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Working As a Receptionist Telephone Operator

  • 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

  • $25,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Receptionist Telephone Operator 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 Telephone Operator

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 Telephone Operator Career Paths

Receptionist Telephone Operator
Office Assistant Executive Assistant
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Legal Assistant Executive Assistant
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Telephone Operator Home Health Aid Consultant
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Telephone Operator Home Health Aid Administrator
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Telephone Operator Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Secretary Legal Secretary Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Secretary Executive Secretary Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Secretary Administrator Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Technician Shift Leader
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Consultant Assistant Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Waitress Specialist Shift Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Waitress Driver Foreman
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Waitress Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Administrator Senior Administrative Assistant
Executive Assistant To Chief Executive Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Analyst Medical Coder
Billing Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Telephone Operator 3.1 years
Legal Receptionist 2.1 years
Receptionist 2.0 years
Phone Operator 1.8 years
Desk Receptionist 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Receptionist Telephone Operator
Receptionist 12.9%
Cashier 12.2%
Secretary 4.1%
Server 3.4%
Assistant 2.3%
Hostess 1.9%
Clerk 1.9%
Top Careers After Receptionist Telephone Operator
Receptionist 11.1%
Cashier 9.5%
Secretary 3.1%
Volunteer 2.6%
Internship 2.2%
Waitress 2.2%
Assistant 2.2%
Clerk 1.7%

Do you work as a Receptionist Telephone Operator?

Top Skills for A Receptionist Telephone Operator

  1. Scheduling Appointments
  2. Direct Visitors
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Answered and assisted patients with scheduling appointments or questions through online messaging.
  • Answer and transfer all incoming calls Greet and direct visitors to the respective employees Page important company announcements
  • Answer all incoming phone calls to the clinic to schedule or cancel appointments and answer any questions patients may have.
  • Provide exemplary customer service at all times, as well as managing multiple priorities and workloads.
  • Received guests determine the nature of their visit and directed them accordingly, Operated the telephone switchboard; Prepared documents

Receptionist Telephone Operator Demographics

Gender

Female

75.7%

Unknown

13.2%

Male

11.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.5%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.7%

Portuguese

6.5%

Hindi

6.5%

Urdu

6.5%

Dari

4.3%

Swedish

2.2%

Albanian

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

French

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Somali

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Receptionist Telephone Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.1%

The Academy

7.1%

Chemeketa Community College

7.1%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.7%

University of Cincinnati

5.7%

Highland Community College

5.7%

Tidewater Community College

5.7%

Monroe College

4.3%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

4.3%

Miami Dade College

4.3%

Bergen Community College

4.3%

Burlington County College

4.3%

Bryant and Stratton College

4.3%

Prince George's Community College

2.9%

Rider University

2.9%

IVY TECH STATE COLLEGE - KOKOMO - Health Sciences

2.9%

Community College of Philadelphia

2.9%

San Diego Mesa College

2.9%

North Shore Community College

2.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.9%
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Majors

Business

24.0%

Health Care Administration

13.0%

Nursing

6.1%

Medical Assisting Services

5.4%

Accounting

5.1%

English

4.9%

Psychology

4.4%

Education

4.2%

Communication

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Hospitality Management

3.2%

General Studies

2.9%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

2.9%

Cosmetology

2.7%

Computer Science

2.4%

Computer Programming

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Human Services

2.4%

Nursing Assistants

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

40.7%

Bachelors

25.1%

Associate

15.2%

Certificate

7.8%

Diploma

5.7%

Masters

4.6%

License

0.9%
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Updated May 19, 2020