FAQ  •  My feedback  •  Feedback
UKLockpickers.co.uk Lockpicking supplies such as Lockpicks, tools, and more! COMMANDOLOCK.COM Military grade padlock systems lockpickshop.com A source for lockpicking supplies such as lockpicks, locksmith tools, and more!

Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

<<

Alera

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 85

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Location: Simla, Colorado

Post Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:42 pm

Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

Wasn't sure where to post this... I was just wanting some feedback on this. I'm currently sixteen, and I want to try and start my career as a locksmith or something similar. How old do I have to be to work for an actual company, or just go and help out the local locksmith? I'd really like to be doing this rather than any other job a teenager could get stuck in, even if it's just an apprenticeship.
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
<<

GringoLocksmith

Active Member

Posts: 250

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:12 pm

Location: Gringolandia

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:20 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

I can't speak to Colorado's labor laws or its regulation of locksmiths, but I can say that starting this early is a terrific idea. The younger you are, the faster you learn. Good luck.
<<

mdc5150

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 1112

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:35 am

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:47 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

You are most likely going to find it very difficult to get any locksmith to teach you anything. That being said I am not trying to discourage you from trying at all! You will need to persevere and bug the shit out of some locksmiths to give you a chance. Most likely if they let you in the door at all they will have you doing a lot of floor sweeping, key stamping, etc for as long as it takes for them
to get to know you and start to trust you. If you get your foot in the door have an old fashioned work ethic. Be on time, work hard, don't complain and keep your eyes and ears open. Good luck to you, it will be tough to get an in but they will not just hand it to you so go back often and bug them.
<<

MBI

User avatar

Site Owner

Posts: 1545

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:25 am

Location: Utah, USA

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:51 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

In most states in the US, it's at age 16 that employers will start considering hiring you. You can actually work at younger ages, but due to child labor laws it's a hassle for employers if you're under 16.

Just remember the obvious basics of applying for any job:
- Wear a shirt and tie.
- DON'T wear anything that espouses any particular political opinion.
- Bring your resumé.
- Bring a pen.
- Turn off your cell phone. Don't just put it on vibrate. Turn it off while you're there.
- Don't wear headphones or a bluetooth headset while you're there. In fact, don't even bring them with you so you're not tempted.
- Know how to spell and pronounce the name of the business where you're applying. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people don't.

There are a million other little tips people will give you about how to act, what to say, how to interview, etc. that I won't bore you with. There are books and online guides on the subject that can do a better job than I can telling you how to fully prepare for an interview. The things above are just to keep you from sabotaging yourself when you make your first impression. They may seem very obvious, but in my experience they are neglected by job applicants more often than not.

There are differing schools of thought when it comes to screening potential employees. Some employers want a certain job history, others want specific skills, education or experience. I wasn't a typical employer. When I hired people, I primarily looked for three things:
- A work ethic. (If you don't know what this means, I can't help you here)
- A reasonable degree of intelligence, indicating an ability to learn.
- A WILLINGNESS to learn. As an employer, know-it-alls were a waste of my time.

It's hard to find someone who already knows how to do a particular job, can do it well, and is willing to work hard. Too many people with fancy job resumés turn out to be nothing more than skilled bullshitters. I prefer to find a good person, then teach them what I need them to know.
<<

oldbiscuit

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 355

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:25 am

Location: Nebraska, USA

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:30 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

I agree with MBI, but in todays world, a tie isn't as important to me as the rest of the cloths your wearing. I know you kids now a days like the big baggy pants that have half your ass hanging out, but in the business world, I wouldn't give you a second look. Show up wearing a clean pair of jeans that fit (without holes or patches or really faded out) and a nice button up shirt or polo shirt that fits. Wear casual shoes and socks, not grungy sneakers. Make sure your hair is clean and combed. You have got to look professional, remember that first impressions are the ones that can make or break a job interview. I can't imagine a locksmith hiring a 16 year old and teaching him all the tricks of the trade right off the bat. If your lucky enough to get hired, remember that your work ethic will prove to your employer that you can be trusted. Ater enough time they will slowly reveal the ins and outs of the trade. Remember that most everyone starts at the bottom and has to work their way up. If you can do this with out complaining, you will be on the right track. God luck in your quest and keep us informed of your progress. Mark
"It never fails - as soon as I find the key to success, somebody changes the lock!"
<<

Josephus

Active Member

Posts: 267

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:39 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

Saying "it's just an apprenticeship" is identical to saying "I'm only getting paid for someone else to educate me." That would be the ideal, the tip top, not the minimum. At that age you really need to do what mdchurchill said. No one is going to even acknowledge you unless you are persistent. If all you manage to get is a job sweeping floors at a hardware store. Great! It's cash money for an easy, low-stress task. Just start wiggling your way into cutting keys and becoming the local de facto go-to guy for lock knowledge. Every step gets you closer to where you want to be. Being more than on time and professional regardless of industry wont earn you points but will put you ahead. What really does wonders, if you are the type that is willing, is to make friends with the boss man. Who wants to work around people they don't like?

Oh, and remember..it will likely be a long time before you get any respect doing anything, regardless of skills or knowledge. Don't take it personally. I looked young enough that I was still taking crap as being a know nothing teenager by contractors when I was 26 and rolling up to jobsites with 40 tons of crane under me.
<<

Don

Familiar Face

Posts: 95

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:36 pm

Location: Las Vegas -not area 51

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:43 am

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

There is some really great advise given above..

Just a few additional items to consider:

DO NOT tell your potential employer you know how to pick locks , have a pick set or even have an interest in picking locks. Why not ? ... Picking locks maybe somewhat important to performing a locksmith's job, but is not essential. Lock picking as a hobby is often NOT recognized by locksmiths as a legitimate hobby.

The more education you have, the less an employer will have to teach you. ie. the sooner you can “ carry your own weight” and be an asset to your employer.
There are several on line classes, some are even free ( yes the tests cost money ,but the cost is reasonable). You may want to enroll in the school that fits your interests/budget. It shows your employer that you are serious and willing to put in the extra effort.

Here is some educational info:
(I have no financial interest in this link)

http://www.sopl.us/mandatory-courses.html
http://www.sopl.us/video-tutorials.html

good luck with your search
<<

rzr800

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 322

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:59 am

Location: United States

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:14 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

When i was 16 I made my first pick and i actually was able to pick my weiser lock on my house only one time out of 2 days of trying with the door open. Once i got it that one time i shut the door and locked myself out and tried it again, BAD IDEA. Soon after that i forgot and moved on with no interst of locksmithing or picking locks. When i turned 21 I started working for my local towing/wrecker service and got familiar with vehicles and unlocking cars and trucks. Are impound lot would fill up with wrecked cars and abandoned vehicles that we would apply for salvage titles and every 4-6 months we would have a auction. Well right before the auction we would a have locksmith come out and make keys for the vehilces that would sell for more if they had keys and were running. So one day he came out and made keys for 9 cars and i wasnt towing anything so i watched and thats when it hit me. i didnt go to school for it nor did anyone teach me. I spent days at are impound lot taking locks off and seeing how it worked. I self-taught myself automotive regeneration before basic locksmith skills like picking house and re-key locks. Everything i learned to this day was self taught Well besides the guys in (Automotive Tools) :razz: and I started off with a telephone book ad and the only thing i did was unlock cars and make keys for old fords and chevys lol. then i moved to old dodge and then came residential. Each year for me my skills got better and better with more equipment. My hardest thing about it was my first year you only get a few calls and you always have to remeber when starting out that you wont be able to pick every lock you get called out to. Being able to pick any lock sch kw yale thats put in front of you takes a lot of time to master. When you figure it out you will learn its more about the tension wrench than the pick. Good Luck. Never pick a lock that you dont have permission to or youll end your locksmith career pretty quick.
<<

magician59

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 839

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:38 pm

Location: Houston, Texas

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

I echo what Don said about picking locks. I started lock picking when I was 10 or 11 years old. By the time I applied for my first job as an apprentice, the locksmith didn't really care whether I could pick a lock. He knew in due time that I could.

The "test" as to whether I qualified for the job or not was: He handed me a lock in a baggie. He said, "This is the way customers often bring them to us this way". (Turned out to be quite true). I was able to hand the lock back to him, set to the key that was also in the bag, in about six minutes. (It was a Schlage wafer lock [A53WD TUL 605]).

Now, today, I am taking resumes and setting up interviews with potential trainees or apprentices. I don't care whether you can pick or not. It's all included in the training anyway. What I'm looking for is someone with mechanical aptitude, coupled with an amiable attitude toward the customers.
Nemo Malus Felix
<<

rai

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 561

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:52 pm

Location: minneapolis

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

these guys are not kidding you, dress nice, sweep the floor, learn keyways and keys, and keep your mouth shut about picking.
you will not be given everything until they have had you around for few years. it is not a profession that likes to give up its techniques. you will earn minimum wage. when they finally give you a raise, your becoming a journeyman....
<<

Alera

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 85

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Location: Simla, Colorado

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:34 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

Thanks guys. I really appreciate all of the feedback and helpful information. I'll make sure to follow it as if it was tattooed to the back of my hand.

Josephus wrote:Saying "it's just an apprenticeship" is identical to saying "I'm only getting paid for someone else to educate me." That would be the ideal, the tip top, not the minimum.


I thought that an apprenticeship is classified as a learning experience with no pay?

Also, I've prepared for the worst, but does the fact that my potential boss is within 10 - 20 years of my age rather than 30 - 40 years of my age help at all, or does it do the opposite?
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
<<

Josephus

Active Member

Posts: 267

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:50 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

There are only two types of legal unpaid positions in the United States: volunteering and legal internships. Most unpaid internships are not legal. The laws about them are quite strict. See here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm

Essentially for you to work for any for-profit entity without pay (it is illegal for them to accept 'volunteers', as it falls under the internship banner) you have to be a burden to them, not displace workers, not really do anything of value, and not have an expectation of a paid position at a later date. Here is the whole thing:

1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.


As far as I am aware, unless your apprentice sponsor has a construction contract with the federal government (in which case there are strict wage, condition, and hour requirements under Davis-Bacon or DBRA) then an apprenticeship has no legal meaning and no exemptions from existing labor laws. I have heard of issues where apprentices have to be paid the same wages as whomever they are covering for if their sponsor dictates them to do so. It ends up in the odd situation where an apprentice that usually makes 10 dollars an hour HAS to be paid the 60 dollar an hour rate for polishing up that die the master tool-and-die maker just didn't feel like finishing and went home early. Though that is probably some odd state issue, there are a lot of them.

As for the other question. I can't really answer that. It varies greatly by industry and region. Like around where I live, they would treat you well but string you along, some weeks having work and some none at all. Fifty miles to the east, unless you have connections you are just a worthless blight on society in their eyes. Another fifty miles east and anyone would be willing to hire you. It would be crap wages and you would be talked down to constantly. Eventually you will run in to issues, best thing to do is shrug them off.
<<

Alera

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 85

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Location: Simla, Colorado

Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:10 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

So when I talked to him, I kind of made a fool of myself, and the conversation lasted a total of about one minute, and he rejected me.
He said "Nope, maybe in the summer. I'm making it pretty well as a one man shop around here." Is there any coming back from that without pissing him off, or am I screwed?
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
<<

rzr800

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 322

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:59 am

Location: United States

Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:37 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

Maybe try another Locksmith business that has employees with more than one van with a busy shop?
<<

Alera

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 85

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Location: Simla, Colorado

Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Teenage Locksmith Apprenticeship?

Rural community, unfortunately. He's the only locksmith around fo about forty five miles.
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
Next

Return to Lock Picking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]

Don't forget to visit our sponsors for all of your lockpicking needs!
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Grop
"CA Black" theme designed by stsoftware