A locksmith is a professional who works in the field of locking devices, such as deadbolts and keys. Locksmiths perform duties such as re-keying existing locks, which requires much patience and knowledge in order to get the job accomplished correctly. Due to the nature of their skill and expertise, their services are always in high demand in Georgia, as well as throughout the rest of the United States. According to the United States Department of Labor, the number of locksmith jobs is expected to grow at a somewhat faster pace than some other popular fields. According to a Salary.com report, the median salary for a locksmith in 2002 was $31,331 per year.
Read up on the job requirements. By knowing as much as you can about the skills necessary for working as a locksmith, you will have a better idea of what is involved. According to information published on StateUniversity.com and EducationPortal.com, locksmiths perform duties such as advising people on security measures for their homes and businesses, creating new master key systems for businesses, repairing safes, making adjustments to vaults and re-keying existing locks, all of which require much patience and knowledge in order to get the job done. Many locksmiths work for companies that range from government agencies to banks; however, some locksmiths are self-employed. Regardless of who you work for, becoming a locksmith often means long hours and calls in the middle of the night to help those who may have an emergency or accidentally locked themselves out of their homes or cars. Researching the career field ahead of time will help you to determine if it is the right career choice for you before you commit to a job offer or training program. It will also help you to determine what type of company you may wish to work for, or if you would prefer to go it on your own by working as an independent contractor.
Locate a training class in your area. You can go about this by contacting the local trade schools in your area and inquiring about what courses they may have available. In Chamblee, Georgia, the Interactive College of Technology offers locksmith courses, as does the Penn Foster College in Atlanta. Both offer certification courses that can normally be completed in under a year and that cover issues such as safety, shop operations and lock dissection and assembly. Another option is to contact The Associated Locksmiths of America for class locations near you. This organization offers classes to assist those who desire to become locksmiths. They will also help you to obtain Georgia state certification in the field once you have successfully completed the necessary courses.
Complete an apprenticeship. Completion of an apprenticeship under an experienced, certified locksmith is a requirement for certification in the state of Georgia. The placement counselor at the school you are attending for your locksmith classes will be able to place you with an experienced and certified locksmith for an apprenticeship normally lasting anywhere from 30 to 90 days. That being said, there are added benefits of an apprenticeship that go beyond meeting state requirements. Doing so will give you hands-on experience in the field with someone who is there to answer your questions while on the job. This in itself can prove extremely beneficial.
Study for, take and pass the certification test. Once you have completed your formal classes and apprenticeship, you will need to sit for and take your Georgia state certification exam. You will need to prove that you are proficient in the workings of locks, safes, electronic wirings and the like. Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will have everything necessary to legally work as a locksmith in the state of Georgia.
Send out resumes or business cards. If you desire to work for a specific company, send out copies of your resume to companies that you would like to work for in the locksmithing industry, such as banks or security firms. Again, most schools have placement programs that will be happy to assist you in job placement after you successfully complete your course training. If you have decided to work as an independent contractor, start advertising your services by handing out business cards that include your name and complete contact information.