as old as locksmithing, and it is estimated that locksmithing had its roots in Ancient Egypt and Babylon around 4000 years ago. Ancient Egyptian locksmiths made use of wood to produce devices capable of securing a door thanks to the “tin tumbler principle.”
Back then, locks were basic and not close to being as sophisticated as they are today, and the majority of locks were large and cumbersome. Additionally, the keys fabricated during the early days of locksmithing were enormous and made of wood- they were shaped like present-day toothbrushes. As a matter of fact, one of the oldest discovered lock systems was a lock fabricated around 704 BC and found in the city of Khorsabad among the ruins of the Assyrian Empire.
Over time, the lock and key revolution eventually spread and became popular with ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Chinese, Romans, and more. Wooden locks were the norm for numerous years after the Assyrian lock was created until around 870-900 AD when metal slowly became the norm due to the more durable nature of metallic materials.
Over time, locks and locksmithing evolved, from brass and iron locks produced in China and Europe to locks that could be operated by pushing, turning, and skewing a key into its lock, locksmithing constantly evolved.
The turning point for modern locksmithing occurred in 1819 after a burglary took place in Portsmouth Dockyard, England. The British government held a competition for locksmiths to showcase their best locks so they could pick the superior lock, Jeremiah Chubb’s Chubb detector won and completely changed locksmithing forever.
You might be wondering why the history of locksmithing is essential to this article, if you want to understand and appreciate locksmithing, then it’s vital to know its history. Now that we’ve gone over a brief history of locksmithing, we can proceed.
Contrary to popular belief, you need a considerable amount of technical knowledge to become a locksmith, and the process of becoming a locksmith begins in high school. As shared by a locksmith Markham, if you’re still a high school student, maintain a respectable GPA, take technical classes, excel in mathematics, and have a passion for knowledge.
It goes without saying that you must be an adult- at least 18 years of age- and ideally have no criminal records. To set yourself apart from the competition, it’ll be in your best interest to gain technical knowledge and get comfortable with programming. You don’t want to be left behind as we stated earlier, locksmithing is a craft that has survived until today thanks to ingenuity and innovation. Like it or not, the future of locksmithing is digital.
Take a course at a local community college, take online programming classes, watch Youtube tutorials, do anything to ensure that you learn relevant skills to enable you to change the game, remain relevant, and be at the forefront of the future locksmithing. Like it or not, in a few years, most thieves will attempt to hack or “break locks” digitally from the comfort of their home.
Education is the foundation of most things in life, and even if you only earn a high school diploma, ensure that you have the best high school diploma around. Diligence and hard work will help you change the way we view locksmiths and locksmithing. Admittedly, you do not need much formal education to become a successful locksmith today. Still, if you only learn relevant skills today, you’ll be left behind when the industry inevitably evolves- which it always does.
Invest in yourself by taking education seriously. Education isn’t all; you need formal training in order to become a locksmith.
Hopefully, you graduated high school with good grades, and you’re willing to expand your knowledge base, it’s time to begin your training to become a certified locksmith. Locksmithing is a reliable career path, and if you enjoy working with your hands and solving puzzles, it’s perfect for you. A lot of people view locksmithing as a low-skill job that requires little intellectual know-how; on the contrary, several locksmiths equate their job to puzzle-solving due to the fact that it is an intellectually-stimulating career path that requires more critical thinking than most people imagine.
It goes without saying that you need to be smart to be a successful locksmith; here are a few practical ways to gain practical experience.
First and foremost, you can apply to become an apprentice with a professional locksmith; this is the traditional way to learn the art of locksmithing. For thousands of years, aspiring locksmiths served as apprentices under skilled and revered locksmiths. More often than not, locksmith apprenticeships are unpaid, but the legal, technical, and business knowledge you gain is worth it.
The best part about being a locksmith apprentice is that you get the opportunity to work on the field from your first day on the job, and there are few learning means more productive than watching and assisting experts.
Alternatively, a better option might be enrolling in a diploma or certificate program offered by local vocational schools, state locksmith associations, or community colleges. Courses in vocational schools usually take between 12 and 24 months to complete, and you get to learn about construction, installation, and repair of locks.
Locksmithing programs in vocational schools and community colleges usually cover advanced areas of security, such as electronic locks, theft deterrence, surveillance, as well as the legal and business aspects of locksmithing.
According to the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), locksmiths training can take anywhere from three months to four years, depending on the complexity of your preferred branch of locksmithing.
The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) in conjunction with the Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SATVA) reward proficiency and professionalism among American safe technicians and locksmiths by granting a few coveted designations;
– Registered Locksmith (RL)
– Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL)
– Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL)
– Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL)
– Certified Master Locksmith (CML)
– Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS)
– Certified Master SafeTech (CMST)
AUTOMOTIVE LOCKSMITH CERTIFICATION
Certified Automotive Locksmith
A CAL locksmith is an individual that has successfully passed the Certified Automotive Locksmith exams proving that they have excellent working knowledge in every aspect of automotive locksmithing.
GENERAL LOCKSMITH CERTIFICATION
This is an active locksmith that has received twelve ALOA Education Units (AEU), and you can earn these units by completing twelve ALOA Continuing Education (ACE) classes. Each class is made up of eight hours.
You can also attain RL status by completing the ALOA five or six-day basic locksmithing course, then passing the exam after the course.
Certified Registered Locksmith
A CRL is an individual that has passed the ten compulsory categories as well as an additional two specialized electives of their choice. Additionally, every CRL must have sufficient working knowledge of general locksmithing. CRL is the first level of locksmith certification.
Certified Professional Locksmith
In order to obtain a CPL certification, you must have successfully attained a CRL designation and completed twelve additional elective categories. This is the second level of locksmith certification, and it requires you to have advanced knowledge of not only general locksmithing but also numerous specialized areas.
Certified Master Locksmith
A CML is a locksmith that has completed the highest level of ALOA’s Proficiency Registration Program (PRP) and is proficient in ninety percent of the PRP categories. This is the highest level of locksmith certification, and a CML must have excellent knowledge of most locksmithing areas, including electronic/digital security.
Certified Professional Safe Technician
A CPS is an individual that has successfully demonstrated proficiency in seventeen safe and vault categories, such as · Lock Identification, UL Standards For Safes, Vault and Safe Locks, SMNA & JIS Ratings, · Post-Penetration Repairs, Safe Deposit Locks, Key-Operated Safe Locks, Safe-Related Electronics and more.
Certified Master Safe Technician
A CMST must successfully prove advanced proficiency in vault and safe related expertise such as Troubleshooting & Dialing Diagnostics, The Theory of Manipulation, Safe Lock Installation, Basic Safe & Lock Construction, Safe Installation, GSA Equipment · Advanced Safe Deposit Locks, Time Locks, Night Depositories, High-Security Safe Construction, Safe Penetration among others.
Being a locksmith is a fantastic experience that only a few people get to experience. As a locksmith, you get to make a positive impact in the lives of people you serve and instantly see how your little efforts improve the lives of individuals in your local environment.
To get more information from professionals, we spoke to Mr. P., a locksmith Virginia Beach specialist at Speedy locksmith LLC serving families and businesses in and around Virginia Beach Virginia. We asked him what it takes to become a professional locksmith. He had this to say, “to be a successful locksmith, you need good grades, you must be smart and be willing to put in the work to learn and evolve with the times, I’ve had the best time of my life as a locksmith and worked with numerous intellectual people that have impacted me in more ways than one….. Locksmithing changed my life.”
Name: Speedy locksmith LLC
Adress: Virginia Beach, VA 23464