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Can You Pass the Locksmith Test?

Wondering which locksmith course to take? Looking for locksmith license info for your locale? This is the forum for you.

Can You Pass the Locksmith Test?

Postby Lockstar » Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:53 am

Can You Pass the The Locksmith Test?

Only 4 states require licensing of locksmiths.
This is the study guide from one of them.

Illinois Locksmith Licensing Exam Study Info

The Illinois locksmith license exam consists of 305 questions in multiple choice and true/false
format. The exam covers the following subjects:

Originating keys by code and the use of code equipment
You will need to know the correct terms used in codes, popular code series, a working knowledge
of the methods of producing keys by code, types of codes, codebooks, code machines, and the
proper use of a micrometer.

Pin and Disc Cylinder Servicing
You should be familiar with lock cylinder terminology, be able to identify the parts of a cylinder and
describe their functions, and identify the parts of a key using the appropriate terminology. Common
service malfunctions and the methods by which pin and disc tumbler locks are master keyed
should be studied. Some emphasis should be placed on professional methods of keying and pin
kit types. The results of poor service procedures should be understood.

Key Blank Identification
You should be familiar with the different types of keys in use today (i.e., barrel, bit, flat and cylinder)
and be able to identify their parts. The four basic milling configurations and milling run-out must be
understood. A good working knowledge of key blank numbers, both original and non-original,
should be developed. You should be able to correctly identify some common key silhouettes and
sections. You should be able to use a key blank cross-reference catalog.

Key Duplication Techniques and Equipment
You should be familiar with the duplication methods of the various types of keys, construction
material, parts of a key and compensation methods for worn keys. You should be able to apply the
ethics of duplicating restricted keys and multiplex keys. Be prepared to identify the parts of a key
machine and the popular types of cutters and their use. Key machine calibration should be understood.

Originating keys by Impressioning
A good working knowledge of the theory and practicality of originating a key by impressioning is
necessary. You must be able to identify the various types of marks left on keys through
impressioning pen and disc tumbler locks. Be familiar with the tools and terminology used in
impressioning. You must be familiar with the various factors that may increase the difficulty of
impressioning locks. Field experience is useful in recognizing some of the precautions to be used
when impressioning certain locks.

Professional Lock Opening techniques
The theory of lock picking should be understood. Various lock picking tools, their proper terminology,
purpose and use should be studied. You should be familiar with common entry techniques
such as drilling, shimming, cylinder and lock bypassing. Situations will be presented which look for
the least damaging method of entry.

Lockset Functions and Finishes
BHMA specifications and manufacturers' catalog descriptions of lockset functions must be thoroughly
understood. Knowledge of standard door prep numbers and dimensions, lockset finish
numbers and descriptions is required. Liability problems resulting from the use of the incorrect
function as well as the ADA requirements as they relate to lockset functions should be studied.

Lockset Servicing
Field experience in servicing lockset malfunctions is required. A working knowledge of common
service problems is needed. For example, the problems caused by incorrect tailpiece timing and
improper reassembly of locksets must be understood.

Basic Master Keying
You must thoroughly study the theory of progression, levels of keying, the Standard Key Coding
System. You must be prepared to calculate the number of key changes given certain
parameters. Be prepared to identify mistakes in progression lists, and to determine expansion
possibilities from a sample listing. You must understand the proper terminology, symbols and
levels of keying listed in the Glossary. Knowledge of basic single and two step progression will
be necessary, as well as key bitting specifications of the various manufacturers.

Cabinet Furniture and Mailbox Locks
You should have knowledge of these types of locks, their operation, and proper application.
Some emphasis should be placed on codes associated with each brand of lock. Bypass
techniques should be studied, along with key origination procedures.
Examination of
manufacturers' catalogs is highly recommended
. A basic knowledge of manufacturing
techniques such as stamping, staking, pressure casting and die casting is helpful.

Life Safety Codes
You should be familiar with the proper terminology, reference sources, handicapped
requirements, various liability factors, and door and hardware. This category deals entirely with
NFPA Life Safety Codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act as they relate to doors and
hardware. You should study in detail all relevant chapters of both these references.

Basic Electricity
You must be familiar with the proper terminology, applications, tools and equipment, basic
circuits and trouble shooting methods relating to basic low voltage electricity. This section deals
with circuits and theory used in burglar alarms and electric locking systems. You should be very
familiar with series and parallel circuits, Ohm's law, wire gauges and their ability to conduct
electricity, and VOM's (Volt/Ohm Meters).

To prepare for the exam, the examinee should have at a minimum the following references for

PRP Resource Guide (item # AL-PRG available from ALOA)
Life Safety Codes and the ADA Manual (item # TS-LSCM available from ALOA)
Basic Electricity (item # LPC-816 available from ALOA)
If they have PRP Resource Guide version 5:
Reference pages 1 - 30, 34, 38 and the Appendix (ALOA Glossary of terms)
If they have PRP Resource Guide version 5:
Reference pages 1 - 32, 36, 40 and the Appendix (ALOA Professional Locksmith
Reference items can be purchased on line at http://www.aloa.org/store/merchant.mv or by
contacting the ALOA store at:
Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc.
3003 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX 75204

(emphasis added)

I hope this helps anyone looking to pursue a license or a new career.
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Postby mitch.capper » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:34 am

Thanks for the Guide lockstar, this should help those looking to become locksmiths to have a general overview of whats needed even if they arn't from the same state.
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Location: USA

Postby Beyond » Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:50 am

I've heard rumbling in GA to implement a licensing law. Haven't heard much lately though. I wouldn't at all be opposed to taking it.
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Postby drew5553 » Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:07 am

What are the other 3 states besides Il that require licensing for lockies and does anyone know any info about them?


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Postby busyx » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:57 am

Thanks Lockstar for posting this info. Being a newbie, this helps me understand if I'm getting some lessons from or with my online course.

What I don't understand is....when I ask lots of locksmiths here what 'certification/licensed' level they are, they say they never took any test/certifications. They just learned the trade. And they seem to be doing pretty good business-wise.

So, can anyone tell me the pros vs cons of such an avenue to Locksmithing?

And I picked up this test preparation study guide. It's published by National Learning Corp-Passbook-Career Exam Series for Maintenance Locksmith. Has anyone ever used this for studying?
It pays to be "busy" with a "file"...LoL
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Location: Lansing, MI

Postby maintenanceguy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:25 am

The advantage to locksmiths is that licensing makes entering the trade very difficult and eliminates competition. Before licensing, anybody skilled enough to make a living in the trade could be a locksmith. After licensing, (in NJ at least) you have to find a locksmith willing to spend 5 years preparing you to compete with his business.

Licensing in all trades keeps the number of businesses artificially below the number that would exist in a free market and therefore drives prices up.
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Postby busyx » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:13 pm

What would be advised if (my state) doesn't require licensing, but, I want to be certified/licensed Locksmith?

Join groups that test?

Apprentice with a licensed Locksmith?

I just wanna keep my training in the perspective with the field of Locksmithing I will finally narrow down to.

I do appreciate any advice available....of course this whole site is jammed with info, I might miss som'in every now and then. LoL
It pays to be "busy" with a "file"...LoL
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Location: Lansing, MI

Postby DPTR » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:15 am

drew5553 wrote:What are the other 3 states besides Il that require licensing for lockies and does anyone know any info about them?



Hmm I beleive North Carolina requires apprenticeship and licensing before you can legally pick for tender.
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Postby Ps69pher » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:51 am

i also remember reading an article in the National Locksmith that in larger cities such as Chicago there are scammers that don't have much if any proper training that masquerade as locksmiths. they end up overcharging, stealing, and not to mention, shoddy work. I'd assume that'd also be good reason for requiring a license. not that I'd want to have to get one.
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Postby thewizardofal » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:20 am

So we got Il,Nj,NC,andCa.Is that all?no seemsAla,La,Ok,Tex,andTenn also have some form of licensing too. If you over charge ,or do something a customer dont like they can also report you to the FBI, even in states with no license required. Thanks for the info,hope Im never in Il ,for work, but now I got a refference as to what they want,cool.
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Postby freakparade3 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:27 am

thewizardofal wrote: If you over charge ,or do something a customer dont like they can also report you to the FBI, even in states with no license required.

Can you post the source to this claim? The FBI is a federal law enforcement agency, it seems unlikely to me that shody or unlicensed locksmith work would fall under there jurisdiction.
Moderator Emeritus
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Postby Ps69pher » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:58 am

that sounds wrong. id assume in those states where you were required to get licensed would maybe send local authorities after you. if your overcharging for bad work then you probably don't have a license and even if you do i'm sure you can be reported to the better business bureau which means virtually nothing
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Postby thewizardofal » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:18 am

www.aloa.org/AGMap/AG.htm ,or google ALOA AG, IT says it there. You are governed my freind licensed or not. We take security hear in the US very seriously. Even if your not frauding any body they can investigate you,if you get reported. It also meantions it in the Nat Locksmith mag last summer in an article about fraud.
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Postby op-sec » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:02 am

OK. This needs to be put into perspective... (IE; you're taking it WAY out of context!) The ALOA site says:

If you were a victim of a phony locksmith who's contact information you received off the internet, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center by clicking HERE

The link goes to IC3.GOV which is the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and The National White Collar Crime Center. The only reason the FBI *may* get involved is the internet (telecommunications fraud) portion of the crime. I deal with the FBI, ICE and other agencies under DHS on a nearly daily basis. Trust me. They've got a lot larger fish to fry than some wanna-be lockie running around over-charging people.

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Postby thewizardofal » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:20 am

True never the less,I said nothing untrue,maybe exagerated a little or missonderstood,dont mean it couldnt happen. They can report you,they may not care.I would like to get back on subject and see more info on other states. My state has none on the books, yet they are trying. I allready get and keep info on the customers in practice.
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