Are you passionate about working with locks and helping people keep their property safe? If yes, becoming a “Locksmith” could be a good career option for you.
Locksmith builds, repair, and install locks to improve security for individuals and business clients. They work on various security devices and systems for public and private properties.
Prospective locksmiths need to work as apprentices or assistants with certified locksmiths. They undertake locksmith certification courses at vocational training schools or technical colleges to develop the necessary skills to perform this trade in Australia.
Keep reading this blog to know more about a locksmithing job - required duties and skillset, qualifications, courses, average salary, and courses to get started in a locksmithing career in Australia.
1. What Are Locksmiths?
Locksmiths are security professionals who use the latest technology to install, sell, inspect, and maintain locks and other security systems and devices.
They offer a broad array of security services to the domestic, commercial, automotive, industrial, government, and health sectors.
Some of their service areas include:
Electronic access control
Security systems vaults and safes
Automotive locksmithing services
2. Duties Of A Locksmith
Before taking the first step in becoming a locksmith, you must understand what duties form part of the role:
Conduct on-site inspections and security audits to test the performance of security systems and locks and assess security risks.
Discuss with customers about their security requirements
Advise suitable security and locking systems such as safes, alarms, closed-circuit television, and door and window locks
Create different locks based on customers’ requirements or based on their security levels when working on a commercial facility
Install, manufacture, and repair keys, keyless entry locks, mechanical locks, high-security lock systems, and restricted master key systems
Change locks and critical control systems
Replace or adjust faulty, jammed, broken, or worn parts of doors, including hinges, door closers, and electronic release mechanisms
Change electronic and mechanical codes.
Help the businessperson or homeowner deal with a break-in.
Facilitate gaining entry to premises, safes, filing cabinets, etc., when customers lose their keys
Sell locks, safes, and associated hardware.
Assist home and car owners in gaining access in cases of accidental lock-outs
Maintain records of specs of installed locking systems
3. Locksmiths Skills
Locksmiths need strong technical skills to create, install and maintain highly secure locks. At the same time, having good soft skills help them serve their customers better.
If you seek a successful locksmith career, building the following hard and soft skills will help:
Good mathematical ability
Knowledge of different lock components
Able to use locksmithing tools and perform tasks accurately
Good computer knowledge to generate and maintain master key systems and clone transponder keys
Good understanding of industry-relevant security standards and regulations
Enjoy doing technical work and solving problems
Excellent motor skills
Good hand-eye coordination
Able to work under pressure like emergency conditions
Physical stamina to lift heavy items
Able to work both in a team or independently
Attention to detail
Interpersonal and customer service skills
Good written and verbal communication skills
Willingness to learn
4. Locksmith Qualifications In Australia
Locksmithing is a trade-work in Australia. To work in this profession, you must complete an Australian apprenticeship or traineeship that combines theoretical and practical learning.
Here are the steps to qualify for this role:
Complete your Year 10 education in one of more prerequisite subjects such as English and Mathematics
Find an employer who is willing to provide you with an apprenticeship or traineeship in locksmithing.
Undertake a relevant theoretical qualification such as a Certificate III in Locksmithing
Undergo a National Police Check (necessary for those who work with security equipment)
Some states and territories require Locksmiths to be licensed by a relevant regulatory body to perform specific tasks, such as installing security equipment.
Though optional, membership with professional organisations such as the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia and the Locksmiths Guild of Australia could be an advantage.
To work on construction sites, you need a Construction Induction Card (or the White Card)
5. Steps To Become A Locksmith In Australia
You can become a locksmith by doing a short one or two-week course or a 3–4 year apprenticeship program. The latter option may take longer but will make you a fully qualified locksmith in Australia. Also, while working as an apprentice, you get paid to learn.
So, here are the most common steps people follow to become a locksmith in Australia:
Step 1: Complete The Qualification
A Certificate III in Locksmithing is the qualification to learn about all aspects of the locksmith trade. This course is a prerequisite for many locksmithing courses run by independent training providers and locksmith associations.
Most training institutes, including TAFE, offer this course as part of a structured apprenticeship program.
Step 2: Complete Additional Locksmith Courses
You can also consider extra short locksmith courses to expand your knowledge and skills for providing various security services. It will also set you apart from other job applicants and make you more appealing to potential employers.
Those planning to work as self-employed locksmiths can undertake courses to develop their business skills, such as money management, business marketing, etc.
Step 3: Meet The Legal Requirements
Many states and territories in Australia require locksmiths to have a general Construction Induction Card/ White Card. They need this to undertake work to install or repair locks on buildings or other construction sites.
Enrol in the “Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry” course through Registered Training Operators to obtain a CIC card.
Suppose you plan to work in a business to install security systems such as vaults and safes. In that case, you need to get a private security registration. You may apply for it through the national police or professional association of the state or territory where you intend to work.
Step 4: Become A Member Of A Professional Association
Once you complete the qualification and apprenticeship and meet the legal requirements, the next step is to join a professional body such as:
Membership in these organisations shows that you fulfil high professional standards and are committed to working in this profession.
Other benefits and perks include:
Access to professional networking events and training opportunities
Professional development opportunities that keep you updated with the constantly evolving security industry in terms of new product releases and lock standards
Enhances your chances of securing a locksmith job across the country
Step 5: Apply For Locksmith Jobs
Once you have the qualifications, training, and licenses, you can apply for locksmith jobs. In many cases, locksmiths that offer apprenticeships offer a full-time position to apprentices with good skills.
Additionally, you can find job opportunities with other companies and businesses. Some locksmiths even prefer to start their businesses and work as independent locksmiths. Still, it requires a lot of networking and business marketing.
6. How To Become A Locksmith In NSW?
You need to do a four-year apprenticeship with a licensed locksmith or a locksmithing company to start working as a professional locksmith in NSW. The apprenticeship program includes TAFE tuition, final assessment, in-house training, and mentoring.
Certificate III In Locksmithing is a specially designed course for apprentices in the locksmith trade. As an apprentice, you gain the industry-recognised skills, knowledge, and experience required of a locksmithing tradesperson.
Learn about the lock and security mechanics
Interpret technical drawing
Use power tools/handheld operations
Install and repair locks for commercial and residential buildings, motorcycles, and vehicles
Create keys and duplicate keys
Conduct an audit to inspect the security of existing lock installations
Business and legal aspects of locksmithing
Nationally Recognised Training
After successful completion of the apprenticeship, your employer will issue you a Locksmithing Certificate.
Once certified, you can do various locksmithing work, such as repairing, designing, and installing locking and security systems in automotive, industrial, and domestic applications.
Join a Professional Locksmithing Organisation to obtain the following benefits:
A vast resource library to expand the knowledge base
Access to continuing education
Enhance your reliability and career prospects
7. How To Become A Locksmith In QLD?
You need to complete an apprenticeship in Queensland to become a trade-qualified locksmith. Track advertisements or contact a certified locksmith directly to locate any open positions for an apprentice locksmith.
The apprenticeship usually lasts four years and includes on-the-job training under an experienced locksmith and theoretical training through TAFE. Certificate III in Locksmithing (MEM30805) is an ideal course to learn the practical and theoretical components of the locksmith trade.
As per the Queensland Government, after completing an apprenticeship, aspiring locksmiths will need a Security Installers and Advisors License before they can offer their professional locksmithing services.
Next, gain membership in professional organisations like the Master Locksmiths Association to get certified as a professional locksmith and improve your career prospects. MLAA is the peak organisation for locksmiths in Australia and New Zealand.
8. How Much Does A Locksmith Get Paid In Australia?
The more experienced and skilled a locksmith is, the more potential he has to earn a higher salary. Thus, the wage of workers with experience is relatively higher than those new to the industry.
According to PayScale, the average hourly locksmith salary in Australia is AU$ 24.79, equivalent to AU$ 56,950 per year.
Average Hourly Salary Based on Experience
Entry-level Locksmiths (<1-year experience): AU$19.79
Early career Locksmiths (1-4 years of experience): AU$22.79
Mid-career Locksmiths (5-9 years of experience): AU$25.26
Experienced Locksmiths (10-19 years of experience): AU$26.98
Average Salary Based on Location
Parramatta: $59,275 per year
Sydney: $58,912 per year
Melbourne: $57,257 per year
Brisbane: $54,376 per year
Perth: $52,637 per year
Sunshine Coast: $52,181 per year
Geelong: $51,070 per year
9. Where Do Locksmiths Work?
Locksmiths work for security and locksmith firms in the domestic, commercial, retail, automotive, and government segment.
Some even work self-employed and run their locksmith business.
10. Areas Of Specialisation
Locksmiths can undertake further training and specialise in the following:
Access control installations
Key manufacture and identification
11. Working Conditions For A Locksmith
Due to the type of work, locksmiths may need to work weekends, overnight hours, holidays, and on-call providing 24-hour emergency assistance to their clients.
They usually work in confined spaces and outdoors and may require travelling to various locations during their work.
12. Job Prospects For A Locksmith In Australia
The safety of their family and assets is the priority for every individual. Having proper security measures in place can save one from unnecessary inconveniences.
With the constant security demand for homes and businesses, the employment prospects for licensed and reputable locksmiths providing affordable and reliable locksmithing services remain optimistic in the coming years.
The demand for a locksmith depends on concerns related to security and upgrades involving electrical security, alarm monitoring systems, and access control.
Australia is experiencing a skills shortage in the locksmith trade across all regions. That’s why the government is encouraging more people to pursue this profession. If you want to get started as a locksmith, this profession assures stable demand and job opportunities throughout the country.
The job of a locksmith is a highly responsible yet rewarding profession. Homeowners, Employers, and employees depend on locksmith skills to be safe. The best thing about the job is that anyone can pursue it.
With a trade qualification and mastery of a range of locksmith techniques, you can rest assured of a future-proof profession for life.
If you have made up your mind to make a career in locksmithing, then a Certificate III in Locksmithing is an ideal learning pathway to achieve your goals.
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