If you’ve decided to become a locksmith in Louisiana, there are some things you should know first. Starting a new career in locksmithing isn’t as easy in Louisiana as it is in other states around the country, but it is not as difficult as in some states.

That in mind, it is best to start your training by taking a locksmith training course  at a local community college or trade school. Baton Rouge Community College and Tulane University both have locksmith classes. If you are short on time or limited to when you can take locksmith training courses, look to online schools that offer versatile training to locksmith students in all states. PennFoster is an example of an online school with locksmith classes available.

Locksmith Licensing Requirements in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the states that requires locksmiths to have a license in order to have a business. Obtaining that license means first passing the Louisiana state locksmith exam, which is assembled by the Louisiana Life Safety and Security Administration (LLSSA), as well as the Associated Locksmiths of America. The exam is designed to ensure you are proficient in the skills required to be a locksmith in Louisiana.

Preparing for the locksmith exam requires diligent study. The LLSSA provides exam preparation recommendations, which includes suggestions for learning about cutting keys, repairing safes, master keying, picking locks and defining certain locksmith terms. Specifically, the LLSSA recommends reading The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing by Bill Phillips before taking the exam.

Louisiana Locksmith Licensing Fees

As with other licenses and registrations, Louisiana locksmiths must pay a fee to obtain a license. That fee varies depending on whether you own your own locksmithing firm or are an employee of a business. If you own your business, the fee is $250 upon initial application, although renewal fees are only $50.

However, if you fail to renew your license on time, you may be subject to a late renewal fee. That fee is required if you renew more than 15 days after your license expiration date. The Louisiana late locksmith license renewal fee is $250.  If you are an employee, fees are the same, with the exception of the  initial licensing fee and late renewal fee, which are $100 each.

Once you have taken and passed the licensing exam, you may apply for a license from the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal.

How Much Money do Louisiana Locksmith Make?

The average salary of Louisiana locksmiths varies according to experience, geography and market saturation. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2011 mean wage for locksmiths in Louisiana was between $24,320 and $29,730 per year. They also report that Lafayette, Louisiana has the highest saturation of locksmiths, with 70 people working in the city. A large number of locksmiths means more competition, which is why Lafayette locksmiths usually make between $11 and $12 per hour on average. However, locksmiths in Shreveport to the North West make significantly more at between $16 and $17 per hour, which averages more than $33,000 per year.

Considerations

Keep in mind that the best training is hands-on experience. If you are starting a locksmith career from scratch, it may be a good idea to not only learn the trade, but also get some experience working as an apprentice for another professional in your state. In an apprenticeship, you can better grasp the regulations in Louisiana, perhaps eventually working as an employee before starting your own business.

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