Locksmith Certificate for Beginners and Masters

Locksmiths do more than just open locks for missing keys or help those who have locked themselves out of their cars. They also repair, install, adjust, and rekey door locks and safes, as well as change locks, make keys, and install alarm systems. A locksmith must be well versed in all the various lock types and security systems. Many choose to acquire this knowledge through online locksmith certificate programs.

In a few months or within a year, those who want to enrol in online locksmithing classes can expect to receive their certification. The majority of these online programmes combine in-person lectures with practical lab work. A person who can earn a certificate in these programmes is expected to be knowledgeable about a variety of locks, including high-security lock systems, car locks, homes, and other establishments.

Locksmith Certificate

Locksmithing Certification in the US

If you are looking to start a career in locksmithing, then you’d require a certificate. A majority of states in the US require a mandatory certificate to issue a license. Nevertheless, it is important to acquire a certificate even if your state doesn’t require mandatory training.

Across the country, there are locksmith certification systems. There are also several certificate-issuing trading schools as well as state certification exams. However, our focus will be on the ALOA certifications as they are the most common across the US.

Acquiring a certificate greatly improves your standing as a locksmith. It will help you build trust with your clients and also help your career grow. Among the most popular certifications is the Associate Locksmiths of America, Inc. (ALOA) locksmith programme.

Locksmith Certifications from ALOA

ALOA is a well-known trade organisation. It grants its participants certificates based on their competence as locksmiths and safe experts. Some of these certificates include:

  • Registered Locksmith (RL)
  • Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL)
  • Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL)
  • Certified Master Locksmith (CML)
  • Safe Technician Designations: Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS) and Certified Master SafeTech (CMST)
  • Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL)

These certificates are available to every safe and locksmith expert in the country. ALOA conducts several evaluations that test your proficiency, individual skills, and technical capacity as an individual who is dedicated to safe and vault service, general locksmithing, automotive locksmithing, and specialty locksmithing. You will also get a test for your knowledge of electronic access control and other mechanical lock systems.

To get the certificates, you would have to pass the examination conducted by the ALOA. This means you have to take courses or enrol in locksmith schools to get an understanding and hands-on experience of what the subject entails. This is particularly important for beginners.

Levels of Locksmith Certification

  • CRL Level: This is an entry-level certificate for locksmiths. It requires passing a compulsory exam and two others of your choosing. This certificate grants you a certified registered locksmith title.

  • CPL Level: This certification is right after the CRL level. To be granted this certificate, you have to pass 12 exams, which you elected yourself. This certificate solidifies your title as a certified registered locksmith.

  • CML Level: This is a top-level locksmith certificate. One has to pass another 9 elective exams, which will then confer on you the Certified Master Locksmith certification.

  • CLL Level: this is a locksmith exam to acquire the licencing certification for states like Alabama and Louisiana.

Certification for Vaults and Safes

  • CPS Level: This is an entry-level certification for vault and safe technicians. On meeting the pass mark for the exam, you get the designation of a Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS).

  • CMST Level: as a safe locksmith, if you want to upgrade your level, you will have to take the CPS level exam. This is the highest level of certification for a safe and vault technician. On passing the exam, you become a Certified Master SafeTech (CMST).
Locksmith Certificate


There are several other certifications which are mainly specialty certifications. They include:

  • Automotive Locksmith Certifications
  • Institutional Locksmith Certifications
  • Electronic Locksmith Certifications
  • Forensic/Investigative Certifications

All of these locksmith certificates are needed to truly identify yourself as a professional locksmith. However, the first step is taking locksmith courses, either as a specialist or a generalist.


Getting a certificate isn’t just about passing the exams. You will be tested and have your skills evaluated. Practical tests will be conducted as well to determine your level of proficiency. It is one thing to know about something, it is another thing to be able to do it. So, we don’t see you passing the exams as a beginner.

Locksmithing is suitable for both genders as it is not a professional contest of strength. It is about skills and experience, and we don’t have that peculiar to only one gender. So, yes, we have had several women take these courses to become locksmiths.

Of course, you can try again at a later time. Locksmithing is about mastery, and mastery comes with several trials before perfection. You can definitely take the exams again if you didn’t pass them the first time. Nobody will stop or judge you. You are chasing a career.

You would mostly just need your proof of identity and driver’s license. Every other document or item that will be needed will be communicated to you after you’ve applied for the certification.

Several exams will be needed, and you must pass every one of them to become a CML Level certificate holder. This can take anything from a few months to four years. This depends on your commitment and availability. However, we recommend that you take it one step at a time to get a grasp of the ins and outs of locksmithing. After all, it is an art that must be mastered.

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