If you look up the federal job resources on the locksmith occupation, you'll see that statistically there are very few that have more than 5 years experience. There is a lot of turnover because most commercial shops do not pay more than $10.00/hr. And because of that, they can't keep good employees. Most who have many years of experience are self-employed or work for universities, hospitals, or government facilities. The self-employed have the most potential income-wise, but the institutional locksmiths tend to enjoy very good benefits. Pay range varies widely. One city may pay their locksmiths $24.00/hr, another 10 miles away may pay theirs $36.00. Because there's so few highly experienced locksmiths in the job pool, many colleges in my area only hire as temporary workers with the intent to see what they're getting before hiring as permanent employees. But that's backfiring on them because a good locksmith won't apply for a temporary job. I know quite a few colleges who do this & just can't get quality help. In the SF. Bay Area, wage data shows that locksmiths making $68,000.00 a year or more are in the 90th percentile. These jobs are far & few between.