Security Jobs in the 21st Century

January 15, 2015

Locks have existed for thousands of years. The first key lock was Egyptian and made of wood 4,000 years ago. Brass and iron padlocks were popularized by the Romans and Chinese. Modern locks vary from simple tumbler locks, not unlike ancient padlocks, to complicated electronic access systems.

Increasingly, security has become a critical priority for governments and for public and private corporations and institutions as well as for individuals.

NBSS Locksmithing Students

As locksmithing and security needs have evolved and the technology has become more complex, the jobs available to trained professionals have also expanded. The public mostly know locksmiths as the professionals who come to open your house or car when you are locked out. While these first-responders are important, they are only a small percentage of individuals who work in locksmithing and security professions. Other jobs include access security, surveillance, master keying and safe technician. Locksmiths are self-employed, work for large security companies and for private and public corporations and institutions. Most universities, hospitals, government buildings and other large facilities employ locksmiths.

North Bennet Street School has been training locksmiths and security experts since 1976. The program has evolved and most students graduate and move immediately into good jobs. NBSS students Shaun Desmond, Ian McEntee and Nick Lang (pictured here) will graduate with full-time jobs in hand.

Ian worked in retail for seven years before enrolling in the NBSS Locksmithing & Security Technology program. He began working at Boston Lock & Safe in Brighton while in school and will begin working in the shop full time after he graduates from NBSS this month. Boston Lock & Safe is not only the oldest locksmith business in Massachusetts, it’s the oldest in the country, established in 1790. While many locksmiths working at Boston Lock & Safe are on the road, Ian prefers to work in the retail shop, interacting with customers and taking orders for individuals in addition to commercial businesses. The combination of customer service experience and technical skills make Ian a great fit for the shop position.

Also completing the program, Shaun looks forward to continuing his training while working with Pasek, a security company in Boston. Shaun will work alongside more experienced locksmiths as he studies for his Class D electricians license which is needed to install electronic access control systems. Pasek is also not a newcomer to the security business. The company was established in 1876 and has evolved as technology changed.

Nick is also graduating from the NBSS program with a job in hand. He began working at Securadyne Systems while a student and is excited by the opportunity to expand his experience working with a growing national business. He plans to specialize in electrified hardware access control, burglar and surveillance systems. His long term goal is to give back to the profession through teaching and participating in professional associations.

It is not unusual for students who complete the NBSS locksmithing and security technology program to graduate and begin meaningful jobs – most do. The employment rate was 83% for 2013 graduates, and national job growth is healthy – growth of 3-7% in the next ten years for locksmiths, and 15–21% for security installers is predicted by the US Department of Labor American Job Center.

Learn more about our Locksmithing & Security technology program.

This story is part of the Spring 2015 issue of Benchmarks magazine. See more Benchmarks issues here, or download a pdf of the entire issue.

Locksmithing & Security Technology Program