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Become A Switchboard Operator, Receptionist

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Working As A Switchboard Operator, 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

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $24,559

    Average Salary

What Does A Switchboard Operator, 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 Switchboard Operator, 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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Average Length of Employment
Telephone Operator 2.9 years
Receptionist 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Switchboard Operator, Receptionist
Receptionist 14.0%
Cashier 10.2%
Secretary 4.4%
Teller 3.5%
Internship 2.5%
Clerk 2.0%
Volunteer 1.9%
Server 1.8%
Top Careers After Switchboard Operator, Receptionist
Receptionist 13.4%
Cashier 5.7%
Teller 4.0%
Secretary 3.7%
Clerk 1.8%

Do you work as a Switchboard Operator, Receptionist?

Switchboard Operator, Receptionist Demographics

Gender

Female

92.6%

Male

5.7%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

77.1%

French

5.7%

Portuguese

2.9%

Carrier

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Swedish

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

German

1.4%

Bosnian

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Korean

1.4%
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Switchboard Operator, Receptionist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.1%

Liberty University

11.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.8%

Wake Technical Community College

4.8%

Miami Dade College

4.8%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.8%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Colorado Technical University

4.8%

Hinds Community College

4.0%

Henry Ford College

4.0%

Pellissippi State Community College

4.0%

William Rainey Harper College

4.0%

College of DuPage

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

University of Houston

4.0%

Greenville Technical College

4.0%

Grand View University

3.2%

Sullivan University

3.2%

Ferris State University

3.2%

Ashford University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

25.8%

Health Care Administration

10.4%

Psychology

6.6%

Accounting

6.1%

General Studies

4.9%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.0%

Nursing

3.7%

Education

3.7%

Management

3.4%

Human Services

3.3%

Elementary Education

3.2%

Communication

3.1%

Computer Science

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

2.7%

Cosmetology

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.2%

English

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

43.8%

Bachelors

23.5%

Associate

16.2%

Certificate

7.2%

Masters

5.6%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.7%
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Top Skills for A Switchboard Operator, Receptionist

  1. Greeting Visitors
  2. Phone Calls
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed the receptionist area, including greeting visitors and responding to telephone and in-person requests for information.
  • Answered phone calls for the entire corporate office of Life Care with over 100 people in office.
  • Provided exceptional customer service by answering incoming calls on the switchboard and distributing the calls accordingly and accurately.
  • Greeted visitors and vendors, answered telephones and directed calls to 700 employees, data entry for legal and real estate departments
  • Received and directed telephone calls and visitors to the proper departments, staff and employees.

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