Being a professional locksmith has changed a lot over the years. Twenty years ago, a few simple tools to rebuild locks, make replacements keys and pick a lock from time-to-time were all that was needed. If you had the necessary skills, you might be called upon to build a safe, including its locking mechanism. Now, because of the digital revolution, a simple house lock might have as many digital components as mechanical. Replacing a lost car key might not involve grinding out a fresh one, instead, it might involve programing a remote start key fob. In short, locksmiths of old needed substantial mechanical knowledge, a few tools, a keen ear, and deft hands. Today, a professional locksmith might need to have basic programming and electrical skills in addition to all the required skills of previous generations.
This is especially true here at Bellevue Locksmithing due to the full range of services that we offer. We do everything from the humble house lock to keypad controlled magnetic locking systems. But, one might ask, how does someone actually learn about how to become a locksmith? How did the locksmiths at Bellevue develop the skills to deliver such a variety of skills?
This depends a lot on where you live and the individual requirements of a given locksmith. Here, in Washington, there isn’t any officially required licensing. Technically, it would be possible to become a locksmith by teaching yourself. However, even if you are the greatest locksmith ever to wield a pick, it may be hard to find people to take you seriously. Certifications and licenses lend credibility to a locksmith. They demonstrate the ability, commitment, and trustworthiness.
Learning technical skills can be done through courses online and through more traditional schools. The traditional school, of course, is best for a profession such as locksmithing, due to its hands-on nature. Having other students and of course the teacher to learn from as you struggle through your first locks is invaluable. You can get real-time criticism and advice that simply isn’t available through an online course. Those online courses aren’t simply all schoolwork though. Most will send you the necessary materials or at least tell you what to get so you can practice at home. Like we said above though, having a guide there with you is much better than training videos online. However, for someone with a job already or other responsibilities, online courses may be the only option available.
Once you have acquired your certification upon graduation, you will need to get hired. Your goals here will vary. If you desire to have your own business someday, going to work for a professional locksmith like Bellevue is the best option. In doing so, you would develop your skills and learn even more from our experienced staff. If instead, you prefer the security and benefits that come with a large corporation, they might have a home for you as well. Often, large commercial companies will have locksmiths on staff to repair doors, get executives into their offices, help the clerk who locked his keys in his car, and whatever else comes up. The choice is yours.
Flexibility is important as well. Given the nature of the work, we might get a call at three in the morning when someone getting off a late shift realizes he locked his keys in his car. Or it’s the middle of a snowstorm and someone snapped off a key in her front door. Crazy things happen and as locksmiths, it’s our job to respond day or night, rain or shine.
Once you’re in, you will likely be paired with a professional locksmith who will verify your skills and fill any gaps in your training. Like any other job, if you stick with it, you’ll soon find you are the old guy answering all the questions the new kids ask.
Finally, trustworthiness is every bit as an important quality for locksmiths as is the mechanical and electrical knowledge to do the job. People trust us to come into their homes and install the very security measures they rely on to keep them safe. Businesses trust us to set up their electronic locks, locks that guard property and knowledge that could be valuable to competitors. Car manufacturers trust us with the codes needed to program their key fobs and remote start systems. It is a tremendous responsibility and privilege to be allowed to do this kind of work. As such, locksmiths have to be free of any criminal background and stay that way. Violations of the integrity of any kind are not tolerated. Our entire business model at Bellevue Locksmithing relies on earning and maintaining the trust of our clients.