Thinking about getting into locksmithing

I took the coarse with Locksmith Institute back in 85 after I had a motor cycle wreck that made me an amputee and a few other problems and just to keep my hands working and for therapy. I was almost hired by a lockshop back then but I was on my way back to my home state. I keep the coarse and the key cutter all these years. I am thinking about looking into locksmithing again. I have been picking around this hole time just for personal use and I have an old locksmith that gets me the picks I need and pointers I look for. I just received a packet in the mail from B/Sand they show they have a Professional and advance certificate for safes and vaults and also burglar and fire alarms. I already know I will not be a pro by a far run, but I was wondering if this would be worth it for a refresher coarse. I would also like to get into the security end. When I was talking to my locksmith friend he said that the Locksmith Institute coarse was better than the B/S coarse. that was a plus for me that I picked the better of the two. Even back then 20 years ago it cost $350. B/S cost $600 today. I am just hoping that if I show that I am willing to brush up on a coarse maybe someone may consider to take me under their wings and teach me their ropes.

I am 41 and have owned a small windshield repair business for the past

13 years and I am looking into changing because to many people are in my work now and not to many in locksmith / security. (I could be wrong)

Do any of you have any input or better idea. Thanks to anyone responding back

Don D. aka (Pegleg)

Reply to
Don D.
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See archives of this newsgroup, and the FAQ, for capsule reviews of the Foley/Belsaw course, which I presume is what you meant by B/S. I took it some years ago precisely as a way of reviewing my knowledge and figuring out where I needed to focus. I neither recommend it nor recommend avoiding it; how much you get from it really does depend on how much you work you put into it. Just don't expect it to be a complete course by itself.

Re getting into the business: First step is to check whether your area will support another locksmith. Ask local locksmiths whether they're looking for assistants; apprenticeship is usually the rightplace to start in any case, and their opinions on which courses are meaningful (if any) are the ones that really matter if you're looking for that position.

Re whether there are too many people in locksmithing: The standard SWAG is that it takes a population of about 30,000 to support a single locksmithing business. Check the yellow pages and try to decide whether there's really enough of a market to support adding another locksmith to the mix.

Reply to
Joe Kesselman

another possibility is an institutional 'smith college or hospital for instance.


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I have heard from some people close to me that having something to do while you are recovering from a serious injury/accident such as you describe does make a difference... It greatly reduces the chances of a serious depression when you have something to keep you occupied while you are going through the physical healing period of recovery...

"Certificate" is the key term here... It was stated in another recent thread that all this means is that someone who receives a certificate becomes "certified" some certificates mean more than others...

"Porfessional" usually refers to a base of knowledge which includes a skill set that is significantly more advanced than what one would learn from a correspondence course in locksmithing...

I would not worry about anything that has to do with burglar or fire alarms at this point in time unless you are already a licensed electrician in your home state... It might be possible for you to become some kind of a burglar alarm technician without investing years and years of work experience in the field, HOWEVER, access control systems and fire alarms are more often than not considered "Life Safety Devices" and ANYONE working on them at all must be a certified, licensed, insured, and approved tradesprofessional...

My feeling based on your description of what the class includes is basically a refresher course than would apply certain types of professional licenses that require continuing education in order for the license to be renewed when it expires...

Probably not... It has been a while since i have seen any literature on courses of this type... Do they have any "optional" courses that a beginner might want to take as enrichment ??? If they do, those are the courses you might want to focus on depending on your skill level...

For $600 you will obviously not learn very much... That sounds more like a course targeted to contractors that might include basic keying skills, and focus on the proper safe installation of locksets for residential construction contractors...

Well, "someone considering taking you under their wing" is going to be totally dependant on their opinion of you and various other intangible things... I would try finding a locksmith shop willing to take you on as an apprentice before you worry about spending money on correspondence courses...

You could use that experience as a potential skill set that a locksmith shop could tap into... You could offer to help out with various "front office" type work which could include billing, accounts payable, collections, tax paperwork or other things that a locksmith might be paying an outside consultant to do for him/her at the current time...

You could try to find a locksmith shop close to you that is looking to expand its business... You could potentially become the "shop technician" cutting keys and answering the telephones to begin with and grow into more as you learn over time... This would depend on what kind of arrangement you are able to find...


~~ formerly a maintenance man, now a college student

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Reply to
Stormin Mormon

Sorry folks. I have been saying B/S this whole time but what I meant was F/B.. I was just calling it belsaw... Sorry for some of you more confused than I am..

I do not want to work for my self, Been there for to many years.

I live in southern AZ and the town I live in is growing fast and between the illegal and the thieves there is a lot of break-ins and a lot of new homes wired for motion. I thought it may be a good field. Or locksmithing. I like what a few of you were saying about starting at the bottom of the ladder more less. I just like working with my hands.... One hand has started carpel tunnel and falls asleep on me in the middle of something... maybe I can get around that...

CY wrote

I do not know why someone would be calling me names on this forum, To me the only name I would be called is Don or pegleg.

I am egger to relearn locksmithing after 20 some years of been away and only learning from the home coarse. I can pick around but would like to be able to do more... I may have to read my locksmith institute coarse again to jump start my brain.

One Q: I have a membership bond that has expired back in 85 and I would not even know were to look for the certificate... would or should I have to go through the L / I of America or another coarse again.

Don D.

Reply to
Don D.

In that case, a profession which involves a lot of fine muscle control

-- as locksmithing does -- may not be your best bet until you've had a chance to heal.

Talk to your employer. Bonds are available from multiple sources (eg the trade magazones). They may be cheaper if ordered as employees of a single shop rather than as individuals.

Remember, a bond does absolutely nothing for you except help reassure your customers that there's money available if they need to sue you... and, implicitly, suggest that you're taking the business seriously. It's more a marketing tool than anything else.

Reply to
Joe Kesselman

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