Who is a Locksmith?
By Oxford dictionary, locksmith is a person to makes and repairs locks. While this is ultimately the correct definition, today locksmiths’ responsibilities have expanded greatly from just dealing with locks, keys and safes to innovative solutions and technological advancement in security, alarm systems and wide range of keyless, digital and biometrical padlocks.
Most likely you haven’t even thought about locksmith as a profession until your lock broke down, or you moved into a new apartment, or your neighborhood is no longer as safe as it used to be in the past.
What Can Locksmith Do?
Locksmith career has been lurking among us for a very long time, taking us back to its’ origins as far as Ancient Egypt. Back then the locks might not have been so advanced and were mostly made of wood, the idea behind it was the same – it had pins which could be unlocked only with the right key. And here we are, thousands of years into the future, looking at the oldest profession on the planet.
In the past, the locksmithing was an advancement from blacksmiths – the metal workers. The increasing popularity and need in protecting your family and belongings raised the demand for locksmith services.
At some point along the history line, the actual making of the locks was handed over to factories and machines and locksmith professional had to learn the new deviation of the profession – fixing, changing and repairing the locks.
Today your local locksmiths serve your security needs either from a shop or a mobile locksmith van. Most locksmith services in your area focus on residential, commercial and automotive locks and keys solutions, along with emergency 24/7 services across the city.
Residential or in simple words home locksmith focuses on home security and locks that are around your living residence. You need a residential locksmithing, when you are locked out of your apartment, or want to change your locks because you moved to a new place, broke up with your ex, fired the cleaning company or want to have one single key for all your doors.
The residential locksmiths services include many scenarios, though mainly they answer requests for Key Cutting, Rekey Locks, Changing Locks, Lockout Assistance, Alarm system setup, and Duplicate Key Making.
In case of a lockout, for example, the technician needs a bit of time to pick the lock on the entrance door and get you back in. Most of the locks should be unlocked by skilled locksmith. In super uncommon cases, the lock needs to be broken own or drilled through.
Rekeying the locks is widely unknown way to switch to a new key. Compared to changing the lock, rekeying it is inexpensive and effective way to restore the security in your home. Knowing your terminology may save you a lot of money and headache. Be wary of locksmith company that doesn’t mention this option to you and go right to changing the lock instead.
In some cases, of course, the lock is irreparable and simply cannot be fixed. Locksmiths usually come with wide range of replacement locks to choose from, so you don’t have to run to the nearest store and search for the right lock among billion gazillion options in front of you.
Another interesting fact is that locksmithing is not only about keys and locks. The services also include doors and door frame installation. If you have a door that needs a repair, you might consider calling your local locksmiths before you buy a new door.
Not every locksmith company is the same. All residential locksmiths focus on specific services depending on their skills, training and experience.
Locked yourself out of your own car? Literally happened to every person I have ever met! My neighbor once got her daughter locked in the car with the keys inside. I guess, she gave the keys to the kid and didn’t notice that the baby pressed on lock button. The next thing she sees is a locked crying kid at the back of the car and no way to unlock the car door.
The mother’s first reaction is to smash the window and get the kid out. Since I was home, I grabbed my tools and rushed to save the day. Got the car unlocked in a matter of seconds. The kid was fine, the car was ine and not damaged, the keys were fine and safely put away from the baby, the mother was hysterical and hopefully learned her lesson (especially the one that if you don’t have a neighbor who is a pro locksmith, you need to have the local locksmith number available to you on the spot!)
Some locksmiths provide businesses with the regular services, like the ones you have already read about in the residential section. But there is also a bigger picture with broader security solutions, such as keyless entry, master key, upgrade to latest security requirements and innovations.
So, now we know that locksmiths are not just greasy lock makers, but also professional security experts. I find it surprising that so many people have no clue that their local locksmith can not only give advice about the security but also install full security system for your home or business, with cameras, alarm, monitors, full surveillance in “James Bond” and “Mission Impossible” kind of style. Today locksmiths are ready to solve your security issues, find the weakest areas in your house or business property and give you the suggestion for improvement.
How Can You Become a Locksmith?
An interesting question I have heard throughout my professional years, is how to become a locksmith. Here is my side of the story:
- First, figure out if this is something you want to do. You must be serious and willing to spend time learning and being trained.
- Some training places require you to have at least a high school diploma. The formal locksmith education will entitle you to proper licensing at the end of the course.
- Everyone can learn to be a locksmith; however, you must possess several characteristic traits to be successful in the industry. Here is what I expect from a locksmith – dedication, honesty, calmness, intuition and adoption to stressful situations. You have to quick, effective and be a people person, because you deal not only with locks, but the owners of those locks and keys, in most cases either stressed or scared. Your friendliness and social skills come in handy when you have to pick a lock and the customer is pacing from side to side, worrying about a hot pot with boiling water in the kitchen.
- Physical skills are not less important for this type of job. You need to have solid hand and eye coordination, ability to solve the problem on the spot without dropping the tools from your shaky hands.
- Locksmith education and training ranges from just couple of weeks to years. It all depends on what is the outcome you seek. My opinion is that a formal training is a total must. Whether you should earn a degree from community college is questionable, because it is all about experience. It might be much more valuable to find an experienced locksmith and ask to work with him as a helper first. Learn. Watch. Copy. Gain the experience. The more you practice, the better and more confident you become. You will not only learn the skills, but watch how business is done. All the resources you can get will play major role when you decide to work on your own.
- Based on google search results, the median annual locksmith salary as of 2017 stands around $49,333. Of course, there is large deviation from these numbers, depending on whether you work alone or commercially employed, whether you are a newbie, or an experienced, reputable locksmith provider, whether you have clients, or you have to build the leads from the scratch.
How to Find a Reputable Locksmith Near You
Just like in every single industry we have around us, locksmiths are not free from scammers. Before hiring any professional, you must do a bit of homework.
Ask around for recommendations, read reviews over the internet, check out their social media activity and recent updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and such. Check whether the company is listed in Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Business Pages. Overall positive feedback from the clients is a must. Be aware that 100% positive feedback sounds fishy. We all know you cannot possibly please everyone, all the time. If you see only positive reviews, take under consideration that they might be fake.
Compare several locksmith companies and their prices. Talk to them on the phone, ask whether they are licensed and certified. Keep in mind that lowest prices are not always better. You might spend less now, but end up repairing low quality work.
Why Should You Choose Hamilton Locksmith Services?
We have been serving Hamilton area for a while now and we provide a true 5-star customer experience and end results. There are no surprises in pricing, our techs are skilled and fully trained and we are here to answer any of your questions any time of the day.