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Key Holder Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: September 27, 2023

A Key Holder, or Retail Key Holder, opens and closes a store and performs other administrative duties in a retail setting. Their main duties include assisting customers when needed, making sure the store is organized, neat and tidy and ensuring the alarm system is working properly.

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Key Holder Duties and Responsibilities

A Key Holder needs to carry out a number of duties to excel at their job. These responsibilities include:

  • Opening and closing the store every day
  • Managing the store’s security alarm system, including ensuring it’s in perfect condition, enabling it and disabling it when necessary
  • Storing and protecting the security alarm codes, changing them when necessary
  • Making sure that the store is always clean and properly organized
  • Assisting store cashiers at peak periods
  • Setting employee schedules
  • Attending to customer requests or inquiries in the store
  • Filling in for the store manager when required
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Key Holder Job Description Examples

What Does a Key Holder Do?

Key Holders work in a retail store to ensure it’s functioning properly and providing a great customer experience. Many of them arrive early to open the store and get items in order for the day. They’ll also typically stay late to close up the store and ensure everything is ready for the following day.

Many Key Holders oversee the other employees to ensure they’re providing a good customer experience and will assist customers with any questions they may have if other staff members are busy. They’re also in charge of maintaining the alarm and security system to keep the store safe and protected. Key Holders are responsible for setting up and arming these systems.

Key Holder Skills and Qualifications

A qualified Key Holder will have the following prerequisite skills and qualifications:

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Good interpersonal and people skills
  • Top-notch customer relation skills
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Good attention to details

Key Holder Salary Expectations

The data is not available for the average salary of a Key Holder. However, salary will likely vary depending on location and company.

Key Holder Education and Training Requirements

A high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate is enough to apply to this role. The store can provide on-the-job training for Key Holders. However, training and certification in retail management, sales and merchandising, retail operations or marketing operations may be useful.

Key Holder Experience Requirements

A qualified Key Holder should have a minimum of three years of work experience in retail. They should be familiar with security alarm systems, enabling and disabling them. Key Holders should also be familiar with point of sale software and opening and closing the tills. They should be comfortable working on the shop floor and attending to customers.

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Frequently asked questions about Key Holders

Who reports to the Key Holder?

Though Key Holders usually serve in a higher-level role than most of the other retail employees, some of them don’t have employees who report directly to them. In most work settings, cashiers and other retail workers may report to the Key Holder when their Store Manager is absent.

Though they don’t provide disciplinary actions or create employee schedules, they may still come to the Key Holder with any complex issues they’re experiencing in the store or with a customer, since the Key Holder usually has advanced experience and knowledge of the store and retail setting. Some Key Holder may also be responsible for conducting training and orientation sessions for new staff members.

What's the difference between a Key Holder and a Store Manager?

Though they both serve in higher-level roles within a retail store, there are some key differences between a Key Holder and a Store Manager. The Store Manager oversees the store’s day-to-day operations and works hands-on with the other retail employees, like the baggers and cashiers. The Store Manager also conducts business and sales strategies to more effectively sell products.

The Key Holder doesn’t work as closely with implementing sales and business tactics. They mainly make sure the store is running properly from open to close. Key Holders will also regularly examine the store floor for any problems with the working conditions and will notify the Store Manager. Both these roles typically collaborate with each other to create a well-functioning store.

What makes a good Key Holder?

A good Key Holder should be very responsible, as they’re regularly in charge of handling keys to the store to open and close it before and after operational hours. They must also be effective problem solvers and critical thinkers to logically resolve any customer or product issues.

Since they often assist customers with finding what they’re looking for and answering any questions, they should have effective customer service skills. Strong Key Holder candidates must also be physically in shape, as they regularly move around the store and perform many tasks and responsibilities while on their feet.

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