How to find a locksmith apprenticeship – and why

Picking a residential lock

If you’re interested in becoming a locksmith, one of the best ways of learning the profession is by apprenticing yourself to a practicing professional. Why, you say? Well, this already trained and licensed locksmith will be able to teach you the tricks of the trade and help cut down on the learning process for you. This goes for if you want to be a residential locksmith, commercial locksmith, automobile locksmith or any other specialty.

What are the advantages?

Apprenticeships used to be quite common in the trades in the US. They’ve been on the decline for a while, but signs point to a comeback. The reasons are multiple, but some are:

Paid job

You get paid competitively from day one, even though your learning.


You’ll gain knowledge from someone who knows what they’re doing, combined with classroom learning.


Completing your apprenticeship should earn you certification within your field – credentials that allow future employers to recognize your skills.

Picking a residential lock

Finding a relevant apprenticeship near you

So you’ve decided you want to seek a locksmith apprenticeship – OK, so how do you find one? Well, one way is to go to the government website

Click to find a locksmith apprenticeship

Their Apprenticeship Finder function matches prospective locksmith with practicing pros, and you can go through the listings to try and find one that matches your requirements and is close to you as well.

Another way is to see which local trade schools near you that offer locksmith classes – the teachers may be interested in offering an apprenticeship, or they may know other locksmiths looking to take on an apprentice.

Who is your Locksmith Master?

Before going ahead too far with your apprenticeship and committing to a long contract or training schedule, we recommend that you do some due diligence on whoever you are apprenticing yourself to.

Try and find out who this person is – are they ethical, do they present themselves well, is it someone you’re ready to spend considerable time with in the next year or so? If it doesn’t feel quite right you may want to reconsider.

Make sure that they are also certified – how, where and when did they complete their training? What credentials do they have? How long have they worked as a locksmith, and do they have customers that can vouche for them?

Getting certified

Ideally you want to have your apprenticeship end up with you gaining an actual locksmith certification in the field you’ve decided to specialize in. The Associated Locksmiths of America grant the following certifications after successfully completed training:

  • Registered Locksmith (RL)
  • Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL)
  • Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL)
  • Certified Master Locksmith (CML)
  • Safe Technician Designations: Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS) and Certified Master SafeTech (CMST).
  • Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL)

Your goal should be to get at a minimum a Registered Locksmith certificate at the end of your apprenticeship.