How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?

how much does a locksmith cost locksmithing price

Sophisticated security at an affordable price has been a concern for over 4000 years, going back to the palace of Khorsabad in the Near East. You can't just post a guard at every doorway, now can you? 

It sounds silly to use a lock (including installation costs) that is more expensive than the thing we're trying to protect. Fortunately, not only are decent locks fairly inexpensive but so are locksmith services. 

This is true whether you are a business or an individual. So, how much does a locksmith cost? Keep reading to learn more about locksmithing! 

What Is a Locksmith and What Do They Do? 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 17,000 locksmith technicians work nationwide. Not all states require a license or have any kind of licensure body for locksmithing. 

It's important to rely on trustworthy reviews and not only word of mouth. Locksmiths take licensing seriously. 

As the name implies, locksmiths invent, make, install, and repair locks. If you forget your keys, they also have the handy skill of penetrating various forms of security. Today, that means implementing electronic systems and even computer encryption. 

An example of that would be this Kwikset Kevo smart lock. If you have the best lock on the market, you still need a professional to install it to provide practical protection. 

An experienced locksmith is closer to an engineer than a serviceman. In fact, some locksmiths do become a "security penetration test engineer." Some work as so-called ethical hackers, and others with physical security, or a hybrid of both. 

A typical locksmith doesn't only make key copies. They are your security consultant professional. They have the knowledge you need to make your business and home compliant with legislation. 

In short, locksmiths are professionals that have skills and knowledge often taken for granted. 

How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? 

Now we get to the dollars and cents of locksmith services. Because of the various tasks and skills associated, you might expect it isn't just a couple of dollars. Let's break it down into the three main areas they work in. 


The average minimum trip rate is between $50-$100 nationally, with after-hours service at a premium from $150-$250. This makes sense with the nature of after-hours usually equaling "emergency." 

The hourly rate is also between $50-$100 per hour, with after-hours rates at $75-125 per hour. 

It's best to have a list of things that need to be done to save on the trip charge since there's a minimum number of hours of work charged per trip. 

The majority of services range between $50-$400 per hour depending on the service needed. The most expensive services are car rekeys, and electronic security installation such as cameras. 

Car rekeying is quite specialized, with some cars having split wafer designs which render a lock unusable on unsuccessful picking attempts. Electronic security can be anything from cameras to other monitoring systems. 

It's best to get a quote from a locksmith company you trust and work together to see what is necessary and how long it could take. 

If you have a safe at your home and you need to open it, it could be as high as $400. Even higher if the safe has to be drilled and replaced, not including the cost of a new safe. 


We delved a little into safes a little already, but that's not the only cost. Commercial businesses, especially those with shutter systems, have special needs and regulations. 

Push bar devices are often a requirement of businesses due to fire code and regulation. However, it does open up your business to certain methods of security penetration. These devices and measures to combat penetration can run between $200 and $800 to install. 

A replacement lock and new lock installation usually run between $100 to $250, with high-security installations going as high as $450. 

It's important to get a consultation before buying your security layers. It's especially important to have it installed by a professional rather than a layman. 


Auto Locksmithing is a bit different than homes. There are more ways into a car than just through the keyhole. 

A botched attempt at getting through a cylinder on a car could cost as high as $600 or as little as $200. Ignitions average about $100 to rekey as well. 

Just getting into the car could be between $75-$150 depending on the make and model, and the time spent. Generally, it only takes a few minutes, but the tools and expertise required to get into cars are becoming more and more advanced. 

It's cheaper to have a locksmith make a transponder key or reprogram one for you than ordering one from a dealer in most cases, though, at $75-$250 per key. 

Electronic "Smart" Locks 

Smart locks are not just for the home anymore, with more and more offices opting for the convenience and security of a smart lock. This is typically going to be seen on an executive's door if at all. 

For home use, they allow the possibility of e-keys that expire after a certain time. This allows a guest to open a door using their phone. An absolute essential in the case of vacation rentals. 

These systems can range from $50 - $500 to install depending on the sophistication. That means it could cost between $200 - $2000 to secure a structure entirely with electronic smart locks. 

The upside is that with the upfront cost, you almost guarantee you won't need to call a locksmith to enter your structure again for a lost key. 

So, Just How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? 

So, how much does a locksmith cost? It depends on the needs of your home, business, or car how much locksmiths will cost you. Not only that, but it depends on where you live in the United States to estimate locksmithing prices. 

Whatever the cost, the key point is to make sure you use a reputable locksmith. If there is licensing in your state, make sure they show you their locksmithing certification and verify their identity before allowing them to work on your structure or car.

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