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Working As A Receptionist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $26,000

    Average Salary

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.

Duties

Receptionists typically do the following:

  • Answer telephone calls and take messages or forward calls
  • Schedule and confirm appointments and maintain calendars
  • Greet and welcome customers, clients, and other visitors
  • Check visitors in and direct or escort them to specific destinations
  • Inform other employees of visitors’ arrivals or cancellations
  • Enter customer data and send correspondence 
  • Copy, file, and maintain paper or electronic documents
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email

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, which can affect the organization’s success.

The specific responsibilities of receptionists vary depending on 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 beauty or hair salons, they schedule appointments, direct clients to the hairstylist, and may serve as cashiers.

In factories, large corporations, and government offices, receptionists also may provide a security function. For example, they control access, provide visitor passes, and arrange to take visitors to the proper office.

When they are not busy with callers or visitors, receptionists perform other office tasks, such as processing documents or entering data.

Receptionists use telephones, computers, and other office equipment such as scanners and fax machines.

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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.

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Receptionist Career Paths

Receptionist
Office Assistant Executive Assistant
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant Accountant
Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Assistant Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Administrator Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Executive Administrative Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Manager Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Account Executive Customer Service Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Medical Coder
Billing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Billing Specialist Medical Coder
Billing Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Owner Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Lead Receptionist 3.0 years
Nurse Receptionist 2.5 years
Receptionist 2.0 years
Desk Receptionist 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Receptionist
Cashier 19.5%
Server 4.8%
Internship 3.8%
Hostess 3.2%
Waitress 3.1%
Secretary 2.9%
Volunteer 2.7%
Manager 2.2%
Assistant 2.1%
Teller 1.9%
Top Careers After Receptionist
Cashier 14.7%
Server 5.4%
Internship 3.3%
Manager 2.5%
Waitress 2.4%
Secretary 2.3%
Assistant 2.2%
Hostess 2.1%
Volunteer 2.1%

Do you work as a Receptionist?

Average Yearly Salary
$26,000
Show Salaries
$21,000
Min 10%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
JPMorgan Chase
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Receptionist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Receptionist in the United States is $26,815 per year or $13 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $33,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Receptionist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Receptionist M. Henley Snowplowing, Inc. Aug 21, 2015 $36,899
Receptionist Jaewoon Lee and Associates, LLC May 05, 2015 $35,942
Receptionist 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC Jul 30, 2015 $34,861
Receptionist Hana Dental Center May 17, 2016 $34,258
Receptionist Appletree Preschool, Inc. Aug 27, 2015 $34,258
Receptionist 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC Sep 24, 2015 $34,258
Receptionist 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC May 22, 2015 $34,258
Receptionist and Assistant Registrar Richard L. Feigen & Co., Inc. Oct 01, 2014 $34,000
Receptionist Barrier Island Aviation, Ltd. May 01, 2016 $31,597
Receptionist Jhun's Medical P.C. Nov 25, 2016 $31,034
Receptionist E Nail, Inc. May 19, 2016 $30,638
Receptionist NIAZ Inc. DBA Farre Salon Mar 07, 2011 $29,635
Receptionist Said & Sultanzada D.D.S., P.C. Jan 31, 2011 $28,175
Receptionist All Form Tubing Inc. Jan 21, 2009 $28,070
Receptionist People's Multiple Services Oct 31, 2008 $25,169 -
$37,754
Receptionist Daso Trading, Inc. Oct 27, 2016 $25,106
Receptionists California South Church May 04, 2011 $24,940
Receptionist Triangle Grace Korean Church(Pcusa) Oct 31, 2016 $24,710
Receptionist Vienna String Institute Mar 05, 2015 $24,627
Receptionist Han Corporation(Dba Choice One Health Center) Jan 02, 2016 $24,500
Receptionist Atlantic Trading ATC Corporation Sep 16, 2008 $24,251
Receptionist Carol Yun, P.C. Jun 13, 2016 $22,838
Receptionist Travel Planner Ny LLC Aug 02, 2016 $21,986
Receptionist 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC Aug 28, 2015 $21,986
Receptionist Ikushiman USA Inc. Sep 22, 2015 $21,986
Receptionist 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC Oct 14, 2015 $21,986
Receptionist Us-UHAK Inc. Jan 28, 2016 $21,986
Receptionist Athena's Nails Corp. Apr 15, 2015 $21,736
Receptionist Family Dental Care of Elmont, PC Jun 06, 2016 $21,500
Receptionist Ji Law Firm A Professional Corporation Feb 18, 2016 $21,466

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Top Skills for A Receptionist

  1. Phone Calls
  2. Customer Service
  3. Telephone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitate students, Manage phone calls and Manage university log system with student information
  • Greeted customers/clients, provided quality customer service by answering customer inquiries, describing package of selected massage package.
  • Received and directed telephone calls and relayed conversations and pertinent messages, while maintaining accuracy, clarity, and confidentiality.
  • Communicate with various providers and clinical team members to ensure appropriate appointment scheduling or medication renewals.
  • Completed general clerical duties including data entry and filing; operated office machinery.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Receptionists

  1. Maine
  2. Nevada
  3. Washington
  4. Alaska
  5. New York
  6. Montana
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Iowa
  9. Colorado
  10. Idaho
  • (113 jobs)
  • (170 jobs)
  • (460 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (982 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (589 jobs)
  • (279 jobs)
  • (398 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)

Receptionist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 568,828 Receptionist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Receptionist Resume

View Resume Examples

Receptionist Demographics

Gender

Female

81.6%

Male

14.2%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.6%

Hispanic or Latino

20.7%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.3%

French

5.9%

Portuguese

2.1%

Russian

1.8%

German

1.6%

Chinese

1.6%

Mandarin

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Arabic

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Japanese

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Hindi

0.9%

Korean

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Tagalog

0.7%

Urdu

0.5%

Armenian

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Swedish

0.3%
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Receptionist Education

Schools

Kaplan University

8.3%

Miami Dade College

8.2%

Everest Institute

7.6%

Ashford University

6.1%

Houston Community College

5.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.4%

Remington College

5.3%

Florida State University

5.1%

Empire Beauty School

4.5%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Nassau Community College

4.1%

Monroe College

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Strayer University

3.9%

Montgomery College

3.9%

Broward College

3.9%

University of Central Florida

3.8%

Baker College

3.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

3.8%
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Majors

Business

19.1%

Health Care Administration

9.9%

Medical Assisting Services

9.8%

Psychology

7.6%

Nursing

7.6%

Criminal Justice

6.0%

General Studies

5.4%

Cosmetology

4.7%

Accounting

4.5%

Liberal Arts

3.7%

Communication

3.4%

Biology

2.7%

English

2.4%

Education

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.2%

Management

2.0%

Dental Assisting

1.7%

Medical Technician

1.7%

Sociology

1.7%

Nursing Assistants

1.6%
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Degrees

High School Diploma

34.8%

Bachelors

25.8%

Associate

19.8%

Certificate

9.1%

Diploma

6.8%

Masters

2.2%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Receptionist Employers

Jobs From Top Receptionist Employers

Receptionist Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Head Receptionist/HR by Siobhan W (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Receptionist & IHG Apprentice by Mark J (Highlights)

Career Advice on becoming a Receptionist & IHG Apprentice by Mark J (Full Version)

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Updated May 18, 2020