Correspondence Courses ?
Q: I have a few questions about the level of expertise to be gained by
completing one of the various correspondence courses offered in
Is Foley-Belsaw considered the standard by which all others are judged?
Will completing a correspondence course enable me to enter the field as
an independent locksmith without making a fool of myself? Have any of
you successfully "hung a shingle" after completing a correspondence
A:They are just the best know. They've marketed in everything from magazines to matchbooks. They are IMHO, no better or worse than any other correspondence course. No. A correspondence course alone will teach you enough to make you dangerous. While I'm sure some have been so lucky, most find that jumping in with both feet without having someone to go to for help, ends up frustrating at best and potentially life threatening to their customers at worse. AFAIK, corr. courses don't do into a lot of detail on things like Life Safety codes an what to do when thing don't go as planned. I'm not saying don't take the course. Just, if you do, join a local association or at the very least, find a local *experienced* locksmith who is willing to take you under his (or her) wing. That way when you do get in over your head, (and you will), you'll have someone to turn to for immediate help. As Keyman said, apprenticeship is the best way to go, if you can get it. You won't get paid a lot, but if you find the right company/locksmith the education will be priceless. I took the Foley course, and found out that I still did not know hardly anything about the real trade of locksmithing. Hooked up with a local company trained there a while, then took some time to make a living, then got hooked up with another 1, where I finally got the chance to work out in the field both by my self or with 1 of the co-owners. By far the BEST way to learn as there are so many differences from the basics taught by the courses. And the courses are very slow at incorporating any new advances.
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