How to Become a Receptionist

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Becoming a receptionist involves developing excellent customer service skills, a warm demeanor, and the ability to handle paperwork efficiently. Receptionists are generally the first people customers and visitors see when they enter a business, which requires a professional manner and appearance.[1] Administrative support staff, such as receptionists, belong to one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. By the year 2020, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the number of open positions for such workers will increase by 24 percent.[2]

Wikimedia Commons: Evan Bench
Education High school diploma[2]
Starting pay $8.44 per hour[3]
Median pay $12.14 per hour[3]
10 yr growth Faster than average: 24%[2]
Related professions Administrative assistant
Author Selena Robinson

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Receptionist Job Overview

The job of a receptionist is to receive customers and clients in a friendly manner, provide necessary information, and direct customers to their superiors when appropriate. They may be asked to screen phone calls, direct visitors to the appropriate department, or explain the proper way to complete paperwork. In some cases, receptionists may perform mail duties, such as opening letters, typing responses, and ferrying mail to the post office.[4]

Receptionist Careers

Receptionists may be employed in just about any career field, as long as the business is large enough to require their services. Some receptionists work in the service industry, serving as customer service support for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Others may be employed in the business sector, the legal industry, or the financial services field. Government agencies also make use of receptionists.[5]

Receptionist Education

Most companies do not stipulate a formal education requirement for receptionists. Many people who work in this profession are able to find work after completing a high school diploma. However, students who are considering a career as receptionists can take classes in school that may help them to find work quickly. Relevant high school courses for receptionists may include computer science, English, math, and public speaking.[6]

Receptionist Training

Receptionists often complete some on-the-job training after being hired. While they may already possess some of the important skills required for the position, they often need to learn how to operate the specific office equipment at their new company. Training may include learning how to use the office's phone system to route calls and take messages, how to organize company files, and how best to greet customers.[7] Those who wish to pursue formal receptionist training can take courses that offer certification in computer programs, data entry, or payroll accounting.[8]

Working as a Receptionist

A professional receptionist offers career advice for working in his industry

Also See: How to Become a Personal Assistant, How to Become a Virtual Assistant, How to Become a Research Assistant, How to Become an Administrative Assistant


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