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History of Locksmithing

Locksmithing as a profession has its origins over 4000 years ago.  As the concept of locks, their materials, and their technology changed, the role of a locksmith changed too, and this impacted the history of locksmithing.  Becoming a locksmith in the USA requires a huge amount of industry experience. You can start as an apprentice and then gain knowledge and experience to move up the ladder.

Locksmithing, as an art, first took shape in Ancient Egypt and Babylon. 4000 years ago the locks were simple. Large wooden keys were used to unlock doors.  The locks back then were not as sophisticated as they are now. The first locks were very small and portable to use. Their main purpose was to protect goods from thieves while traveling from one place to the another. They were made up of wood, and used pins to unlock and lock -- much similar to what we have now.  The oldest lock was discovered in the ruins of the Assyrian Empire. It is expected that the key dates back to 704 BC.

The 18th century saw a major shift in the locksmith profession in Europe. This was when advanced metallurgy made its way into the field. A lot of the locksmiths took advantage of the new methods and materials used to improve upon existing designs for locks and locking systems. Thereafter, with mass industrial production, the locksmiths had two career options at this point. The first was to work as an industrial lock repairman. This mainly worked around the repair of damaged lock parts. The second was to work as locksmiths to produce or replicate keys for personal use and for security purposes.

Over the following two centuries, the locksmith profession underwent a major shift again. Locks became more widely available and at much cheaper prices. Now, these professionals are trained in their respective fields, with various options for certifications. Locksmiths now primarily work out of their shops or establishments now. Their work scope has extended to frame repairs, hinges, electric strikes, closers, designing security apparatus, producing tools and technology for forensic investigations. They also find a lot of application of their skillset in the security consulting field or in the investigational institutions. There are also specializations where locksmiths focus on one area of specialization alone. This could include working specifically on car locks, keys, and the likes.  

Becoming a Locksmith In the USA

Becoming a locksmith in the United States of America is a five-step process. While no special qualifications are required for joining the locksmith profession, you could enroll yourself in related training to get your skills right. Here are the steps involved:

Formal Training - This is necessary for obtaining the skills required for becoming a locksmith in the USA. You do not need graduate degree programs in the field but can gain skills through certificate or diploma programs from community colleges or vocational schools.

Work Experience - Some states in the US have special requirements of at least a year’s experience before providing licenses to the locksmith aspirants. Getting in touch with the local businesses can do the job for you here.

Licensing - Not all states require a locksmith license, but it is always a good idea to obtain one. This sets a benchmark for your professional and consumer standards in the industry. More often than not, the licensing process requires submitting an application, going through a background check, and the likes.

New Industry-Altering Technologies

The locksmith industry is ever-changing. It comes with major advances that could change the way the industry operates. Here are some of the most prominent ones.

Smart Locks
Mobile and smartphone technology is on a constant rise. This is the reason that smart locks have become a more popular trend. Even though the technology has been introduced in the industry many years back, it took time to be integrated within our systems. It does away with the usual metallic, mechanical locks that help the users get access to property right from their phones.

Keyless Entry
This concept is most popular in the automobile industry, where the users can access contactless locks from their car remote.

Card Access System
The other important trend that can change the way the locksmith industry operates is the card access system. Different parts of the building can be guaranteed different accesses based on the individual’s credentials.

Future of Locksmithing

The locksmith industry is undergoing a huge shift in technology . If you compare the locksmithing history to current trends, the difference is highly visible. This demands that locksmiths need to have advanced levels of knowledge, training and experience to sustain the industry.