If you haven’t yet locked your keys inside your car, you will someday. The odds are heavily against you, because this is one of the most common slip-ups to haunt the civilized world. Personally I’ve done it no less than ten times myself over a period of, say, twenty years…and I’m a Locksmith!
Now, how can you turn this into a benefit?
If you happen to be looking for a high profit, super interesting career you could do a lot worse than to consider becoming a Lockout Specialist. I know whereof I speak, because as a working Locksmith since 1983 I’ve opened (literally) countless vehicles and I’ve had many instances where I made upwards of $200 per hour over several hours at a time. I can recall one incredible day in which I serviced twenty-three lockouts, at an average price of $40 and an average labor time of 10 minutes per vehicle — for most of a day. This was near Christmas in 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was self-employed and doing very well as a full service Locksmith, but the bulk of my business during Holidays has always been in the form of lockouts.
It is important to make a distinction here, to avoid confusion. I am not proposing that you will make that kind of money day after day. There will be average days, and there will be busy days. But if you set up a business, in a fairly large city or base yourself at least near one, you stand to make unconscionably easy money once you get settled in and your business becomes visible. Opening locked cars is as easy a profession as ever has been conceived. It takes some skill, of course, and you will have to do some studying before you break out the lockout tools and advertise yourself — but compared to many other professions it just can’t be beat for simplicity. You will also have to do some homework with respect to legality. Some states require Lockout Specialists to be registered Locksmiths, but most do not! This is something you have to determine before you take another step.
If you find that you are living in a jurisdiction that requires registering, it is not that difficult to do. You will have to gain a wider knowledge of Locksmithing, but this certainly is not a detriment as it will likely lead to a fantastic career that goes well beyond opening locked mini-vans. If on the other hand you are fortunate enough to be living in an area in which Lockout Specialists can be licensed without having to be full-fledged Locksmiths, the path to a cushy career sprawls before you.
I started my business in Salt Lake City when I was 37 years of age. Up until then I had never so much as dreamt of being involved with locks, car openings or keys. I was in dire straights, having just lost most everything I owned through a business failure that occurred as collateral damage from a divorce. Someone suggested I go door to door and sell “door viewers” — those little peepholes people put in their front doors. This actually worked well, but only because at that time I had no bills (everything got disposed of). After a while I was being asked to install locks. I started doing that and was buying deadbolts at a local Locksmith shop one day when the guy behind the counter, who by then had gotten to know me, suggested I start a Locksmith business. I thought he was kidding me, seriously. But he told me that Locksmiths make incredible profit from most everything they do, especially doing lockouts. He sold me a few tools — which in Utah is perfectly legal (or was at that time at least) — and also a small book on opening cars.
That was a turning point in my life. I went on, within six months, to taking on small Locksmith jobs and teaching myself. I put a small ad in the Yellow Pages, hoping against hope I wouldn’t go bust in the first few months because those ads can’t be canceled, and I soon realized there was enough business out there that I was opening cars almost every day. I got better at it the more I did it (there were nightmare jobs in which it took me hours to open a single car, but that was in the very early days). Eventually the calls started coming in quite regularly and I started making good money, doing something I enjoyed. The feeling of helping others who really need your specialized service is a great one, and knowing you are working for yourself and no one else is beyond description.
I had to do all this without a road map. There was nothing available to beginners in those days, not like there is today. The explosion of information that is the Internet has made all the difference. I wish back in 1983 I’d had the advantages available to career seekers today. There are many self-help manuals and DVD courses now that can teach you to set up a Lockout Specialist business, or a full-fledged Locksmith business. The prices are surprisingly affordable, and the information in at least some of them is staggering. In many cases, you can actually earn certification by purchasing one of these courses.
It is worth considering if you like the idea of working for ten minutes, assisting a motorist in need, and putting up to $50 or $60 dollars in your pocket for your trouble.