How to Become an Locksmith in Florida
If you’re a Florida resident looking for a fulfilling career helping others while using your skilled expertise, then the role of a locksmith might be right for you.
These individuals help with opening locks, cutting new keys, installing security systems, and repairing locks in both commercial and residential settings.
Education and Training
Getting an education from a vocational school or technical college can teach you the ins and outs of being a locksmith.
While no formal education or training is needed in the state of Florida, completing a certification or degree program from a post-secondary institution can teach you everything from the basic principles of locksmithing to the more complex parts of the job.
Online Courses Available
Prospective students can find classes either in person or online at various locations around the state. Some online schools give you the benefit of finishing at your own pace based on how much time you can set aside for your studies.
Some topics you will likely cover while taking locksmithing classes are:
- Key making
- Electronic safety
- Types of locks
- Safes & vaults
You will also learn about the business side of locksmithing, such as finding and identifying potential job opportunities as well as working with customers.
Individuals may also choose to take part in an apprenticeship with a professional locksmith in order to get the knowledge and experience they need to be successful. This can give you a face-to-face experience with an industry professional in the field where you can learn and ask questions as they arise.
Earning a Certification
Certifications and diplomas aren’t necessary to get a job in many instances, but they can help you stand out to hiring managers.
Attending a Locksmith Program
A locksmith program can help you learn more about the profession. Since many jobs don’t require any formal training or certification to become a locksmith, having a post-secondary education from an accredited institution will help you stand out from the crowd.
Cost of Locksmith School
The cost of locksmith school can range depending on the school. In-person programs give you access to expert instructors during class, while online programs are better suited for those with busy schedules or who don’t live near any locksmithing schools. However, many locksmith schools typically cost around 1k without the additional cost of books, materials, and testing.
How Long Does It Take?
Locksmith school will vary in the time it takes to graduate based on the school you choose to attend. At certain schools, you can earn a diploma while learning the basic, fundamental skills of being a locksmith, while other programs can give you a more detailed education over a longer period of time. Typically, many locksmith programs can be finished in under a year.
Florida Locksmith Requirements
Unlike some other states, Florida does not require locksmiths to obtain a license or certification to find work. There are two exceptions, however. The counties of Miami-Dade and Hillsborough must have a locksmith license to work in the county. Locksmiths in Miami-Dade need to also have at least one year of experience as a locksmith apprentice before being approved for a license.
Age and Background Check Requirements
The state does require that all locksmiths be at least 18 years of age and that they pass a criminal background check. Additionally, locksmiths who want to work with alarm systems will need to obtain an alarm system contractor and/or electrical contractor license from the state.
Locksmith Salaries in FL
A locksmith’s salary in Florida may vary depending on location, education, and experience. As a locksmith, you may be able to make one of the following salaries while working in the state of Florida:
- Tampa $48,505
- Miami $49,459
- Orlando $48,409
- Clearwater $48,306
- Sarasota $48,668
A locksmith can have a variety of different job responsibilities depending on the day. For instance, they may need to install or repair a new lock on a door or window at a residence, troubleshoot a security system at a commercial building, or unlock a customer’s car on the side of the road.
Days and Hours Worked
Locksmiths spend much of their time at different job sites, even visiting multiple places in a single day. These workers can also have unusual hours, such as answering calls on the weekends and at night.
What Do They Do?
Some other responsibilities a locksmith may have are:
- Provide locks for doors, windows, safes, and vaults
- Install and/or repair personal and commercial safes or vaults
- Cut new keys
- Reprogram remote keys, fix damaged key fobs
- Auto locksmithing
Other Skills Needed
Locksmiths don’t just open and repair locked doors and windows. With so many other responsibilities, these workers need to have a wide range of skills and expertise to be able to complete a given task. In addition to being good at problem-solving and having a strong technical aptitude, these are some other useful skills for a typical locksmith.
- Knowledge of different hand tools and power tools
- Physical strength and dexterity
- Mechanical skills
- Ability to troubleshoot
- Familiarity with different security and control systems
- Customer service and interpersonal skills
Much like other skilled trades around the state, locksmith jobs in Florida are expected to increase over the next decade. These workers should see a rise in jobs of about three percent or roughly 3,300 new jobs across the country by 2030. Openings in the field will likely occur due to individuals retiring or finding positions in different industries.