Foley-Belsaw Locksmith Course Continues

Sept. 2, 2019
Online courses cover basic, advanced and commercial locksmithing
Foleylogo 5d497e84c9297

Not long ago, information circulating in the locksmith community indicated that Foley-Belsaw had discontinued offering their popular locksmith training program.  In fact, Foley-Belsaw owners have sold some of their manufacturing and sharpening supply businesses, but the locksmith training program ownership has been transferred to Richard Cobian, a long-time Foley- Belsaw employee who continues to offer the Foley-Belsaw locksmithing program online. 

Locksmith Ledger recently interviewed Richard Cobian asking him about the current Foley-Belsaw locksmithing program. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Cobian’s answers.

How long will it take for a student to complete the Foley-Belsaw

It is self-paced. Students have up to two years to finish but most people complete it in less than six months. Motivated students or locksmiths that need certification can finish the course in a week or two.

Do you still offer key blanks and a full line of other supplies for the beginning locksmith?

Yes, we offer a large selection of tools and supplies on our website We stock the more popular brands of tools, cylinders and key blanks. We try to stock almost everything we sell so we can ship complete the same day. We don't have everything, but we have what you need to get started and run a business.

Is the Foley-Belsaw Locksmith course only a home study course or is there any interaction such as webinars on the internet?

The course is available as an online course, sold with supplies to do the hands-on lessons and printed lesson books for future reference. There are a lot of potential options with online training, but we have found that the best part of the online course is the immediate feedback when taking the exams and the ability to provide links to outside sources to give more information. If I get a question wrong ,  I want to know what is the correct answer and why. I don’t want to wait a week to find out what I did wrong.

Also there is something to be said for reading lessons and being able to go back and reread them and look at the illustrations. Part of the beauty of the course is that it provides a direction and a process. I am sure everything we teach is available in pieces and parcels somewhere on the internet. For better or for worse, there are no secrets in locksmithing anymore. Once you understand the basics of locksmithing, the terminology and the technology, you can always search additional information and resources from product manufacturers and other sources.

Does the Foley-Belsaw Locksmith course only cover mechanical (traditional) locksmith topics or have any topics been added such as either for automotive transponders or electronic access control?

We do have newer lessons on automotive transponders and electronic access control.

Can the Foley-Belsaw Locksmith diploma be used as an equivalency rating for any states requiring locksmith licensing?

As far as I know the Foley Belsaw course meets the basic locksmithing course requirement for the states that require it. I know that we are an approved course for North Carolina and Tennessee since I had to get on their approved course lists a few years ago.

Do you offer a job opportunity listing for graduating students?

We don't offer job opportunity listings.  I do occasionally get calls from existing locksmiths looking for recent graduates. Most of our students go into business for themselves or they have an opportunity at their current workplace to move into the locksmith position. We have quite a few students who work for the prison system, universities and large school districts.

Do you offer financing for Foley-Belsaw students?

We do have a simple Pay-as-you-go finance plan for the course, where the student can purchase a set of lessons and supplies for those lessons for $50. All we ask is that you finish the course within two years.

Do you offer technical assistance by phone or E-mail if graduates have future questions?

We offer technical assistance by phone and E-mail. We don't receive as many calls as we used to. I figure if someone has a basic question, we didn't do a very good job of addressing that topic in our course.  Over the years I've added pages of new material, new illustrations, and new images to address any questions or problem areas in our lessons. Foley-Belsaw has almost 60 years of experience with the course. That is a lot of time to fine tune it.

I do get calls, usually from older students who aren't working as full-time locksmiths or non-students asking about automobile keys with transponders. I usually give them prices on the programming equipment and they get kind of quiet. You can actually hear them think, "Oh that is why the locksmith wants $125 to make a key."

My favorite calls and letters are from former students who tell me that "taking the course was the best thing they ever did." There isn't a school out there that guarantees success, not Harvard and certainly not Foley-Belsaw. The best a school can do is give you the right information and experiences, test that you've retained the information, provide a little encouragement and point you in the right direction. The rest, as it should be, is up to the student. 

For more information, contact Richard Cobian, Manager, Foley-Belsaw Locksmithing, telephone 715-629-2098 or email [email protected].