To be able to become a competent car locksmith, one must complete a course program, obtain a license or certificate, and gain adequate experience working in the field. Many courses take only a short period of time and require that you have some form of certification or license before you can start work. Most courses require an estimated amount of on-the-road hours and a minimum number of classroom hours.
Most courses focus on the specific type of work that a locksmith does. A locksmith is required to know how to open the basic types of vehicle locks. In general, the most common type of lock that a locksmith must be able to open is the deadbolt. There are also locks that are used for personal safety such as the keyless remote. In some states, a locksmith is required to also be licensed or certified to open and disarm any kind of key.
Other locks, such as those used for vehicles that are in a rental or private auto dealership, require more advanced knowledge than the basic types. For example, a locksmith who works for a dealership must be knowledgeable about vehicle identification numbers, which are different from standard vehicle identification numbers (VIN). A locksmith is also required to be familiar with the various methods used to unlock car doors, as well as with the different codes used to open the doors of rental cars.
A locksmith also must be capable of unlocking the door of a vehicle that has a vehicle security system. Some car locks come equipped with car security systems. A car security system typically consists of a number of small components, like an immobilizer and a keyfob. A vehicle security system is usually installed by a dealership and, once installed, it must be programmed by a locksmith.
Another type of system that most cars today come equipped with is a deadbolt lock. Many vehicles also come equipped with a keyless remote control that will turn the car’s headlights on and off as well as enter and exit the vehicle interior. If the remote is lost or stolen, a locksmith will be able to disable or unlock the remote controls so that the vehicle owner can get into the car without opening the doors.
The level of experience that a locksmith’s skill and certification level have will dictate the types of locks that they are able to unlock. While some locks are simply opened by pulling a pin or using an ordinary key, others require that you use a specialized key. Other locks may require that you use a special key that uses a magnetic field, radio frequency, ultrasound or a magnetic pulse to open them. A qualified locksmith will be able to tell you what the maximum levels of skill and certification that a locksmith is able to handle based upon the type of lock that they are opening.