Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.
Receptionists typically do the following:
Receptionists are often the first employee of an organization to have contact with a customer or client. They are responsible for making a good first impression for the organization–an impression that can affect the organization’s success.
The specific responsibilities of receptionists vary with where they work. Receptionists in hospitals and doctors’ offices may collect patients’ personal information and direct patients to the waiting room. Some may handle billing and insurance payments.
In large corporations and government offices, receptionists may provide a security function. For example, they control access to the organization, provide visitor passes, and arrange to take visitors to the proper office.
Receptionists use telephones, computers, and other office equipment, such as scanners and fax machines.
Although hiring requirements vary by industry and employer, receptionists typically need a high school diploma and good communication skills.
Receptionists typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and employers may prefer to hire candidates who have experience with certain computer software applications. Courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications can be particularly helpful.
Most receptionists receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few days up to a month. Training typically covers procedures for visitors and for telephone and computer use.
Receptionists may advance to other administrative occupations with more responsibilities, such as secretaries and administrative assistants.
Communication skills. Receptionists must speak and write clearly so that others may understand them.
Customer-service skills. Receptionists represent an organization, so they should be courteous, professional, and helpful toward customers and the public.
Integrity. Receptionists may handle client and patient data, especially in medical and legal offices. They must be trustworthy and protect their clients ‘ privacy.
Interpersonal skills. Receptionists should be comfortable interacting with people, even in stressful situations.
Organizational skills. Receptionists take messages, schedule appointments, and maintain employee files. They need good organizational skills to manage their diverse responsibilities.
Employment of receptionists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Growing healthcare industries are projected to lead demand for receptionists, particularly in the offices of physicians, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners.
Employment growth of receptionists in most other industries is expected to be slower as organizations continue to automate or consolidate administrative functions, such as by using computer software or websites to interact with the public or customers.
Overall job prospects should be good, especially in the healthcare industries. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.
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