[Disclosure: I am a licensed locksmith]
I wish I could tell you that Locksmithing is a lucrative hotbed of opportunity for young people. That would be false.
Locksmithing is lucrative only when large volumes pump up the revenues. When it comes to fees, consider that $120 for 20 minutes sounds great until this;
TOP 10 REASONS TO NOT BE A LOCKSMITH
1. You always have to travel to different locations - adding fuel and time, and vans aren't cheap. (Or Lexuses, if that's how you do it.)
2. You need to be on call 24/7/365 to compete with your competition. Goodbye Christmas and Thansgiving.
3. You need to call your business 'A-1' or '1st Call' or 'A+' something to get prime page position in the yellowpages to get the lucrative 'drunk lockout' business after 2am. Yellowpage listings are expensive.
4. There are literally thousands of lock types out there. You can't afford to be choosy or expect your customer to know what type of lock they have, so you might be able to unlock it in 20 minutes, or it may take 4 hours - you don't know until you get there. Any time not on calls = study time about locks you don't know about.
5. Car locks are totally different than building locks, and require different skills and tools to work with. You know who doesn't care about this? The person calling you. You must sink money into diverse tools and training, even if you don't use them often.
6. You have to carry a diverse inventory of parts/keys/locks so you have it when you get the panicked calls at 3am and everything else is closed. Carrying cost of inventory = money
7. In metros, it may be different, but in rural areas you may get 3 - 4 calls in a day. or 1. That $120 really gets stretched over the hours you're not on paying jobs.
8. Technology is viewed as a threat by locksmiths, not a benefit. There's no "Geez, this thing will make my life easier!"; rather its "THIS DAMN ROBOT IS TAKING ALL MY KEYCUTTING BUSINESS."
9. The cost of calling a locksmith to bump your locks open is typically higher than the cost of a new door lock. Every locksmith that has gone on a call described in #3 has heard an earful of this from his customer.
10. Like others have mentioned: Locksmithing requires lots of practice and experience. It's not just bumping or picking locks; it's understanding how, why, and when to use one technique or skill over the others. This becomes the basis of success as a locksmith, and is extremely guarded and protected information. As a result, there aren't many 'old timers' willing or able to pass on what they know to younger folks. Mix in #8, and locksmithing indeed is something of a dying art. ...sad but true.