Locksmith Kaimahi Raka

Locksmiths install, maintain and replace locks, keys, safes, electronic locking devices and access control systems for buildings and vehicles. They may also install and repair security systems.

Locksmiths may do some or all of the following:

  • install and repair locks and safes
  • cut or make keys to fit locks and reset combination locks
  • open jammed locks and safes
  • advise clients on locks, safes and general security needs
  • develop and design master key systems (keys that only work in particular locks and can't be copied).

Licenced locksmiths working in security may also:

  • install and repair safes, alarm systems and electronic locks
  • develop and design electronic key systems and alarms
  • design and install electronic or access control systems (including swipe cards)
  • design, install and maintain alarm and CCTV systems.

Locksmiths working with vehicles may also:

  • unlock vehicles and make replacement metal keys
  • produce and programme electronic transponder keys (remotes).

Locksmiths who work with safes, alarms or security systems need a licence or certificate of approval as a security technican or security consultant from the Ministry of Justice.

Physical Requirements

Locksmiths need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for locksmiths includes:

  • basic engineering and mechanical workshop skills
  • metalwork, woodwork and carpentry
  • work for a key-cutting business
  • work with electronic equipment
  • problem-solving work done using your hands, such as model-making
  • customer service experience.

Personal Qualities

Locksmiths need to be:

  • careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • thorough and efficient
  • honest and reliable
  • good at problem solving, and able to think laterally
  • able to work alone and unsupervised.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for locksmiths includes:

  • basic engineering and mechanical workshop skills
  • metalwork, woodwork and carpentry
  • work for a key-cutting business
  • work with electronic equipment
  • problem-solving work done using your hands, such as model-making
  • customer service experience.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths, English, digital technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful. 

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Locksmiths can earn around $18-$25 per hour per year.

Locksmiths may progress to set up their own locksmith business, or move into management roles

Locksmiths can specialise in roles such as:

Automotive Locksmith
Automotive locksmiths work with vehicle security systems, computers and keys, including transponder and proximity keys.
Security Consultant
Security consultants advise people on security requirements, and recommend and design security systems.
Locksmith

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