Online Locksmith Training Program Courses & Curriculum | Penn Foster Career School
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Program Details

Becoming a Professional Locksmith - Course Details

Penn Foster Career School's Professional Locksmithing program helps you to gain the knowledge and skills relevant for becoming a locksmith.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program goal for Penn Foster's Professional Locksmithing Program is to train students to become professional locksmiths and operate a Locksmithing business.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Comprehend the mission of a locksmith, the need in today's world for ethical locksmiths, and how locksmithing fits into the larger security industry.
  • Interpret key codes in order to use a key catalog, and comprehend the process for duplicating or cutting flat, cylinder, and bit keys.
  • Identify types and features, and the working order of locking mechanisms, including key-in-knob locks, auxiliary locks, and deadbolts.
  • Recognize how a master key structure operates in order to create and maintain a working system.
  • Understand common methods and tools used to open locks without keys, including lockpicking and impressioning.
  • Comprehend the details of how and why people enter buildings for the purpose of theft, and security measures designed to prevent stock shrinkage and burglary.
  • Identify tools and procedures for opening and replacing typical car door, trunk, and ignition locks.
  • Recognize the components of safe and vault locks and procedures for servicing, cleaning, unlocking, and changing the combination of these locks.
  • Identify types of panic hardware, electric locks, and electromagnetic locks, and how to install, operate, and troubleshoot these locks.
  • Comprehend techniques for maintaining a successful career as a locksmith, including crafting a professional resume, safe business practices, licensing, and certification.

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Locksmithing: An Expanding Career Field
  • Identify employment opportunities and the qualifications for professional locksmiths.
  • Describe the security industry.

Introduction to Locks and Keys
  • Describe the basic types of lock mechanisms.
  • Identify specialized tools used by locksmiths.
  • Outline typical locksmithing tasks.
Identifying Keys
  • Identify the basic types of keys and their parts.
  • Duplicate keys.
  • Find blank keys in a key catalog.
  • Compare an original key to a blank.
Practical Exercise

Identifying Keys

Lock Mechanisms
  • Understand the construction and operation of warded locks and padlocks.
  • Explain the operation of combination locks.
  • Describe lever locks, disk tumbler locks, and pin tumbler locks.
Additional Unit Materials

Supplement: Glossary of Locksmithing Terms

Learning Aids:

  • Assorted Key Blanks
  • Lever Tumbler Lock
  • Disk Tumbler Lock
  • Papaiz® Cutaway Padlock

Residential Locks
  • Understand the operation of mortise locks, rib locks, key-in-knob locks, and tubular deadbolts.
  • Describe the installation steps for key-in-knob locks, deadbolts, rim locks, and other door locks.
Keymaking and Rekeying
  • Outline key duplication by hand and by machine.
  • Duplicate cylinder keys, flat keys, and bit keys.
  • Explore rekeying locks.
Practical Exercises
  • Duplicating a Cylinder Key for the Papaiz® Padlock
  • Rekeying a Kwikset® Lock
Additional Unit Materials

Supplement: Using Tools Safely

Learning Aids:

  • Files
  • Bench Vise
  • Kwikset® Door Lock
  • Kwikset® Pinning Kit
  • Tweezers

Opening Locks Without Keys
  • Outline the various methods of opening locks without keys.
  • Impression keys.
Practical Exercises
  • Shimming Open and Rekeying the Mortise Cylinder
  • Impressioning a Key for a Mortise Cylinder
Home and Business Security
  • Describe security in retail and industrial settings.
  • Explain "target hardening" techniques.
  • Improve security in home and business settings.
  • Perform a security analysis.
Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Lockpicks
  • Tension wrench
  • Mortise cylinder
  • Shim stock
  • Screwdriver set

Automotive Locks
  • Describe basic auto lock mechanisms and electronic security devices for auto protection.
  • Outline how to replace lock cylinders in doors, ignitions, and trunks.
  • Troubleshoot and service auto lock cylinders.
Safes and Vaults
  • Understand combination lock theory.
  • Describe basic safe construction, maintenance ,and repair techniques.
  • Outline how to change safe combinations and make keys for safe deposit boxes.
Panic Hardware and Electric Locks
  • Install, troubleshoot, and repair panic hardware devices.
  • Understand and install electric locks.
Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Master Combination Padlock

Electronic Security Systems
  • Describe the basic types of alarm systems and alarm components.
  • Design, program, troubleshoot, and repair an alarm system.
Starting a Small Business
  • Create a business plan.
  • Obtain capital, insurance, permits, and licenses.
  • Find a location and set up your shop.
  • Purchase office equipment and supplies.
Working as a Professional Locksmith
  • Determine what services to offer and what to charge.
  • Evaluate your competition and advertise your services.
  • Describe legal issues and locksmithing ethics.
Additional Unit Material

Supplement: Starting Your Own Mobile Business

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Requirements may vary for Locksmith professionals based on location. Penn Foster Career School recommends you check with the appropriate agency in your area for specific requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Surround Sound Support

Surround Sound Support

Whether you prefer chat, text, email, or phone, our faculty is here to help you achieve your goals. Penn Foster students also have access to our expert team of Success Coaches to help with budgeting for your education, career guidance, or simply some extra motivation.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson or take an exam? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Professional Locksmith Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Professional Locksmith course would look like.
Sample Professional Locksmith Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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