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.
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.
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.
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
contacting the ALOA store at:
Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc.
3003 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX 75204
I hope this helps anyone looking to pursue a license or a new career.