When customers, colleagues or vendors enter a business office, educational institution or government building, the first face they often see is that of the receptionist. They are responsible for giving visitors a good first impression and providing information about an enterprise. They typically have the following duties:
- Perform administrative tasks
- Inform workers of a person’s arrival
- Answer phone calls and take messages
- Schedule and confirm appointments
- Maintain and file paperwork
- Perform basic computer tasks such as entering customer information into a database
The specific duties of receptionists can vary by business.
- For example, in beauty salons, they may make hair appointments and escort clients to stylists.
- In medical offices, they may discuss insurance information with patients while asking them to fill out forms.
- In large corporations, they may act as gatekeepers by controlling access and providing visitor badges.
Although qualification differ by business, receptionists typically need at least a high school diploma.
- Courses in business and computer use are also available in vocational schools and community colleges, which may prove useful.
- Many receptionists typically receive training on the job that may last from a few days to a week or so. They learn specific company procedures, such as how to use the computer and telephone.
- Receptionists may advance to become head administrative assistants or office managers.
Employers are just as likely to look at the following important qualities, especially for receptionists who are just out of school:
- Ability to speak and write clearly, sometimes in two languages
- integrity for dealing with sensitive information, such as contracts and patient records
- Organizational skills for juggling multiple tasks at the same time, such as answering the phone and looking up information in the computer
- Interpersonal and customer-service skills because they interact with people all day, from top company executives and professionals to customers and suppliers
- Ability to remain calm and composed even under stressful situations because they represent their organization to outsiders
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for receptionists are expected to increase by 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the 7 percent growth forecast for information and record clerks, and for all occupations in all industries.
- The growth in healthcare will lead the demand, especially in the offices of doctors, dentists and other healthcare practitioners. This increase comes because federal health insurance reform has increased the number of people who can access health insurance. In addition, an aging population will be seeking more healthcare.
- Growth in other industries is expected to be slower because many businesses are consolidating and automating administrative functions. For example, computer-controlled answering machines may handle phone calls and websites may act as the initial point of contact for many clients.
- Many openings will come from the need to replace those who leave the profession. The best opportunities will go to those with a strong computer background, such as in word-processing and spreadsheet software.
The BLS states that receptionists average about $13.67 an hour or $28,430 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.70 an hour or $19,070 annually, while the upper 10 percent make more than $18.92 hourly, or $39,350 a year. The highest-paying industries for receptionists are the following:
- Postal Service: $27.74 per hour or $57,700 yearly
- Rail Transportation: $24.33 per hour or $50,600 yearly
- Natural Gas Distribution: $19.42 per hour or $40,380 yearly
- Shoe Stores: $18.30 per hour or $38,060 yearly
- Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds: $17.90 per hour or $37,240 yearly
The states with the highest salaries for the professions are the following:
- District of Columbia: $16.54 per hour or $34,400 yearly
- Connecticut: $16.03 per hour or $33,340 yearly
- Alaska: $15.70 per hour or $32,660 yearly
- Massachusetts: $15.19 per hour or $31,590 yearly
- Washington: $15.14 per hour or $31,500 yearly
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Receptionists
- OfficeTeam: Eight Skills to Highlight in Your Receptionist Resume
- Learn.org: Online Receptionist Certificates
Receptionist Resume Example
I am confident I have the office experience and skills you seek and look forward to applying my abilities at a new company. I have 15 years of administration experience in fast paced offices using Microsoft programs and typical office procedures. I take seriously the responsibility to put the best foot forward with customers; a quick response with a cheerful disposition is essential. I have extensive experience with data entry, writing, proofreading, and publishing that require accuracy, attention to detail, and careful presentation.
TechEast Limited, Boston, MA (July 2012 – August 2016)
- Managed Outlook calendars; tracked company information on Excel.
- Answered phones and executed calls accordingly.
- Data entry, filing, loss prevention; supply inventory and ordering.
- Handled payroll and Quickbooks.
- Arranged executive and employee travel, hotel, and vehicle accommodations.
- Coordinated and sat in management meetings; note documentation and distribution.
- Reviewed resumes and handled new hires, orientation, insurance, payroll; implemented staff meetings; created our employee handbook.
- Proofread, prepared, and distributed company documents
- Handled marketing and suggestions to improve business flow; traveled for trade shows and publicity.
- Company errands when necessary; handled catering for events, lunch and dinner reservations; in charge of charity events.
Nichols Industries, Boston, MA (July 2006 – June 2012)
- Set up company meetings; attended meetings for documentation purposes.
- Coordinated and hosted successful client events, including ribbon cutting ceremonies, catering and charity events.
- Created invitations and promotional materials; booked event venues; sent thank you cards.
- Handled any operational issues and repairs.
- Worked closely with the marketing team to implement business ideas.
- Handled recruiting and pre interview phone screens and new hire paperwork.
- Attended potential-hire candidate interviews with HR.
- Handled all mail, email and phone correspondence; distributed submissions accordingly.
- Tracked, scanned and filed company receipts; documented information on Excel spreadsheets.
Northeast Magazine, Boston, MA (March 2002 – June 2006)
- Served as first point of contact for company; transferred calls directly to their appropriate extensions
- Greeted all employees, clients, and interns as they entered building
- Operated locked doors and checked in any scheduled clients and office interns
- Signed off on delivered packages and emailed staff to inform them of their arrived package.
- Supported staff with various projects that required attention to detail.
Topdown Industries, Boston, MA (March 1998 – January 2002)
- Utilized company databases to receive and gather reports and to keep track of statistics when needed.
- Collected and cataloged information from reports into logbook and excel sheets for further evaluation.
- Monitored due dates for memos, reports and special projects, as assigned by our headquarters and divisional offices
- Maintained supervisors calendar and scheduled appointments as needed.
- Assisted with training session and conferences, including preparation of research papers, presentations and briefing packages.
- Arranged travel and all accommodations including comprehensive and detailed itineraries.
- Processed travel expenses and reimbursements and kept accurate and timely expense account records.
California State University, Chico – Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies