Job Description:

Locksmiths install, repair and maintain locks.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • fitting locks to doors and windows
  • selling, servicing and repairing locks and other security devices
  • cutting copies of keys and making new keys
  • fitting combination locks and timing devices to safes
  • repairing locks on motor vehicles
  • providing a call-out service to people locked out of their home or business or after break-ins

You might also sell, install and maintain other security mechanisms and systems, and fit safes and security devices like closed circuit television (CCTV).

You could specialise in a particular area, like repairing and key cutting for antique locks.


You’ll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • customer service skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a locksmith, specific GCSE subjects are not typically required, as the role focuses on practical skills and knowledge related to locks and security systems.

However, certain subjects can provide a foundation for developing the skills and qualities needed for this career. Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can be beneficial for becoming a locksmith:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Design and Technology (D&T): Offers insights into mechanisms, tools, and practical skills that can be applicable to locksmithing.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measurements, calculations, and understanding lock mechanisms.
  3. Physics: Understanding principles of forces and mechanics can aid in understanding how locks work.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using technology, such as key-cutting machines or security systems, can be valuable.

Post School

There are no set requirements.

You could, however:

  • contact local locksmithing companies to see if they’ll take you on and train you on the job
  • train as a locksmith by taking courses
  • get into this job through an apprenticeship

Some experience in carpentry or engineering might be useful, but isn’t essential.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work around 40 hours a week, which could include evenings and weekends. If you work for a firm that provides a 24-hour service, you may have to work some nights to respond to emergency call-outs.

You could be based in a shop, but most locksmiths travel to visit customers on site.

Some of your work will be inside, but you may also have to work outside in all weather conditions.

Career Path & Progression:

You could work for a national company, run a franchise or become self-employed.