(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Receptionist Job Description

When you walk into an office building, chances are good that the first person you will see is the receptionist.

Receptionists perform many different tasks within an office. They are normally responsible for greeting visitors and answering telephones, but they do many other things as well. The exact responsibilities for receptionist jobs vary depending on the type of office they work in.

Receptionists who work in medical offices normally sign patients in, process their paperwork, and accept their insurance information. In a beauty salon, they may work the cash register, make appointments, and provide any assistance their customers need before their appointment.

In large corporate or government buildings, receptionists often provide visitors cards, and may arrange for them to be escorted to the office they wish to visit.

Virtually all receptionists use computers and telephones to do their jobs, and some perform work that is similar to a secretary. For example, some receptionists take messages and manage their employer’s meeting calendar.

If you like to work with people and aren’t easily stressed, then getting a job as a receptionist might be right for you.

Work Environment and Schedule

Receptionists work in offices of all types, but most work in healthcare. Doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing homes all provide many opportunities for employment.

Working as a receptionist can be stressful at times, particularly when the phones are busy or when dealing with an angry customer. Breaks can be few and far between during peak office hours, so there aren’t always opportunities to step away from your desk and let off some steam. In short, working in this occupation requires a great deal of patience and excellent customer service skills.

Most receptionists work full time, but the working schedules vary depending on the employer they work for. For example, receptionists who work in a doctor’s office may be able to keep regular hours, while those who work in a hospital often have to work on nights, weekends, and holidays.

How to Become a Receptionist

The educational requirements for becoming a receptionist vary from employer to employer, but most require a minimum of a high school diploma.

Most receptionists receive on the job training that teaches them how to use the company’s phone system, computer software. Each business also has their preferred method of greeting visitors, so receptionists have to adapt their personal style to the needs of the business.

While there aren’t really any formal educational classes you can take to teach you how to be a receptionist, classes that teach Microsoft Excel or Word can be very helpful. Many employers prefer candidates who have experience with these types of software.

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Employment Outlook

There are currently 1,048,500 receptionists in the United States, with 56,560 new receptionist job openings created each year.

Receptionist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Receptionist Salaries

Overall Salaries

Receptionist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most receptionists make between $20,900 – $30,900 per year, or $10.04 – $14.87 per hour.

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