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Become An Administrative Receptionist

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Working As An Administrative Receptionist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $33,910

    Average Salary

What Does An Administrative Receptionist Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Administrative Receptionist

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Administrative Receptionist jobs

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Administrative Receptionist Career Paths

Administrative Receptionist
Office Administrator Human Resources Coordinator Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Data Entry Specialist Office Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accounting Manager Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Specialist Account Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Paralegal Office Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Account Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Home Health Aid Unit Secretary
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Associate Office Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk Specialist
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Coordinator Payroll Specialist
Payroll Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Instructor General Manager
President/Chief Executive Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Finance Analyst Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Recruiter Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Associate Home Health Aid Technician
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Program Secretary 3.0 years
Lead Receptionist 2.8 years
Office Specialist 2.8 years
Secretary 2.8 years
Staff Assistant 2.6 years
Office Secretary 2.5 years
Office Assistance 2.4 years
Office Assistant 2.0 years
Receptionist 1.9 years
Legal Receptionist 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Receptionist 12.9%
Cashier 5.5%
Internship 2.6%
Secretary 2.5%
Teller 2.1%
Top Employers After
Receptionist 11.3%
Cashier 4.4%
Internship 2.2%
Server 2.1%
Volunteer 1.9%

Administrative Receptionist Demographics

Gender

Female

89.8%

Male

8.2%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

76.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.2%

French

5.0%

Portuguese

5.0%

Mandarin

4.4%

Italian

3.9%

Korean

3.3%

Japanese

3.3%

Chinese

2.8%

German

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Russian

1.7%

Thai

1.7%

Swahili

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Catalan

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%
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Administrative Receptionist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

7.1%

Strayer University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.4%

Kaplan University

5.4%

Ashford University

4.9%

George Mason University

4.9%

Grand Canyon University

4.9%

Houston Community College

4.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.5%

Cerritos College

4.0%

California State University - East Bay

3.6%

Miami Dade College

3.6%

New York University

3.1%

San Jose State University

3.1%

Bergen Community College

3.1%

Broward College

3.1%

University of South Florida

2.7%

University of Maryland - University College

2.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

27.6%

Health Care Administration

9.0%

Psychology

6.9%

Accounting

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

4.9%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Education

4.5%

Communication

4.5%

General Studies

3.9%

Legal Support Services

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Nursing

3.3%

English

3.0%

Marketing

2.6%

Management

2.1%

Human Resources Management

2.1%

Fine Arts

2.0%

Finance

2.0%

Public Relations

2.0%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

36.1%

Bachelors

30.0%

Associate

16.9%

Certificate

6.8%

Masters

6.2%

Diploma

2.6%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for An Administrative Receptionist

DataEntryCustomerServiceFrontDeskPayrollAppointmentSchedulingReceptionAreaSortTravelArrangementsOfficeEquipmentAppropriatePersonFedexHRTelephoneCallsMulti-LinePhoneSystemConferenceRoomPowerpointTemporaryAdministrativeTasksExpenseReportsSpecialProjects

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Top Administrative Receptionist Skills

  1. Data Entry
  2. Customer Service
  3. Front Desk
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cashier and payroll duties, reception and data entry, assisting applicants in the hiring process.
  • Provided outstanding customer service in a pleasant and professional manner.
  • Carried out general administrative duties and communicated professionally and frequently as the front desk point of contact.
  • Assembled company newsletters to payroll documents.
  • Calendar management, appointment scheduling, correspondence via email.

Top Administrative Receptionist Employers