When searching for a locksmith, there are a number of specific things to consider. This includes finding someone with the experience and skills required for the job that needs to be done. In addition, you always want to hire a locksmith who is certified. In fact, it is most beneficial to hire someone with official licensing.
In most states, an individual can provide locksmith services without having certification or licensing. As imagined, this creates significant risk. In fact, a number of locksmiths without a license or certification are dishonest, looking for ways to take advantage of innocent consumers.
To protect your financial investment in locksmithing services and avoid becoming the victim of a scam, choose someone who is properly certified. There are several different options for certification, each somewhat unique.
A certified locksmith is fully invested in the work and dedicated to providing stellar services. Regardless if a locksmith became certified from a trade school, through a traditional college, or by completing online courses, look for someone with certification from the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). Because this organization is ranked as the best, its certifications have more value.
Types of Certifications
Through ALOA, the following are certification options:
- Registered Locksmith – Also referred to as an RL, this certification is given after an individual has completed a minimum of 12 eight-hour classes or finished a five- to six-day course that includes passing a final examination.
- Certified Registered Locksmith – The acronym for this locksmith certification is CRL. Considered the first level of certification for this craft, a person has to pass testing in at least 10 categories that pertain to locksmithing. In addition, to earn this certification, passing two additional specialties is mandated.
- Certified Professional Locksmith – Known as CPL, this is the second level of certification for locksmithing. To move on to the CPL level, a person needs to have completed the CRL level first. In addition, for this certification, an individual must complete 12 specialty electives.
- Certified Master Locksmith – Referred to as CML, this is the highest level of locksmithing certification.
By choosing a certified locksmith, you know that this individual has completed intense studies and passed required examinations. Currently, tests consist of 36 different categories, although just 10 must be passed for basic certification. These 10 categories include:
- Basic Key Mastering
- Cabinet/Furniture/Mailbox Locks
- Codes/Code Equipment
- Cylinder Servicing
- Key Blank Identification
- Key Duplication
- Key Impressioning
- Professional Lock Opening Techniques
- Lockset Functions
- Lockset Servicing