The locksmith industry in the UK is growing year or year with people from all walks of life choosing to embark on this rewarding career and there seems to be an abundance of work for these locksmiths too, whether they cover just residential and commercial premises of cover everything including cars and assess control systems.
We spoke to Train Locksmiths the UK's leading locksmith training college in Atherton, Greater Manchester who told us that their courses in 2018 have booked up faster than ever with many students returning for advanced and automotive courses after passing the initial foundation locksmith course.
The training college also told us that they train a lot of ex servicemen as well as semi retired people looking for a part time job that doesn't demand a lot of their time. You see the thing about being a self employed locksmith is that you can choose how much work you want to undertake and pass on the work that you don't want to other local independent locksmith.
Why is there so much work for locksmiths?
The locksmith industry is one of those industries where you'll always have customers as there will always be new people or businesses wanting your services, people are constantly moving house and it is important when you moved into a new house to have all of your locks changed for piece of mind. Companies also have regular security overviews for insurance purposes which generally includes the need to upgrade to the latest industry standard, insurance approved locks on doors and windows.
So what is the difference between an independent locksmith and a national locksmith company?
An independent locksmith is exactly what it says, independent. The locksmith has trained as a locksmith, sometimes as an automotive locksmith too and has set up his or her own business.
The name national locksmith company is a bit misleading to be honest, at first reading you assume that this is a large locksmith company employing 100's of fully qualified locksmiths so that they can cover the whole country when in fact they are not a locksmith company at all but a call centre who functions as a go between, linking up locksmiths from all over the country with customers who need locksmiths services.
There are a few issues with this business model, first issue is that because the call centre wants their commission the customers ends up paying a lot more that they would have paid if they had gone direct to the independent locksmith. Different call centres have different pricing structures and some demand very high fees usually sneaked onto the bill under things like admin fee, fuel fee, night fee, call out fee etc and many reports online show that some national locksmith companies are adding £100's onto invoices for themselves.
Another issue is with response time. When you ring up a local independent locksmith he or she is local, knows the traffic, the routes and knows how long he or she will be. When you telephone a national company you are simply speaking to a call centre operator who is told to take the job whether they have a locksmith on their books in that certain area or not, this has resulted in some customers waiting 3, 4 or more hours as a locksmith travels from the other end of the country.
The final issue with the national companies and the biggest one, is the quality of work. Many people believe - and it's the same for many industries - that the larger the company, the better the job, unfortunately with the locksmith industry and many others it tends to be the opposite.
A professionally trained, independent locksmith will usually have his or her own website, Facebook page etc have genuine reviews and feedback on Google and get a lots of work from referrals; this type of locksmith doesn't need to sign up with a national locksmith call centre to get work.
The national locksmith call centres usually target the amateur, untrained locksmiths who have gained their knowledge from watching a few Youtube videos, these are the type of "have a go" locksmiths who'll use a hammer, chisel and drill on a lock whereas a professional would use non destructive lock picking techniques. These amateurs won't have any reviews online - no positive ones anyway - and won't generally have their own website, so work from the call centres will be the only work they'll get.
So in summary, if you ever need to call on the services of a locksmith, make sure you are using a professionally trained, independent locksmith and not a call centre. Below is a list of independent locksmiths from different areas.
Troman Locksmiths Walkden are a friendly, reliable and professional locksmith company offering a full range or commercial, domestic and contract locksmith services.
MAB Locksmiths offer a 24 hour emergency locksmith service throughout the region and cover Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Alfreton, Belper, Ripley, Ashbourne, Matlock and throughout Amber Valley.
Offering 24 Hour Emergency Callout Service throughout Cumbria, Lancashire and North Yorkshire covering all the major towns and cities including Lancaster, Morecambe, Kendal, Heysham, Windermere and Bentham
Offering a fast resaponse to customers in Stoke on Trent, Crewe, Stafford, Macclesfield, Congleton, Kidsgrove, Buxton, Leek, Biddulph, Sandbach, Nantwich, Alsager, Holmes Chapel & Whitchurch