Well, I will start by taking a step away from the title of this thread and let you all know that I'm very seriously considering taking a trade in Locksmithing.
The decision comes from realizing that my college education is nearly wasted (in an industry with more workers than employers) and that the only time I've ever expressed interest in any trade was in clockwork and locking mechanism's.
What I want to know before I decide to drop the 900$ for the course is whether or not there is significant demand in the industry at the moment?
The school I've chosen is a long distance learning center here in Canada called ICS, is there anyone here who has experience with this center? Can I expect to have a firm grasp of the trade given the Course outline (attached at the bottom).
As much as I'd like to have those questions answered (and probably more that I cant think of this late) I'd also like to know all of your impressions of the trade... Is there demand? Room to learn after you've left the school? does work eventually begin to just be more and more of the same? Let me know please!
Course outline: ======================================================================= Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll receive your learning materials:
Instruction Module 1
- Learning Strategies o The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations. * Locksmithing:An Expanding Career Field o Definition of locksmithing and the security industry; how the locksmith can help fight crime; employment opportunities; qualifications for professional locksmiths.
Instruction Module 2
- Introduction to Locks and Keys o Basic types of lock mechanisms; basic key types and their parts; typical locksmithing tasks; standard and specialized tools used by locksmiths. * Key Identification o Basic types of keys and their parts; how keys are duplicated; distinctive key characteristics; how to compare an original key to a blank; how to find key blanks in a key catalog. * Practical Exercise: Identifying Keys * Lock Mechanisms o Construction and operation of warded locks, lever locks, disk tumbler locks, and pin tumbler locks; padlock construction and operation; how combination locks work. * Supplement:Locksmithing Glossary * Learning Aids: o Assorted key blanks o Lever Tumbler lock o Disk Tumbler lock
Instruction Module 3
- Residential Locks o The mortise lock and the rib lock; operation of key-in- knob locks and tubular deadbolts; installation steps for key-in-knob locks, deadbolts, rim locks, and other door locks. * Keymaking and Rekeying o Key duplication by hand and by machine; how to duplicate cylinder keys, flat keys, and bit keys; rekeying locks. * Practical Exercises: o Duplicating a key by hand o Rekeying the Kwikset® door lock * Supplement:Using Tools Safely * Learning Aids: o File Set o Bench vise o Kwikset® door lock o Kwikset® pinning kit
Instruction Module 4
- Opening Locks Without Keys o Various methods of opening locks without keys; lockpicking techniques; "reading" a lock; impressioning keys; forcing a lock open using emergency techniques. * Home and Business Security o Security in retail and industrial settings; "target hardening" techniques; improving security in home and business settings; performing a security analysis. * Practical Exercise: o Impressioning a Key for a Mortise Cylinder o Shimming Open and Rekeying the Mortise Cylinder * Learning Aids: o Lockpicks o Tension wrench o Mortise cylinder o Shims o Screwdriver set
Instruction Module 5
- Automotive Locks o Basic auto lock mechanisms; replacing lock cylinders in doors, ignitions, and trunks; troubleshooting and servicing auto lock cylinders; electronic security devices for auto protection. Safes and Vaults o Basic safe construction; combination lock theory; basic safe maintenance and repair techniques; changing safe combinations; making keys for safe deposit boxes. * Panic Hardware and Electric Locks o Basic types of panic-hardware devices; installing panic hardware; repairing and troubleshooting panic hardware; basic electricity for locksmiths; installation of electric locks. * Learning Aid:Master combination padlock
Instruction Module 6
- Electronic Security o Basic types of alarm systems; alarm components; designing an alarm system for a customer's use; troubleshooting and programming an alarm system. * Starting a Small Business o Creating a business plan; obtaining finances; obtaining needed insurance; necessary permits and licenses; finding a location; setting up your shop; purchasing office equipment and supplies; keeping business records. * Working as a Professional Locksmith o Determining what services to offer and what to charge; evaluating your competition and targeting your customers; setting an advertising budget; legal issues and locksmithing ethics; bonding and licensing; how to look and act like a professional. * Supplement:Starting a Mobile Business * Graduation Module * Ilco® Key Machine * Pro Locksmith Patch * Industry Trade Directory
Online Library and Librarian Students in ICS Canada have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via e-mail and assist students in research activities during their studies with ICS Canada. ==========================================================