I am assuming that financial issues were the reason for the closings of two Occupational Center Locksmith Programs in Southern California. Abram Friedman Occupational Center and West Valley Occupational Center have closed their doors on the Locksmith Programs. These were low cost, as low cost is in California, occupational center programs that have been around for many, many years. A number of locksmiths have graduated from these centers, many eventually owning their own successful companies.
The choice for those who wish to become locksmiths is to attend private schools or to learn the trade working for a company. How many locksmiths today are willing to hire a novice? This entails not only taking time to train, but to provide a living wage while the apprentice is deciding if locksmithing is the right profession. The shop owner has the other concern, will the trainee stay or just learn enough to become a competitor.
A number of schools, colleges and universities have an alternative program for developing locksmiths. When the locksmith is beginning to consider retirement, they offer existing employees the opportunity to apprentice under the existing locksmith. This idea sometimes works depending upon how much time remains before retirement. However, in many of the Basic Locksmith Classes I teach, the carpenters, maintenance, plumbers, landscapers, etc., attend with the approval of their bosses to expand their knowledge. The plus is, they are still employed at the same institution and their pay rate and benefits are not negatively affected.
Will there be enough new locksmiths to take the place of those who are leaving the profession?