Key HolderJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Key holders are tasked with the opening and closing of a store. They may also be managers and are trusted associates that often do administrative duties when starting and ending the workday. They must have excellent communication skills, as they may be working with customers throughout the day. The primary responsibilities will be opening and closing the store, assisting customers, ensuring a clean workspace, managing codes and alarms, and setting employee schedules if needed.

Key holders should be skilled in operations and have experience managing and working as an associate. They may work in retail businesses, hospitality businesses, healthcare, and more. With excellent sales skills and a self-motivated attitude, key holders will succeed when they are trustworthy and have great time management.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced key holder. We are in need of an exceptionally responsible candidate with great communication and organization skills who is responsible and able to work full-time. A key holder is the first one to arrive at the storefront and the last to leave, ensuring that all is in order before setting the alarm system for the night. This position comes with a lot of responsibility. You will need a reliable form of transportation and a minimum of three years of experience in the retail industry. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assist customers as they try to find what they need around the store
  • Ensure everyone receives quality customer service 
  • Confirm that the alarm system is working properly in the morning and evening by setting and disarming it
  • Make sure that the store is organized and presentable each day
  • Oversee deliveries and other staff members
  • Arrive early to unlock the store and leave late to lock up
  • Communicate with management any concerns you may come across
  • Assist staff across the store when needed 
  • Store the security alarm codes and ensure no one else has access
  • Aid with management responsibilities when they are absent 
  • Oversee maintenance and cleaning staff to ensure all is done correctly
  • Supervise the storefront 
  • Train and support new coworkers
  • Coordinate staff schedules 
  • Manage the register and safe
  • Manage paperwork, emails, and phone calls when needed 

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent (G.E.D.)
  • 3-5 years of retail experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • 18 years or older
  • Strong product knowledge in the industry you’re working in
  • Entry-level computer skills
  • Strong time-management skills
  • Punctual and dependable
  • Able to multitask
  • Able to stand for long periods of time 
  • Be able to lift objects up to 50 pounds
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Strong leadership skills to manage a team
  • Great communication skills
  • Reliable transportation to get you to and from the store

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience in the retail industry
  • Experience in the customer service field
  • Able to speak multiple languages
  • Five years or more of experience
  • Certifications applicable to this position
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite 

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a key holder is $30,000 annually. There is an average annual bonus which equals up to $31,500. This will vary based on your location. Work experience can also cause some variance in annual salary.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$29,850$40,350
Los Angeles, California$33,650$45,550
Denver, Colorado$28,050$37,950
Washington, DC$34,150$46,250
Miami, Florida$27,900$37,800
Orlando, Florida$25,750$34,850
Tampa, Florida$26,000$35,200
Atlanta, Georgia$27,300$36,900
Chicago, Illinois$31,650$42,450
Boston, Massachusetts$33,900$45,900
Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota$27,050$36,550
New York City, New York$35,700$48,300
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$29,100$39,350
Dallas, Texas$28,300$38,300
Houston, Texas$28,200$38,100
Seattle, Washington$32,650$44,150
National Average$25,500$40,350

Typical work environment

The typical work environment for a key holder varies significantly. Most of the positions are in retail, so you are on your feet for long periods of time and may also be lifting boxes. This is also usually a full-time position, so you can expect to work from opening to closing.

Typical hours

Most key holders are full-time employees. There are times when the company may have multiple keyholders as shifts can be long and tiresome. Sometimes, one will open and the other key holder will close. Other times, key holders may work long, 12-hour shifts just a few days a week and the other key holder will work the other days. Hours vary in this field, but they usually include weekends and some holidays.

Available certifications

Becoming a key holder often requires a certain amount of experience. However, getting certifications may help replace retail sales experience and make securing a job easier. Here are some of the most popular certifications for key holders:

  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP). Knowledge of sales as a key holder is especially important. This certification helps you better understand sales. It also leaves you with knowledge relating to business management and time management. Often received by those working in sales occupations, this is especially helpful if you’re working a commission-based job. Renewal of this certification is required every three years.
  • Professional Credit Associate (PCA). This is the most common certificate in this industry. This certificate increases your knowledge and improves your overall skill in the credit industry. Renewal of this certification is required every five years.
  • National Professional Certification in Retail Management. Key holders are often thought of as managers, and when working in retail management, there is a lot you need to know. This certification provides you with skills to advance your career in retail management. Renewal is required every three years, and you’ll learn retail basics like managing a team and retail complexities as well.

Career path

Key holder jobs only require you to have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. Although a degree is not required, it can put you ahead of other candidates. A few years of retail experience is required. Having some managerial experience is also a plus. To become a key holder, you need to be trustworthy and show that you have the know-how to handle store opening and closing.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-3042

2020 Employment3,835,000
Projected Employment in 20303,795,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 1% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift39,300 decrease

Though it seems as if we’ll always need retail workers, there will still be a slight decline in the number that is needed in the next decade. This is because the majority of sales are moving to online, and fewer people are shopping in stores. However, becoming a key holder is still a stable career. There will always be a need for people to open and close the storefronts, and even with the slight decline, there are millions that are employed each year in this field.

Sample interview questions

  • Have you ever arrived at the store early to open but then realized you forgot your key at home? What did you do?
  • What is your process like when you arrive in the morning?
  • What is your process like when you are about to close the store? What do you do?
  • Has there ever been a time when you saw someone shoplifting? How did you handle the situation?
  • What are the top qualities to have as a key holder?
  • Issues with customers arise at times. If a customer is being difficult, how do you handle the situation?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you were in a stressful situation? How did you handle that?
  • Would you consider yourself self-motivated?
  • Can you tell me why you would be a good fit for this position?
  • Have you shopped at our store before?
  • How would you explain yourself in one line?
  • How do you measure your success?

Are you interested in becoming a key holder?

If you are ready to begin your career as a key holder, we can connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to find out if you might be a perfect fit for one of our available job openings. If a job opening is not a good fit for you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with many of the most well-known organizations in the country. You might be on your way to your next job or career as a key holder. You can check out our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.

Similar job titles and careers

  • Assistant Store Manager 
  • Retail Store Manager 
  • Store Manager 
  • Sales Associate 
  • Associate Team Lead
  • Sales Clerk
  • Assistant Front End Manager
  • Customer Service Retail Associate 
  • Retail Key Holder
  • Retail Store Supervisor

Key Holder Jobs in Ashburn

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