One of the trades available in the construction industry is locksmithing, a field which extends far beyond the key cutting kiosks you often see in shopping centers. Below is some of the most essential information about entering the trade.
What Does Locksmithing Involve?
In addition to cutting keys, you will be required to make, maintain and install security devices in homes, such as window bars, deadlocks, keyless entry locks and alarm systems. In addition, you will be consulting with customers about their needs, liaising with suppliers, and making sales in person and via phone. While you'll be working with your hands most of the time, welding, drilling, and using a variety of equipment, computer systems are involved in the process nowadays, so you will be making use of these as well. The area in which you work will help determine the amount of business you receive -- locksmiths are more in demand in high crime areas and rich areas.
How Much Will it Pay?
This will depend on your employer, your location, and other factors, but locksmiths can expect to earn between $34,000 and $60,000 p/a, with the starting salary likely to be at the lower end and senior salaries near the top. The average salary of a locksmith is $50,000 p/a, and your employer may provide higher hourly rates for overtime.
How Do You Become a Locksmith?
You will have to complete a four year apprenticeship to become a qualified locksmith. Employers will likely require that you have completed grade ten, and you will need to undergo a police check, have your fingerprints taken, and obtain clearance to be accepted. This is because the on-the-job knowledge you will gain could be used for nefarious purposes. Searching for apprenticeships is a matter of looking through job listings relevant to the area in which you will be working, as well as contacting locksmiths directly to see if positions are available. The employer will organize everything in relation to your apprenticeship for you.
Why Become a Locksmith?
There is a shortage of labour in the industry, so the government provides incentives for apprentices such as wage top-ups, tool allowances and other financial supports. You may be able to access support via the adult Australian apprenticeships initiative, and you may also be eligible for trade support loans of up to $20,000, which are then repaid via the tax system as with HECS. If you want to become self-employed, a locksmithing apprenticeship will give you the tools to start your own business. You'll be working with your hands in a variety of locations, traveling from one place to another and remaining active and busy throughout the day.