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So, you want to become a locksmith in New Jersey? That’s a great choice. Locksmith’s in New Jersey average an annual salary of over $57,000. New Jersey may be the most difficult state to set a locksmithing shop up in, but you are well compensated for the difficulties.

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 become a locksmith in New Jersey, you will need to register. Registration will require an intense background check that will require your fingerprints, no convictions for any first, second, or third degree crimes within the prior 10 years, as well as being “of good moral character” as defined by state law.

Before any of this, however, you will need to have received a high school diploma, or equivalent. After this, you will need to have completed a locksmithing examination defined in N.J.A.C. 13:31A-2.3. You will also need to have completed multiple education units as listed in  New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 13: Law and Public Safety, Chapter 31A: Fire Alarm, Burglar Alarm, and Locksmith Advisory Committee.

After submitting your application, you will need to complete 5,040 hours of “practical hands-on experience” in provisioning of locksmith services, as well as a two year apprenticeship program in the provision of locksmithing services which has been approved by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the United States Department of Labor.

Also, in the three years immediately preceding the submission of your application, you must have successfully completed two hours of training in the Barrier Free Subcode, N.J.A.C. 5:23-7, two hours of training in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23, exlusive of the Barrier Free Subcode, two hours of training in the Americans with Disabilities Act Code, 36 CFR 1191, two hours of training in industrial safety, and two hours of training in New Jersey law and rules governing the provision of burglar alarm, fire alarm, and locksmithing services.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, there is a $150 application fee, a $120 license fee (with some additional fees that are determined at the time.)

Exceptions are possible for honorably discharged armed forces officers.

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.

Association Memberships

Locksmiths in New Jersey 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

If you want to be a locksmith in New Jersey, you should obtain the right type of insurance. It isn’t required by law, but it’s just smart business sense. You should get both business insurance and bonding. Your business insurance policy should include business auto coverage and liability. This insurance will protect your business and personal assets in the event of a lawsuit, error, mistake, or accident. Bond protection, on the other hand, helps to protect the consumer. It provides a guarantee that you will complete the job right and on time. Having both insurance and bond coverage will protect both you and your customer from the unexpected.

Tools and Equipment

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 New Jersey. 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.

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