Locksmiths offer a vital service to their customers providing security of their homes, businesses and assets and the peace of mind that comes with a professionally completed installation.

Careers information

Career options in Locksmithing include working for a large, national locksmithing company with both commercial and private customers or start your own business as an independent locksmith (for private or commercial clients).

What do they do?

Locksmiths offer a vital service providing security for homes, businesses and assets. Locksmiths are called on to secure premises and provide security advice as well as open jammed or broken locks, make replacement keys, unlock vehicles, buildings or safes and help law enforcement agencies with evictions, repossessions, search warrants and forensic investigations.

Typical day

Sometimes an 8 hour day; sometimes on shift work rosters or on call. Work can include discussing clients’ security needs through to replacing lost keys or cracking a safe. Typically, you travel to the client’s location so you’re often on the move. Your clients could be private owners or law enforcement agencies depending on the company. You may also be involved in providing broader security measure advice (e.g. alarm systems).

How could I get into the industry?

Locksmiths need to have knowledge of:

  • master keying, key making and key cutting
  • different lock types, safes and locking mechanisms 
  • lock repair methods and locksmith workshop equipment 
  • security alarm systems.

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

• English or Media Studies or History

• Maths or Accounting or Economics 

• Sciences or Workshop Technologies

• Computing / ICT / Information Management


• Good at precision work

• Confidence with IT, computers, technology

• Good work habits / time management

• Good at problem solving / creative

Helpful experience

• Customer service or helping people

• Making or fixing things

Preferred work environments

• Inside (retail/shop/etc...)

• Lots of different places every day

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 passes in:


Science (Physics)

Technology (Metal Work)



Specialist Locksmith

Team Leader


Business Manager

Business Owner

Unit/Achievement standards in schools Apprenticeship Higher learning Higher learning

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

2 years experience

$37k - $47k


Icn Money

5 years experience

$50k - $75k

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations like the Master Locksmiths Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential apprentices, and encouraging work placements.
  • We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and graduations and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.
  • When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need to gain.

Click here for more details on the Careers NZ website.

National qualifications

Competenz offers Locksmithing apprenticeships that result in the New Zealand Certificate in Locksmithing (Level 4). 

This qualification forms a pathway for those who have completed National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 2) to specialise in Locksmithing and may lead to the National Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering Level 6).

The locksmith apprenticeship is a three year programme made up of compulsory and elective units.

With this qualification you are able to design, install, and service a wide range of locking systems, manufacture a range of key types, and are able to utilise a range of specialist locksmithing competencies covering motor vehicles, safes, and other specialist locking systems.

You will be able to safely utilise the specific knowledge, skills and tools to required industry specifications while maintaining the ethics and integrity of the locksmithing industry.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

All Year One training is on-job and includes foundation skills, underpinning theory and on-job assessment. This must be completed before an apprentice is eligible for block courses in year two and three.

The elective components of this qualification allow you to develop generic work skills, such as computing, and basic first aid skills that are desirable within the industry and any industry specific skills.

Block courses are held in Auckland. Please contact your account manager or Competenz Industry Manager (see side bar for details) for more details.