Facilities and property services

Career outlook for locksmith

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would install and fix locks to keep people’s homes and businesses secure. You’d help people who have accidently locked themselves out. You’d also sell locks and advise customers on the best options for their needs.

You would:

  • Fit locks to doors and windows
  • Check and repair locks and other security devices
  • Cut copies of keys and make new keys
  • Fit combination locks and timers to safes
  • Repair locks on motor vehicles
  • Advise customers on the most suitable locks or safety devices for their needs

If people are locked out of their home or business you would go out to help them get in. You could be called out at any time of the day or night. You’d also provide an emergency service to change locks, reset security systems and make a place secure if there has been a break-in.

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

Some locksmiths specialise in a particular area, like repairing and key cutting for antique locks.

Working conditions


You would 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, cutting keys and selling locks and other security devices, 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, for example when fitting or repairing windows or external door locks.


You would often have to travel to visit customers on site.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Adaptability
  • Innovative
  • Resourceful
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentrating
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking initiative

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You would need a good general education including English and Maths. Some employers will require qualifications at SCQF level 4 to 6.

There is currently no nationally recognised qualification in locksmithing but the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) runs a range of locksmith training courses.

It is important to research training courses thoroughly; beware of courses that try to sell you tools. The tools you’ll need will very much depend on the type of work you’ll be doing and also the area of the country you’re based in.

This is a relatively small profession and opportunities may be limited.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Practical technologies subjects such as practical metalwork

You will also need

  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland
  • To have a driving licence, for most jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show  problem-solving skills and practical skills working with wood, metal, mechanical or electronic equipment such as:

  • Skills for Work Construction Engineering (SCQF level 3)
  • Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5)
  • Engineering Skills (SCQF level 4)