What is a Receptionist

Can you hear me now? That's because a receptionist spends quite a bit of time on the phone, but that's not all their responsible for. Receptionists also spend time helping visitors and educating the public about the organization they work for.

This is one of those jobs that comes with a lot of opportunities. In fact, there are receptionist positions across almost every industry so you definitely won't have a hard time finding a job in this field.

Typically, a receptionist needs a high school diploma. More specific training will be given once you have the job. Then, when you've got the swing of things, you'll be answering phones and helping guests like a pro.

What Does a Receptionist Do

Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.

Learn more about what a Receptionist does

How To Become a Receptionist

Although hiring requirements vary by industry and employer, receptionists typically need a high school diploma and good communication skills.

Education

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.

Training

Most receptionists receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few days to a week. Training typically covers procedures for visitors, and for telephone and computer use. Medical and legal offices also may instruct new employees on privacy rules related to patient and client information.

Advancement

Receptionists may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as secretaries and administrative assistants. Advancement opportunities often depend on the employee’s experience in using computer applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet applications.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Receptionists must speak and write clearly so that others may understand them.

Customer-service skills. Receptionists represent an organization. As a result, they should be courteous, professional, and helpful toward the public and customers.

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.

What is the right job for my career path?

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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Allstate Jobs (590)
  2. Farmers Insurance Group Jobs (451)
  3. ManpowerGroup Jobs (638)
  4. Adecco Staffing, USA Jobs (534)
  5. Kelly Services Jobs (709)
Average Salary
$29,180
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
74,127
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Receptionist

Receptionists in America make an average salary of $29,180 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,180
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12 Receptionist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Receptionist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Receptionist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Receptionist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Allstate Jobs (590)
  2. Farmers Insurance Group Jobs (451)
  3. ManpowerGroup Jobs (638)
  4. Adecco Staffing, USA Jobs (534)
  5. Kelly Services Jobs (709)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Receptionist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Receptionist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Receptionist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Receptionist Demographics

Receptionist Gender Statistics

female

91.6 %

male

8.4 %

Receptionist Ethnicity Statistics

White

58.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

22.2 %

Black or African American

10.5 %

Receptionist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

74.3 %

French

5.9 %

Portuguese

2.1 %
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Receptionist Education

Receptionist Majors

21.5 %

Receptionist Degrees

High School Diploma

33.3 %

Bachelors

28.3 %

Associate

22.1 %
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Receptionist That You May Like

Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist
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Speak Medical Spanish to Your Patients and Clients
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Spanish essentials for healthcare; program teaches correct pronunciation, pain management and medication, among others...

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Learn Logistics, Supply Chain and Customer Service. 3 Courses in 1...

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Top Skills For a Receptionist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.7% of Receptionists listed Phone Calls on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Computer skills are important as well.

  • Phone Calls, 13.7%
  • Front Office, 9.3%
  • Customer Service, 7.5%
  • Data Entry, 7.5%
  • Telephone Calls, 6.9%
  • Other Skills, 55.1%

Best States For a Receptionist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Receptionist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Receptionists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $34,536. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $33,686 and $33,087, respectively. While Receptionists would only make an average of $32,990 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Receptionist Jobs:
655
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Receptionist Jobs:
335
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New York

Total Receptionist Jobs:
1,248
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Receptionists

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Top Receptionist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Receptionists and discovered their number of Receptionist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that H&R; Block was the best, especially with an average salary of $28,222. Great Clips follows up with an average salary of $27,141, and then comes State Farm with an average of $28,805. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Receptionist. The employers include AlixPartners, PATLive, and Aston

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Becoming a Receptionist FAQs

How long does it take to become a Receptionist?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a receptionist. That is the time it takes to learn specific receptionist skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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How do I become a receptionist with no experience?

To become a receptionist with no experience involves having a good resume and cover letter, some prior work or volunteer experience, and meeting the right people. When creating a resume for a receptionist position, be sure to illustrate similar skills in past volunteer, extracurricular, or work experience.

While past jobs may not have involved receptionist duties, skills like effective communication, organization, and telephone experience can be highlighted.

Networking can be a great way to get a referral. This means building a connection of contacts of old supervisors, family members, or acquaintances.

Another great way to improve your chances of landing your dream receptionist job is to gain experience through short-term assignments at a temp agency, or as a student employee in a high school referral or college work-study program, among other options.

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Is an office assistant the same as a receptionist?

No, an office assistant is not the same role as a receptionist. While these roles can be similar in some companies and even be held by the same person, the roles are not the same.

The office receptionist is the representative of the company that visitors encounter first. Their duties are primarily in customer service, ensuring that everyone who walks through the door or who makes a phone call has a positive first impression of the company.

Meanwhile, office assistant is more focused on their administrative duties. A person in this role spends most of their day making sure that the office is running smoothly. The office assistant will type documents, send emails and faxes, schedule appointments, and perform any other office related task that they are assigned.

Essentially, an office receptionist is focused on ensuring excellent customer service, while an Office Assistant is focused on ensuring excellent office support.

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Is being a receptionist a stressful job?

Yes, being a receptionist is a stressful job. This largely depends on the company you work for. However, a typical receptionist is usually on the go for most of the day.

As a receptionist, you have to think on your feet, deal with multiple tasks at once, greet people, make bookings, emails, and take and make calls. Having to manage all these tasks at once does cause stress.

On a regular day, receptionists will have to greet visitors, have them sign into the visitor database, and handle incoming calls and accept deliveries.

Trying to do too many tasks at once can lead to things going wrong. Attempting to do too many things at once can also lead to feeling overwhelmed and being stressed out.

Receptionists also serve as the face of the company and may need to resolve issues on behalf of staff members and deal with difficult customers while maintaining a professional demeanor. For some people, having to always be the front-facing person of the company while juggling this can be very stressful.

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Is receptionist a good career?

Yes, being a receptionist is a good career. Being a receptionist can be a very rewarding job. While it doesn't pay a lot, it can open the door to a lot of exciting opportunities. It has a good work-life balance, and you get to meet a lot of interesting people.

One often overlooked benefit of being a receptionist is that they become the face of the company.

Another reason why a receptionist is a good job is that it helps to refine many different skill sets. Most receptionists must be talented multitaskers, able to manage multiple ongoing situations without breaking a sweat. Receptionists typically must have well-developed skills in computers (e.g., Microsoft 360), communication, and organizational abilities.

Receptionist jobs are often seen as short-term roles, part-time positions, or stepping stones on your overall career path.

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What are the duties of a receptionist?

The main duties of a receptionist are to receive visitors, answer phone calls, manage mail, do clerical work, organize meetings, and provide secretarial support.

Receive Visitors

  • greet visitors appropriately

  • determine visitor needs in a professional manner

  • maintain visitor register

  • offer refreshments to visitors where appropriate

  • direct visitors to the correct person

  • ensure back up when absent from reception desk

Answer Phone Calls

  • answer and address incoming phone calls in a timely and polite manner

  • clearly determine the purpose of the call

  • deal with queries and provide correct information

  • forward calls to the appropriate person

  • take and deliver messages accurately and completely

Manage Mail

  • sort and distribute incoming mail

  • prepare outgoing mail for pick-up or courier

  • organize courier deliveries

Clerical

  • photocopy and collate documents

  • fax documents

  • file documents accurately

  • maintain equipment and report any malfunctions

  • monitor, control, and order office supplies

Organize Meetings

  • book meeting room

  • inform participants

  • set up the meeting room with necessary stationery and equipment

  • organize catering for meeting

Secretarial Support

  • prepare correspondence and documents

  • update databases

  • organize mailings

  • prepare and maintain spreadsheets

  • schedule and follow up on appointments

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What are the qualifications for a receptionist?

There are no specific qualifications for being a receptionist. At a minimum, a high school or GED will suffice.

However, unless you know someone, it may be hard for you to land a job as a receptionist, as you will need to have some work experience. However, If you have a bachelor's degree, you may be hired with minimal work experience. It doesn't matter if the past jobs involved receptionist duties.

If you can communicate with customers, or organize files, or answer telephones, then you are already on your way to becoming a receptionist.

Another great way to build experience is through temporary jobs. This can help to build contacts and get referrals.

The top skills you should work on to become a good receptionist include:

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