Upon completion of the Foley Belsaw course you will obtain a certificate of completion in basic locksmithing. This is a great course for several reasons. It gives you the basics in pretty much all areas of locksmithng and is very economical as well, considering it's a correspondance or through the mail course. You will see if this field is for you. Picking locks is only a small part of locksmith duties. Also keep in mind that in emergency situations, often times it's just not pratical or efficient. The major exception of course would be auto lockouts, when NDE or Non Destructive Entry is the preferred method above all else. In fact I did a great deal of these in the past and would hand out business cards to mall security and bank tellers. Strange, but these were the main places people got locked out of their vehicles.
As far as liscening, it varies from state to state, but generally, the Assosciated Locksmith's of Amercia provides states with the framework and guidlines for such liscening. I have noticed states often consult them and ALOA welcomes it with open arms. If you complete the Foley course then take an ALOA Proficiency Registration Program, or PRP, you should be able to pass the test and become a Certified Registered Locksmith or CRL. You can then progress to become a Certified Professional Locksmith and finally Certified Master Locksmith. Being a CRL means you are registered with ALOA (providing you pay your dues of course), as a reconized professional and have satisfied all the criteria as set forth by ALOA. ALOA is very well regarded and highly respected amoung the security industry.
Now finally, a really good reason to subscribe to National Locksmith and Locksmith Ledger is because they can bond you as well as provide excellent reference info and more networking. The bonding is great and they provide a nice certificate as well you can advertise this to potental customers. http://www.ampmlocksmith.com/content/view/28/50/
With all of the above completed you would definately qualify as an industry professional and it looks like your state, NJ, requires liscening. Again, with this link you can see ALOA is closely involved in NJ's standards. http://www.aloa.org/legislation/Leg_Map/NJ.htm
State test should be cake if you completed the above.
Now at the very least, after comepleting the Foley course, you can seek apprentiship with a local shop. Hell, even if you go in there and simply ask if they need part time help help cutting keys or pinning locks for larger accounts, you should be able to see furhter if you like it and with the Foley course under your belt, you can demonstrate some working knowledge of the trade. When I got my first gig, I cut Medeco keys for larger accounts and pinned the locks for the locksmiths out in the field to install. The pay was slightly above minumum wage, but the experience was valuable. Part time work would be great on lets say weekends, or maybe after hours in the shop.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
I wish you all the best here and if you want this bad enough, you can definately get it.
jozq15 wrote:If I take the Foley and beLsaw course, am I licensed to be a locksmith if I pass it? What do I have to do to be a licensed locksmith. Do I have to be licensed to have my own business?