Working as a receptionist can get your foot in the door for a promising career working in an office environment.
Most receptionist positions require little previous experience and offer plenty of opportunities to learn new skills.
While you’ll start at the low end of the pay scale, excellent receptionists who build additional skills can quickly increase their pay.
In this article, we’ll cover the range of receptionist salaries and what factors impact them. Then, we’ll take a look at the skills you can develop to earn a higher receptionist salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average receptionist salary is $31,110 per year or an hourly wage of $14.96.
Third-party sources like Salary.com say that the range of receptionist salaries falls between $32,824–$50,205.
These average receptionist salary numbers just refer to the base salary. Many receptionist jobs are located in offices with bonus structures or other benefits, offering other ways to increase your total compensation.
Like most jobs, your exact salary will depend on factors like:
Your location: You’ll earn more in one of the highest paying cities like New York or Los Angeles due to the higher cost of living.
Special skills: The more unique skills you have, the higher your total compensation might be.
Experience: More years of experience working as a receptionist often translates to a higher pay range.
Full-time or part-time work: Some offices only need a part-time receptionist rather than a full-time worker. Full-time receptionist jobs will generally result in a higher average salary.
You don't need a college degree or any previous experience for many entry-level receptionist jobs, like a front-desk receptionist. You’ll learn office norms and practices on the job.
As you build experience and skills, you can earn raises or find specialized roles like dental receptionist jobs that come with a higher base salary.
Because receptionists provide important administrative support that helps keep many offices running, the number of job openings is projected to hold steady for the next ten years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects receptionist job growth at 4% between 2020–2030.
In an entry-level receptionist job, you’ll support the day-to-day activities of your office or department.
Some of your responsibilities might include:
Greeting visitors and providing customer service
Answering and directing phone calls
Filing paperwork and making copies
Scheduling meetings or booking rooms
Ordering office supplies and other needs
But since each office runs a little differently, each receptionist job will also have a slightly different set of responsibilities, as well as a slightly different salary range.
Take a look at this receptionist job description example. While the position is responsible for the duties outlined above, they’ll also need to manage shipping and receiving for the office as well as keep common spaces clean.
If you’re looking for receptionist jobs with a higher pay range, you’ll want to take stock of any specialized skills you have.
For example, receptionists in healthcare-related jobs typically have a higher pay range than a general receptionist role. According to Salary.com, the average salary for medical receptionists is $37,184.
To qualify for medical receptionist jobs, you’ll need medical coding, claim handling, and billing skills. You’ll also need to be an organized and highly skilled receptionist, particularly if you end up working in a busy medical office.
Healthcare-related skills aren’t your only pathway to high-paying receptionist jobs, though. Here are a few other types of job skills you can develop to start earning more:
Marketing skills like social media, email marketing, or graphic design
Computer or IT skills like tech setup and troubleshooting or website updates
Human resources skills like payroll and employee onboarding
Accounting skills like purchase orders, invoicing, and data entry
Customer service skills like answering phones and problem-solving
Working as a receptionist can be a great way to get more exposure to these skills and related jobs, giving you more career and salary growth opportunities.
As you develop skills in office administration, you may also have the opportunity to move into a job that’s similar to a receptionist but with more responsibility and nuance.
Here’s a breakdown of some receptionist-related jobs that you may qualify for after gaining receptionist experience:
Administrative assistant: Rather than focusing on greeting visitors in an office, an administrative assistant works more behind the scenes, helping managers and supervisors with their administrative tasks like scheduling, booking travel, or entering data.
Office manager: This role works to support the office as a whole, rather than just one department or a small group of managers. They’re responsible for maintaining the overall function of the office and may manage a team of receptionists and administrative assistants.
Executive assistant: These high-level assistants work closely with higher-ups in the organization. They may help with project management, administration, or other tasks. It’s a much more personal level of support than an entry-level receptionist role.
Of course, as your responsibilities increase, you can expect your salary to increase too.
Average Hourly Pay
Average Annual Salary
(Data Source: Payscale.com)
Receptionist jobs offer a comfortable salary with room to grow your skills and increase your pay.
By searching for entry-level receptionist jobs, you can get your foot in the door to the world of office work. As you develop specialized skills and build up your years of experience, you can branch out into higher-level jobs and earn a higher receptionist salary.
Review your resume and brush up on your interview skills as you prepare to apply for receptionist jobs. Check out the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center for more job search tips.