Prepare For A Career As A Locksmith By Taking A Computer Course In High School

Posted on: 9 December 2014

The locksmith industry offers young workers, even those just out of high school, a long and stable career. Working as a locksmith does not require a four-year degree from a university, and the median national wage for locksmiths was $39,820 in 2013. The industry is rapidly changing, though, and aspiring locksmiths need to prepare themselves for the future. If you hope to open the locks of the future, consider taking a computer course in high school.

Electronic Locks from the 1950s

Electronic locks are not new. Popular Mechanics recorded the first use of an electronic lock in 1954. It was installed to control access to prepaid parking lots.

Electronic locks were primarily relegated to commercial use for decades, however. Even today, most home and auto locks are mechanical, not electronic. Locksmiths are usually getting into church locks, cylinder locks and lever locks. They may come across digital locks periodically, but most calls for digital locks involve a safe or commercial application.

Digital Locks are Becoming Commonplace

Although everyone still carries keys, digital locks that use key cards and codes are becoming more common. Auto manufacturers, from Ford to luxury brands, are making cars with keyless and keypad entry systems. For homes, there are many different keypad locks available. In the commercial sector, computerized locks are found in many office buildings, not just in parking lots.

The trend from mechanical to digital locks will continue in the foreseeable future for two main reasons. First, they offer greater convenience than mechanical ones. Digital locks can be controlled from anywhere, anytime, and they eliminate the need to carry keys. Homeowners who forget to lock their doors while on vacation can lock them remotely, and parents with arms full of groceries do not need to dig out a key to open their car.

Second, as computerized locks become more sophisticated, they offer increased security. Computerized locks record who comes and goes, and they can be immediately locked or unlocked if needed. For instance, an employee's access code to a safe can be deactivated within a moment of them quitting.

Learning About Digital Locks

Many locksmith training programs cover digital locks in advanced courses. According to an EBay article, novice courses focus on mechanical locks, and advanced courses introduce safes and commercial systems, which involve digital locks and computer programs. You can find work without taking these advanced courses, but they open up more opportunities for work.

Consider a Computer Course

While locksmiths do not need to take a computer course to work with digital locks, a basic understanding of computers may prove useful in the future. You will not need to write a full-fledged computer program or install a wireless network from scratch, but these skills will help you understand how digital locks work. As locks and systems become more computerized and complex, this knowledge will prove more and more useful.

A background in computers may not help you become a certified locksmith, but future employers will appreciate this background knowledge. On the job, it may help you diagnose problems and solve them quicker and with less assistance. Since working faster and on your own will improve your employer's bottom line, you will have an advantage over other locksmiths when looking for a job.

If you are in high school now and interested in becoming a locksmith, consider taking an elective course in computer programming or networking. Once working in the field, you may not work with the same language or systems you studied in school, but the material will transfer to other computer languages and systems easily. Taking a computer course will prepare you for the future of the locksmith industry, which is becoming increasingly digital.

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