- May 17, 2020
- |Locksmith Legalities
- | 0
Locksmiths are professionals who work on a variety of locks for both public and private properties. They are responsible for different tasks, including creating, repairing, and installing locks. Employers, employees, and homeowners depend on their skills to feel and be actually safe.
If you believe that locksmithing is in your future, it is highly recommended that you do your research. Becoming a locksmith in Australia needs you to be informed about specific information.
This guide will help you gain the knowledge required for starting a locksmithing career in the country.
But first, are you sure you want to be a locksmith?
The following will help you determine whether or not this career path is indeed suitable for you and your skillset:
- You understand the intricacies of being a locksmith, such as the probability of a customer requiring your help outside of your normal work hours.
- You recognise there are studies and training programs you need to finish.
- You are willing to go through police and background checks even if it is regularly performed.
- You can pay for the costs of the course, as well as the materials required for the job.
- You know that you should work with a trustworthy employer or company.
You have different options to learn, such as through a shorter course or a full course. The latter takes longer, but you can become a fully qualified locksmith in Australia. Also, as you undergo the training through the apprenticeship program, you can get paid to learn.
Roles and Responsibilities
Before you begin your journey towards becoming a locksmith, you should first know your primary duties. If you have called a locksmith at least once in your life, it may be because you needed someone to repair or replace your locks. If you have a new set of locks, you may require a locksmith’s help during installation.
Aside from the ones mentioned, the government places the following tasks to locksmiths:
- Help the homeowner or businessperson deal with a break-in.If you have just gone through a security issue, such as an unauthorised person entering the premises, a locksmith is one of the persons you call. Therefore, becoming a locksmith, you have a big responsibility in case of a robbery and other security issues. The most predominant resolution here is to change the locks of the property to avoid another break-in.
- Provide locks based on the customer’s requirements. There are customers with certain needs when it comes to locks. As a locksmith, you are tasked to create different locks based on these requirements. You will usually have to consider their security levels, especially when working on a commercial facility.
- Install locks. All properties need locks, but the front door and other doors in the house should not be your only focus. Locksmiths know that garages, windows, and any points of entry should be well-taken care of. They can install locks in these areas and determine the particular key sets to open these locks.
- Learn how to open locks even with the original keys. Locksmiths should be knowledgeable in opening locks, even when the keys are lost. Manipulation and other techniques can be utilised. A locksmith also has the responsibility to process payments of services. Giving quotes to customers and ensuring fair pricing should be done as well. There are various tools to learn about, and locksmiths should understand how to use them. Repairing of broken or damaged locks is also a requirement. Locksmiths can specialise in safe-making as well.
Education and Training
Before becoming a fully trained locksmith in Australia, it is necessary to possess the following skills:
- Critical thinking
- Manual agility
- Customer service
- Willingness to learn
A common question about locksmithing is regarding the duration of the training.
How long does it take to be a professional locksmith?
Usually, it takes around three to four years for a person to become a competent locksmith. However, there are quick and easy courses that generally only run for five to ten days.
Although these quick courses help, locksmiths are always learning and evolving. You are required to stay updated with new products, along with industry-related standards, such as changes in lock standards.
Locksmiths are considered security professionals. They utilise the latest technologies while understanding regular modifications in security regulations and associated laws. If you want to start your career in locksmithing, you should bear these essential facts in mind.
Sure, you will still cut keys and repair damaged locks. However, you are required to know how to provide high-quality security services to your clients for their homes, offices, and vehicles. You will serve not just the residential and commercial segments but also health, education, industrial, and government sectors.
You will need to train rigorously within the broad scope of security services, including home automation, alarms, electronic access control, and CCTVs. Many Australians and businesses look for locksmiths who know how to install and secure vaults and safes. Therefore, you should also be skilled in these areas, along with the latest n transponder keys.
You can be an apprentice locksmith first, but you still have to know about the traditional locksmithing duties, regulations, and other aspects of the job. It is also essential to focus on industry trends, so you have an idea about what is to come in the future.
Four-year apprenticeship programs often include in-house training, professional mentoring, assessment, and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) tuitions.
Why do you need to be an apprentice first? The best way to become a trade-qualified locksmith, meaning a professional and certified, is through an apprentice program. It is not as complicated as it seems.
Here are a couple of steps to follow:
- You will first have to find an employer who will hire you as a locksmith apprentice. The apprenticeship program is through TAFE in Australia. You can search for an employer online or through a local newspaper. There are also employment agencies that you can discuss your plans with so you can locate the right employer for you. If you already know a reliable locksmith in your area, you can have a chat with the firm and talk about your apprenticeship. After the agreement, you are required to work for that employer anywhere from one to four years to complete the training requirements.
- When you have the business to back you up, and the employer is willing to take you as an apprentice, you should now contact the Australian Apprenticeship Network Support Provider. This way, you will get the support you need for documentation and the entire apprenticeship journey as well. This support includes funding from the government.
Locksmithing is for everyone, and therefore age is never a problem. The Mature age apprenticeship is for those willing to undergo training and acquire apprenticeship support for those who are 21 years and above. Some of these programs allow you to create a career pathway where you can switch from one career to another or move forward from school to work.
These programs will also help you achieve the qualifications and skills that the country accepts and adheres to. Paid work and financial incentives may also be obtained during specific training programs. Learners often recognise their skills while enhancing their experience.
For those who may have had prior experience relating to locksmithing, it is possible to reduce the typical amount of training required. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is provided where candidates get credited for their previous studies and experiences through work or other training programs.
Therefore, if you have been assisting other locksmiths for some time or you have had similar jobs, you are allowed to go through the RPL procedure. From there, you can gain a trade qualification as permitted by the state.
For locksmithing courses, certifications and diploma courses are available at Australian TAFE institutions. For those in Western Australia, the South Metropolitan TAFE n Kwinana provides locksmithing certification under the Security sub-study area.
Certificate III in Locksmithing is a requirement and can only be obtained in TAFE institutes. Therefore, if you will take apprenticeship programs in South Australia, Tasmania, and other regional areas, you are required to go to one of the TAFE institutes in the country. It may be possible to request for financial assistance, such as for travel expenses and live-away-from-home pocket money.
The certification offers the opportunity to become a licenced locksmith anywhere in the country. You can gain the knowledge required when working in the industry. Some practices that you will learn are the following:
- Installation and assembly of both manual and electronic locks
- Inspections for security requirements of a particular site
- Creation and installation of master key systems
Completing the program will pave your way to becoming a qualified locksmith.
For the rest of the country, there are three more TAFE institutes, including:
- SkillsTech in Eagle Farm, Queensland
- Sydney TAFE in Ultimo, New South Wales
- Melbourne Polytechnic in Victoria
Aside from becoming a locksmith, taking up and completing a locksmithing course can lead to a range of relevant accreditations in the Metal and Engineering Training programs. It is, however, required that you get a Certificate III in Locksmithing to proceed.
Working as a locksmith has specific legal requirements that you should meet. For example, some states require the candidate to have a strong understanding of both English and Mathematics. Depending on your location, you may also have to possess a Construction induction Card (also called the White Card). It is for accessing construction sites in the country.
Other requirements may include:
- Completion of Certificate of Education (or anything equivalent) from the state, such as Western Australia, Victoria, and others
- Pre-apprenticeship training relevant to the industry
- Certificate II in Engineering Pathways – Locksmithing
Private security registration with your state is needed for candidates who wish to install security systems. In Western Australia, authorities have confirmed the growing number of security system installers that do not have a licence. It is alarming, which is why consumers must know that there are consequences in hiring these unlicensed workers.
On average, it takes three years to finish the training. However, there are other educational activities you may want to be involved in. They will increase the amount of time you spend training, but they do help improve your knowledge, understanding, and experience as a whole.
According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a locksmith typically has a pay rate of $54,619. In 2015, the Deloitte Access Economics studied the demand for locksmiths in the coming years. The forecast was moderate to high in the rate of employment opportunities from 2016 to 2031. It is also estimated that 42,000 locksmiths are operating in Australia with
Associations to Recognise
There are a few associations that you will learn about and may become a member of as a professional locksmith:
1. Master Locksmiths Association (MLAA)
The Master Locksmiths Association is a significant organisation that every locksmith should be aware of in both Australia and New Zealand. When you have completed your training, you can begin providing service to homeowners and businesses.
You are not required to be a part of the MLAA, but it sure has its perks. Obtaining membership gives you the opportunity to enhance and widen your career prospects in the future. You will also be a part of a reputable group. Australians recognise the MLAA seal, which provides proof that you are a reliable locksmith.
2. Australian and New Zealand Locksmith Association
The Australian and New Zealand Locksmith Association is another group to know about if you wish to be a locksmith. ANZLA was incorporated in 1997 and now has accumulated members throughout the country and New Zealand as well.
The association represents professionals who were able to meet the strict criteria concerning client and security services.
ANZLA requires all of its potential members to pass competency tests, which are not related to the association itself. They will then be admitted to the succeeding levels to determine whether they can obtain higher security keying systems.
3. Australian Locksmiths Association
The ALA is also an esteemed group of locksmiths just like the rest of the organisations in this list. It started in 2014 and continues to run today. The association mainly operates in Queensland, but there are members from other states and territories as well.
ALA members have to follow a Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics, which mainly prevents them from replicating keys of other members.
4. Locksmiths Guild of Australia Inc.
One more group is the Locksmiths Guild of Australia Inc. After joining the guild and gaining its acceptance, locksmiths can get several benefits, including a wide range of services and support.
You are allowed to join MLAA, ANZLA, ALA, or any other association that you wish to be a part of. These professional organisations all provide different opportunities that can help boost your career. Most offer continuing education, lawmaker representation, and group insurance. You are also in a network where other career professionals are present, which makes it easier to converse and ask questions.
Why Become a Locksmith
If it is your passion to deal with locks and security systems, you have found the best career path to take. However, not everyone may see locksmithing as you do. Perhaps you think that the job is not as compelling as other people say and the incentives are not attractive enough. If you have doubts about becoming a locksmith in Australia, here are some reasons why it may be the perfect job for you:
- You can use training vouchers, which are equivalent to up to $500. These vouchers are usable from the first to the second year of your apprenticeship program. You may want to consult the state government and the training provider to ensure that you can claim these incentives.
- Believe it or not, apprentices can have an attractive wage. In fact, you can even claim a wage top up if you meet certain requirements. The most critical condition that you should comply with is that you are under 30 years old when you start your apprenticeship program. If you meet this requirement, you can get a wage top-up during your first or second year of completing your Certificate III or IV courses. The top-up is equivalent to $2,000 and will be provided in the form of $500 instalments. Even better, these payments are tax-free.
- If you are studying to be a locksmith and you are already at least 30 years old, you cannot get the wage top-up mentioned above. However, you will still be provided with financial support.
- Locksmiths also get an additional tool allowance, which amounts to $800.
- If you need to move to another city, you can get a living away from home allowance.
- Some places in the country also provide rural and regional benefits.
There is a skills shortage in the nation when it comes to the locksmith trade. It is why governments in Australia try to entice more people to join and be a part of the industry. However, only licensed and reputable locksmith professionals will get the support they require.