A locksmith is someone who specializes in securing homes and businesses. They install, repair and rekey locks. They also make keys and provide advice on security systems. This is a career that requires specialized training, and most states require a license to practice. To become a licensed locksmith, you must complete an apprenticeship and pass a state exam. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer programs to prepare you for the job. Some locksmiths choose to attend continuing education classes to learn about new technology and tools.

Most people need a locksmith at one time or another. It could be that they lose their key, have a lock that doesn’t work or need to upgrade their home security. It’s possible for a handy homeowner to change or install their own locks, but some situations call for a professional locksmith.

Some states require a locksmith to be licensed, and most locksmiths belong to the American Locksmith Association (ALOA). A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement for becoming a locksmith. Most state licensing requirements involve passing an examination and having your criminal record checked. In addition, you may need to undergo hands-on training under the supervision of an experienced locksmith. Some locksmiths apprentice with other professionals for several months or years before being fully licensed.

When you need a locksmith, it’s usually because you are locked out. Perhaps you rushed to grab the newspaper or check the mail and you accidentally closed your door behind you, or maybe your child left a key inside the house, or possibly you have misplaced your keys. Whatever the reason, it is important to call a locksmith right away to avoid the hassle of breaking a window or a door.

You might also want to call a locksmith if you’re renovating your home or building a new business. The locksmith can help determine the best type of locking system to use based on the blueprints or sketches you provide, and they can also suggest upgrades. For example, you may want to switch from standard locks to keyless entry, which will make it impossible for someone else to find and use your keys.

If you move into a newly built home, you’ll need to contact a locksmith to rekey the locks. There’s a good chance that the builders, plumbing and electrical contractors, drywall installers, and flooring locksmith waterloo iowa specialists all had access to your home during construction. This means that there are likely multiple copies of your key floating around, making it easier for someone to gain unauthorized entry. A skilled locksmith can change the internal pins and springs in your locks to prevent them from being accessed by previous or unwelcome guests. They can rekey your locks for less money than replacing them altogether. They also can make you a fresh set of keys to avoid the inconvenience of losing them. This is a job that most homeowners don’t think about until they need a locksmith at a critical moment.