Posted in Career Insights
locksmith salary

If you are considering a career as a locksmith, you may wonder how much does a locksmith make?

The average locksmith salary is nearly $52,000 per year, and you generally need only a high school diploma to become a locksmith.

There are many other training programs and certifications you can receive that can earn you a higher locksmith salary. One of the quickest ways to start a career as a locksmith is to find a job at a locksmith’s shop. While there, you can earn valuable experience learning about locksmithing from a professional locksmith. You may also meet contacts in the industry who can help you further your career as a locksmith.

Three Things That Affect a Potential Locksmith Salary

While the average locksmith salary nationwide is $52,000 per year, there are several factors that affect any individual salary. Not all employers offer the same salary throughout the United States. So what affects the total salary you can expect to earn as a locksmith? 

Typically it comes down to three things: job location, industry, and your experience level. All three of these factors play a huge role in the amount you may earn, so it’s important to understand how they might apply to your specific circumstances. Here are some examples of how these things affect a locksmith’s salary as well as some useful earnings data from across the web.


Probably the most important factor in determining a locksmith salary, or any salary for that matter, is job location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for locksmiths ranges anywhere from $30,270 to $63,610 depending on the state and region. 

The top five highest paying regions as of 2021 are:

  • Washington D.C.,
  • Wyoming,
  • Hawaii,
  • Nevada, and
  • Massachusetts.

In these regions, the average locksmith salary is near or above $60,000, which is higher than the national average. However, something to keep in mind is that these regions may not have a high demand for locksmith positions. For example, Wyoming has only an estimated 30 locksmiths who aren’t self-employed. 

In contrast, some of the lowest paying regions have many locksmiths. California, which falls somewhere in the middle regarding salary, has the most employed locksmiths of any region, totalling more than 2,000. Meanwhile, Florida has around 1,470 locksmiths but provides one of the lowest salaries in the country.

However, keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily reflect the number of open jobs. Some states have more jobs available per capita than others. North Dakota, with only 80 employed locksmiths, has the highest concentration of locksmith jobs in the country. This is followed by states like Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Montana.


Another factor that plays a huge role in determining a locksmith salary is the industry offering the job. While a majority of locksmiths in the United States work for security services, there are other industries that hire them for private use. This includes local governments, hospitals, schools, colleges, and more. 

Generally, the more specialized the industry is, the higher the pay. For example, the highest paying employer for locksmiths is local governments. Locksmiths who work for these public entities make an average of $65,200 per year. However, there are only 360 locksmiths employed in this industry, which might suggest that there are few openings. 

While locksmith and security service jobs count for two-thirds of all locksmith positions, there are other industries that have a decent number of opportunities. Colleges and universities have the second highest number of employed locksmiths and also pay around $54,770, which is nearly 18% higher than security service positions.

Years of Experience

The final factor to consider when estimating locksmith salaries is your experience level. According to PayScale, reported salaries from actual locksmiths vary depending on what stage of their career they’re in. For example, the average base salary reported by entry level locksmiths is around $40,695. This average increases for mid-career locksmiths to $44,798. Finally, late career locksmiths with many years of experience make an average of $50,155.

When it comes to hourly positions, the difference is even greater. In total, late career locksmiths on an hourly wage or contract make 41% more than their entry level counterparts. This means that there is a potential for significant salary growth as you gain more experience.

Ways a Locksmith Salary is Increased

There are many factors that affect a locksmith’s salary. Detailed below are a few things that might increase the average locksmith salary.

Getting Formal Education or Certifications

Although you need only a high school diploma to start working as a locksmith, there are plenty of other certifications and formal education offered for a locksmith. These credentials can help earn you a higher locksmith salary.

Some colleges offer associates degrees in locksmithing. There is also a certification program from the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). Getting a degree or certification for locksmithing can help make you an ideal candidate for job opportunities as a locksmith.

Having Previous Experience

If you have any previous experience, you can earn a higher locksmith salary. An excellent way to gain experience is by working at a locksmith shop. Some locksmith shops might even pay for you to get more formal training and certifications if you are a good worker. 

You can also get an apprenticeship with a locksmith. While working as a locksmith’s apprentice, you will spend time formally learning the trade under their supervision and working with them.

Bringing Additional Skills to the Business

Having other valuable skills can earn you a higher locksmith salary. Good customer service, retail store experience, and business administration knowledge are all additional skills that may be useful in a locksmith store.

Working in a Populated Area

If there is a need for locksmiths where you work, you may earn a higher locksmith salary. In areas where there are new developments or in highly populated urban areas, locksmiths may be in demand.

Interested in a Career as a Locksmith?

Explore Stratford Career Institute’s locksmithing training course to see if locksmithing is the right career for you. You will learn everything you need to know about a career as a locksmith, including:

  • Locksmithing tools,
  • An overview of home security,
  • Introduction to keys and locking devices,
  • Starting and running a locksmith business,
  • Basic types of locks and keys,
  • Master keying,
  • Drilling open safes,
  • Automotive lock servicing, and
  • Working as a locksmith.

Enroll today to get started!


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