As with many occupations, belonging to professional associations is important for the Canadian locksmith.
Professional Locksmiths Association Nova Scotia is one of the groups a locksmith in Canada would want to be involved with to increase their chances of a solid career in locksmithing. There is also the Association of Professional Locksmiths, the Canadian Alarm and Security Association, the Master Locksmiths of Quebec, Inc., and the Professional Locksmiths Association of Alberta. While it is not necessary to overwhelm your schedule and your interests, joining at least one of these important groups can provide positive benefits. One of those benefits is to be able to keep abreast of the latest news and happenings in the world of the locksmith. Another benefit is to build a bond between yourself and others in the same field of work.
Making a positive image for a locksmith and his/her business is just one of the most important investments towards a healthy future in the business. Canadians take pride in their country and in their training for locksmiths. An apprentice must first be hired as a trainee, then must find a journeyman for a mentor, and finally must enroll in the apprenticeship program. Eight weeks of class at a college is required followed by an exam that is administered by the government. There are four periods of training this way that must be completed successfully before being given the honor of the Journeyman Locksmith title.
The Canadian locksmith must do more than simply memorize the test material to pass the written exam. He or she must understand and apply the material with competence. The hands-on learning is supervised by the instructor.
At the time of writing, there is an annual locksmith auction for Ontario locksmiths, a golf tournament, a locksmith academy, an electric door operator class, and a locksmith convention. The basic locksmithing courses cost $300. There are separate costs for each area of locksmithing. Panic Exit Devices course costs $275, Lock Picking costs $175, Basic Safe Searching costs $275. There's also Access Control, Door Closer Installation, Tricks of the Trade, and many more courses available for advanced learning.
There is, of course, an at-home course that one can enroll in that suggests a budding locksmith can earn over $17 an hour after only nine months of training. Much like the distance courses offered in the United States for locksmiths, Kwikset and IICO are listed as the locks and key making machinery used during training. This course does give locksmith skills that are necessary; however, apprenticeship under an established locksmith gets you paid while you learn real life situations rather than textbook versions. You can learn much from a seasoned professional including what not to do!
Whether you are learning in Canada, the United States, or Australia, the education and apprenticeship are necessary to establish a base for a locksmith career.
Learning on your own may give you the barest of starts, but you will need to prove yourself worthy of your title. Many times the only way to convince future employers or future customers that you deserve their business is to be able to show valid certificates and licenses. Landing the big accounts will mean showing that you had the devotion and interest to prove yourself trustworthy.