How to become a locksmith?

A future-focussed apprenticeship in a modern industry.

Modern locksmiths are security professionals, utilising the latest technology.

Certainly, they still cut keys and fix locks; however, they offer a wide range of security services for the residential, commercial, industrial, automotive, health, educational and government sectors, including electronic access control, electronic lock, home automation, CCTV, alarms, security systems safes and vaults, and automotive locksmithing services including the latest transponder keys.

Apprentice locksmiths still need to learn about all the traditional aspects of locksmithing such as lock and security but they also focus on the industry trends of the future.

The 4-year apprenticeship includes aspects of both TAFE/Competenz tuition and assessment and in-house training and mentoring.

An apprenticeship as a locksmith

The pathway to becoming a trade qualified locksmith is through an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships in locksmithing are through TAFE (Australia) and Competenz (New Zealand).

Interested in becoming a locksmith? The first step on your career path is that you need to do is to find an employer – a trade qualified locksmith willing to take apprentices and trainees.

There are a number of ways to do this, including searching online, checking local newspapers and talking to the various employment agencies. You can also write to the local locksmiths in your area; better still, call them and ask if you can come and have a chat with them.

Apprenticeship support

Once you have found a business prepared to take you on as an apprentice, the next step is to contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider (Australia) or Industry Training Organisation (New Zealand). They will help both you and your employer complete all the necessary documentation, and they will support you and your employer throughout your entire apprenticeship.

There is financial support available for apprentices who meet eligibility criteria in Australia and New Zealand, including government funding.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN)

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)

Mature age apprentices

There is support available for mature age apprentices and students, with programs that:

  • Provide a career pathway from school to work or from one career to another;
  • Lead to nationally-recognised qualifications and skills;
  • Involve paid work and structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both;
  • Recognise existing skills and prior experience which can potentially reduce the usual amount of formal training;
  • Offer a range of financial incentives to students and their employers.


Locksmithing courses

Certificate and diploma courses in locksmithing are offered at four TAFE institutes in Australia, and Competenz in New Zealand:

QUEENSLANDSkillsTech, Eagle Farm
VICTORIAMelbourne Polytechnic
WESTERN AUSTRALIASouth Metropolitan TAFE, Kwinana
NEW ZEALANDCompetenz, Auckland

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Australia

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process for giving candidates credit for skills, knowledge and experience gained through working and learning.

It can be gained at any stage of their lives, through formal and informal learning, in Australia or overseas, and through work or other activities such as volunteering.

If you’ve been in the industry for a significant period and do not have an official locksmith trade qualification, you can go through the RPL process and obtain a recognised trade qualification.

For more information, please contact one of the four TAFE institutes listed above.


Assessment of Prior Learning – New Zealand

Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) is a process that recognises that experience does count when it comes to gaining a trade qualification.

APL is ideal for mature learners who missed out on gaining their trade qualification when they were younger. It can also help people skilled in more than one trade, or who trained outside of New Zealand to get accredited.

By demonstrating knowledge through assessment, an employee within the mechanical engineering industry can gain a National Certificate in Locksmithing.

For more information, please contact Competenz.

Additional Information

A Certificate III in Locksmithing is only offered at the TAFE institutes in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Apprentices in South Australia, Tasmania, Canberra, Darwin, and those in regional areas throughout Australia, need to attend one of these institutes. Travel and living-away-from-home allowances may be available.

For more information, please contact your Australian Apprentice Network Support Provider. 

In New Zealand, the Certificate IV in Locksmithing is only offered at Competenz in Auckland. Apprentices in regional areas throughout New Zealand must attend Competenz in Auckland. Government support, including travel and living-away-from-home allowances, may be available.

For more information, please contact Competenz.