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Locksmith  What They Do

Just the Facts


Locksmiths and Safe Repairers Career Video



Repairs and opens locks, makes keys, and changes locks and safe combinations. May install and repair safes.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Cuts new or duplicate keys, using keycutting machines.
  • Cuts new or duplicate keys using impressions or code key machines.
  • Disassembles mechanical or electrical locking devices, and repairs or replaces worn tumblers, springs, and other parts, using hand tools.
  • Sets up and maintains master key systems.
  • Keeps records of company locks and keys.
  • Inserts new or repaired tumblers into locks to change combinations.
  • Installs door hardware such as locks and closers.
  • Opens safe locks by drilling.
  • Moves picklocks in cylinders to open door locks without keys.
  • Installs alarm and electronic access systems.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Forensic Locksmith -- Analyses a lock to determine if it has been broken into, finding out the means of access, the tools used and the time and skill that went into play in order to aid law-enforcement agencies.
  • Time Lock Expert --