Locksmiths sell, install and maintain locks and make keys for homes, cars and businesses. Some also sell, install and maintain security systems and fit safes and security devices such as closed circuit television (CCTV). They may also offer a 24-hour call-out service to people locked out of their car, home or business.
Some specialise in specific areas such as safes or cars; others may be involved in a wider range of duties.
Locksmiths normally work around 40 hours a week, which can include evenings and weekends. They may be based in a shop, or travel to visit customers on site. In firms that offer a 24 hour service, they may have to provide cover on some nights in order to respond to emergency call-outs.
A driving licence may be required.
To be a locksmith you will need:
There are over 2,000 professionally qualified locksmiths working in the UK.
Work opportunities could be with local locksmiths, offering the fitting of doors, security shutters and grills and electronic and CCTV door entry systems. Some of the larger, national companies operate franchises, mainly providing 24-hour mobile/emergency services. There are opportunities to become self-employed, although the sector is highly competitive, and careful market research is required.
DIY/hardware stores, shoe repairers and some large department stores also provide keycutting services requiring locksmiths.
The security market has grown over the past few years due to public concern over crime. Insurance company requirements and incentives for security system installations have also given rise to increased business for locksmiths.
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