Locksmith Info

The Locksmith Security Association: All You Need to Know

Locksmith Security Association

The Locksmith Security Association: The Locksmith Security Association (LSA) is an American trade organization located in the State of Michigan of the United States of America. The organization is committed to providing the best education to its members to allow them to develop and expand into the most knowledgeable, skill-oriented and professional locksmiths. Locksmith Security Association (LSA) goals include ensuring professional excellence and ethics, creating a public demand for professional locksmith services, representing and speaking for the locksmith’s industry.

To become a member of the Locksmith Security Association (LSA), a locksmith has to be certified as a professional in the field. Certain dues are to be paid to obtain the membership forms. There are two types of membership; General Membership and Associate Membership.

Locksmith Security Association – Benefits of being a member of the Locksmith Security Association (LSA)

  • Provision of educational and professional locksmith training and courses
  • Website development and hosting services
  • Provision of industry links, online tech manuals, and library service
  • Promotion of members’ businesses

Locksmith Security Association – Locksmithing as a Career/Profession in Michigan

Locksmithing is the profession of people working with keys, locks and security systems. People engaged in the profession of locksmithing are called Locksmiths. The services rendered by a locksmith is not limited to just replacing or opening locks and so, usually take years for perfection in the profession. A professionally trained locksmith may do some or all of the following: install locks, deadbolts and other mechanical or electronic locking devices to safeguard homes, businesses, vehicles and other property. Locksmiths also modify or repair such devices, rekey locks, make duplicate keys or cards, generate or program new keys/cards for locks whose keys/cards have been lost and respond to emergency calls to unlock vehicles, homes, and businesses that have been locked accidentally, or whose locks have malfunctioned.

Locksmiths operate a mobile service to attend to their customers on site or from a shop. In the modern era, locksmiths now provide services for gaining entry into locked houses, cars or any other lock, repair, and replacement of locks when it fails or recovering the key for a lock when the key is lost, extraction of broken keys from existing locks. Some locksmiths now specialize in gaining entry to safes and in the process get hold of extensive knowledge of domestic and commercial security.

According to the Michigan Civil Service Commission, a locksmith is expected to be able to disassemble locks such as padlocks, safe locks, and door locks, and repairs or replaces worn tumblers, springs and other parts. They change pin lock cylinders and safe combinations, remove broken keys and repair malfunctioning locks. Locksmiths cut keys by code or duplication, maintain key and combination records. He installs and repairs locks on furniture, cabinets and other items, fits and installs doors and related hardware, installs or repairs hydraulic door closers and electronic door operators using hand and power tools. He is also responsible for performing electronic access control programming and management of electronic access system databases. Locksmiths in Michigan are also expected to be able to install, repair and maintain electronic access control systems, components and hardware and also design and development of access control applications.

The steps and procedures in becoming a locksmith depend on the country of residence. In some countries, locksmiths begin the trade as apprentices while in other countries, locksmiths are expected to gain certificates or degrees after they might have completed a training or course. In Michigan, vocational training in locksmithing from high school for at least a year is required. Apprenticeships of one to two years are often offered by locksmiths companies. High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED) Diploma is usually required to be an apprentice locksmith.

Locksmith Security Association – Classification of Locksmith Job in Michigan

We have three classifications of the locksmith job in the Michigan Civil Service. Employees generally progress through the series to the experienced level based on satisfactory performance and possession of the required experience. The classifications are;

Locksmith E8: This is the intermediate level. The employee performs locksmith work under the direction of a higher-level locksmith while developing locksmith skills and performing other essential trade duties.

Locksmith E9: This is the experienced level. The employee performs a full range of locksmith assignments using open-minded judgment to make decisions requiring the application of procedures and practices to specific work situations.

Locksmith A10: This is the advanced level. The employee functions as a crew leader overseeing the work of lower-level locksmiths, or others and performs journey-level locksmith assignments; or, as an advanced locksmith performing duties which have been recognized by Civil Service as having greater complexity than those assigned at the experienced level.

Locksmith Security Association – Locksmith Associations in the United States of America

Associations of locksmiths are being formed in different parts of the country the reason being; better serviceability; good communication; educational and professional training for locksmiths as well as better customer-locksmiths interactions. The association that serves as a governing body for all locksmiths in the United States of America is the ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc (ALOA). Below is a more detailed information about ALOA and it’s certification process as it is the only Association responsible for awarding ranks and designations to locksmiths.

ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc (ALOA)

The ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc (ALOA) formerly known as Associated Locksmiths of America is an American trade organization that encompasses over 6000 locksmiths and other security professionals in America and other North American countries making it the largest organization of its kind. Its headquarters is situated at Dallas, Texas, the same location as the training center of the association where ALOA’s activities take place including annual conventions, a continuing education (ACE) program.

Certification Information as provided by ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc (ALOA)

The LSA of Michigan is an advocate of the educational and professional Proficiency Registration Program (PRP), a program of the ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc. (ALOA). Below is a brief information regarding ALOA and the certification processes.  It includes classes, designation information and all the need-to-know about certification in the locksmith profession.

As an international trade association, ALOA acknowledges professionalism and proficiency among locksmiths and safe technicians by assigning the designations; Registered Locksmith (RL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), Certified Master Locksmith (CML), Certified Professional SafeTech (CPS) and Certified Master SafeTech (CMST). It is made available to all locksmiths and safe technicians. The Proficiency Registration Program (PRP) assess the educational and technical competence of dedicated locksmiths in a wide range of courses including; Automotive locksmithing, General locksmithing, Electronic Access Control and Safe and Vault service.

The examination/tests are currently not offered online. Physical presence is required as the exam is usually taken in a physical building. The registration details are made available online at the ALOA official website; www.aloa.org

To follow are the various designations to be awarded to locksmiths and Safe technicians by the Proficiency Registration Program (PRP) of ALOA to professional locksmiths.

Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL)

The Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL) is the first level of locksmith certification awarded by the Association of Locksmiths of America (ALOA). A Certified Registered Locksmith must have passed the ten mandatory categories; Codes and Code Equipment; Cylinder Servicing; Key Blank Identification; Key Duplication; Key Impressioning; Professional Lock Opening Techniques; Lockset Functions; Lockset Servicing; Basic Master Keying; Cabinet, Furniture, and Mailbox Locks; as well as at least two specialized electives of his choice. A CRL is expected to have good working knowledge of general locksmithing. Getting the CRL is a prerequisite to obtaining Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL).

Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL)

The second level in the ALOA’s certification program is the Certified Professional Locksmith. A C Certified Professional Locksmith must have earned his CRL designation and must have a passing grade (70%+) in an additional twelve (12) elective courses. A Certified Professional Locksmith is expected to have an advanced knowledge of general locksmithing as well as specialized areas in locksmithing.

Certified Master Locksmith (CML)

This designation is regarded as the highest level of certification for the locksmith. A Certified Master Locksmith has finally reached the highest level of ALOA’s Proficiency Registration Program and must have demonstrated proficiency in ninety percent (90%) of the available categories of the Proficiency Registration Program. It is demanded of a Certified Master Locksmith to have a CRL and CPL designation resulting into an advanced knowledge of most areas of locksmithing and electronic security.


Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS)

The first level of the SafeTech certification is the Certified Professional Safe Technician (CPS). A Certified Professional Safe Technician has must have demonstrated his proficiency in 17 safe and vault related categories; Lock Identification; UL Standards For Safes; Vault and Safe Locks; SMNA & JIS Ratings; Tools and Their Usage; Safe Lock Servicing and Changing; Troubleshooting and Dialing Diagnostics; The Theory of Manipulation; Safe Lock Installation; Basic Safe and Lock Construction; Safe Installation; GSA Equipment; Safe and Vault Door Adjustments/Alignment; Safe Drilling/Penetration; Post-Penetration Repairs; Safe Deposit Locks; Key-Operated Safe Locks; Safe-Related Electronics.

A CPS has advanced knowledge of general Safe & Vault categories.

Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST)

This is the highest level of the SafeTech certification. A Certified Master Safe Technician is expected to have successfully demonstrated advanced knowledge in most areas of safe and vault related categories. The Certified Master Safe Technician categories are: Lock Identification; UL Standards For Safes; Vault & Safe Locks; SMNA & JIS Ratings; Tools & Their Usage; Safe Lock Servicing & Changing; Troubleshooting & Dialing Diagnostics; The Theory Of Manipulation; Safe Lock Installation; Basic Safe & Lock Construction; Safe Installation; GSA Equipment; Safe & Vault Door Adjustments & Alignment; Safe Drilling; Post-Penetration Repairs; Safe Deposit Locks; Key-Operated Safe Locks; Safe-Related Electronics; Advanced Dialing Diagnostics; Manipulation; Uncommon Safes & Locks; Advanced Safe Deposit Locks; Time Locks; Night Depositories; High-Security Safe Construction; Safe Penetration; Advanced Borescope Techniques; Composite & High-Security Safe Repair; Vaults & Vault Doors.

Missouri Kansas Locksmith Association (MKLA)

Missouri Kansas Locksmith Association was founded in 1956 by the locksmiths and formed for the benefits of the locksmiths in the State of Kansas. The goals were to promote the advancement of the industry by instilling a spirit of cooperation among locksmiths to continue their education and to provide quality services with integrity.

The official website of the association is www.mkla.org. It is a registered member of the ALOA Security Professionals Association, Inc. (ALOA).

MKLA membership allows advertisement of registered locksmiths’ services on their official website with contact links, educational and professional locksmith training as well as annual convention.

The New York Association of In-House Locksmiths (NYAIL)

The Association is deemed a non-profit educational locksmith association for locksmiths working in New York. The members are employed in different sectors of the New York City area. The goals of the locksmith association improve the profession, educate and update members. There is a good and friendly interaction among members bringing about interchanging of experiences and special knowledge. They frequently offer seminars and training to its members on various facets of the profession, at a low cost and sometimes no cost at all.

Oklahoma Master Locksmith Association (OMLA)

The Oklahoma Master Locksmith Association (OMLA) is a non-profit incorporated organization, formed in 1970 by a group of locksmiths in Oklahoma with the intention of sharing information and learning new techniques through education and sharing experiences between members. The Association has a constitution, by-laws, and rules according to which the organization operates. Its meetings were scheduled quarterly in February, May, August, and November with the annual distributor are featuring at the February meeting. The OMLA Board consists of Officers, Directors and appointed liaisons as defined by the Constitution. Its membership details, as well as the registration procedures and requirements, is on its official website; www.omla.com.

Locksmiths Tech Manuals

Locksmiths Technical Manuals (Tech Manuals) are documents containing professional instructions, skills, training requirements, price catalogs and other related information for efficient and productive services rendered by its users. Tech manuals were created for the better understanding of the profession, solving problems related to locksmithing and improving the level of knowledge in the profession. The Tech manual contains professional guides, price catalogs for locksmiths services and so much more

A large number of locksmiths associations’ websites render a library service offering a wide range of tech-manuals for its members. The Locksmith Security Association of Michigan offers online Tech manual services through; www.lsamichigan.org/tech_manuals; with over 500 manuals present online. The manuals are sometimes made in hardcopy formats; printed copies, hand-outs; or most times, soft copies; PDFs, Doc format, Presentations.

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