So, you want to become a locksmith in Illinois? That’s a great choice. Locksmith’s in Illinois average an annual salary of over $49,000. Couple this with the fact that Illinois is a relatively simple state to set a locksmithing shop up in, and you are well on your way to a solid salary. All this, while being your own boss, and controlling your own destiny.
But before we run off and pick up our locksmith kit, let’s talk about the specifics.
Locksmith Job Description
A locksmith is a trained professional that inspects, repairs, replaces, and installs locks and locking systems for home and business owners. They also cut both new and duplicate keys for various locks. Locksmiths also help to open doors on cars, safes, homes, and businesses when the owner is locked out. With many of today’s home and business owners using key-less entry locks, locksmiths also must know how to repair and maintain digital locks.
Many of today’s locksmiths also install, repair, and maintain home security and surveillance systems. While some locksmith services are done by appointment, you can expect to provide emergency services too. For example, if a customer is locked out of their car or lost their keys, they would need your locksmith services right away.
Locksmith Registration Requirements
To practice locksmithing in Illinois you must first register with the state. This requires that you first pass a background check by submitting your fingerprints to the state. The exception to this is if you are able to verify your employment — current, or retired — as a peace officer.
After the background check, you must then pass an examination by the state. You can get more information about this by visiting their website. Along with the examination you are required to receive 20 hours of training.
Online Locksmith Training Course
One of the easiest ways to get the skills required to become a locksmith is to sign up to an online locksmith training course. Our basic locksmith course is good, but what I’m really talking about is an in-depth online course that will walk you through all of the step-by-step requirements for becoming a locksmith — even if your state doesn’t require training. The job itself requires specialized knowledge that has traditionally been passed down from locksmith to locksmith. That’s what this online course does, it just does it in the comfort of your own home, at your own learning speed. Take your time, learn locksmithing online, and when you’re ready, go out and launch your own locksmithing business.
Locksmiths in Illinois do not have to belong to any professional membership group, such as Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). However, joining this group can help to build trust with your customers. This trust can improve sales over time. Each professional association has its own set of membership rules and regulations. Be sure to take your time and find out which group is right for you. Once you earn your membership into a group, you can display their logo on your website or social media profile. Membership into one of these groups allows potential customers to know that you have the right skills and professionalism to finish the job right.
Insurance and Bond Protection
The biggest requirement, and the one that will make most people shy away from Illinois, is their insurance requirement. You are required to receive and maintain a full $1,000,000 liability policy, and submit proof of this insurance when submitting your paperwork. Without this, you’re out of luck.
Before you can start your career as a locksmith, you must purchase the right types of tools. This can include a key decoder, lock by-pass tools, key duplicator, key extractor, re-keying kits, code cutting machine, and more. You also will need to have reliable transportation, since typically you will go to the customer’s location versus them coming to you. Most locksmiths use a business van because it allows them to store all the tools and equipment they need inside.
The first step is to obtain the right training. Then, you can register with the state and purchase the right insurance and tools. Once that is done, you can begin your career as a locksmith in Illinois. You will need to start small. Consider setting up a website or social media profile so that prospective customers can find you. Over time you can build your business by providing great services to all your customers.