A great many locksmiths get their start by working as an apprentice for a seasoned locksmith or by completing a correspondence course, sometimes a combination of the two. There is no substitution for real world experience and having a veteran locksmith guide you goes a long way towards you reaching your goal of becoming a locksmith. Lots of individuals use books and/or video training to teach themselves locksmithing, others may attend a trade school or college program. Locksmithing programs are few and far between and unless you live in a major metropolitan area the courses are not likely to be available to you. This is one of the reasons that at-home study is so popular. You can complete an online or correspondence course at home while still working your "regular" job and complete it at your leisure. The best courses give you access by phone and email to an insructor that can help guide you through the course. You can consult with him by phone until you get your locksmith certification. Of course there are advantages to hands-on instruction but books and videos are often a time-saving low cost alternative to attending a locksmith school. On the job training is the least expensive way to learn the trade but there can be drawbacks. The local locksmith may want an apprentice but may only teach you very basic skills. Keep in mind - someday YOU will be his competition! Some locksmiths are masters of the trade but they may be terrible teachers. The fact that a seasoned locksmith has 25 years under his belt in the field doesn't guarantee he can teach another person.
Regardless of how you learn basic locksmithing skills, you'll need to continue learning throughout your career. Read books and trade publications and professional journals, take residential or correspondence classes and network with other experienced locksmiths and security professionals. Should you decide to attend a residential program or take classes near your home we've compiled a list of schools that may be nearby to you.