Receptionist job description, responsibilities, and salary

Last updated: April 24, 2024
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Jennifer Young
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Receptionist job description, responsibilities, and salary
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There are around 1,105,300 receptionist positions in the U.S, and the outlook for receptionist jobs is good, with an expected 4% increase by 2029.

If you're interested in working as a receptionist, there are a few things you need to know. To help you decide if this career path is right for you, we've put together the following guide.

We'll explain what a receptionist is and the skills you need for the job. And we'll tell you about the main job duties and the minimum requirements.

You’ll learn about how much you can earn and where to look for receptionist jobs. Plus, we’ll give you our top receptionist resume tips.

Let’s get started.

What is a receptionist?

A receptionist works in a company’s reception area. They're the first point of contact, and they answer phones and greet visitors.

Receptionists provide administrative support to other members of the team. For example, they may take bookings, schedule meetings, and prepare meeting rooms.

The role can vary depending on the type of business. Some receptionists deal directly with the public. They may make appointments and accept payments for services.

Others work for large enterprises and greet and log staff as they enter the building.

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Receptionists can work in a range of industries, including health care, real estate, personal care services, hospitality, government organizations, and small businesses.

What skills do you need to be a receptionist?

If you want to be a receptionist, you'll need to have good communication and customer service skills. As the first point of contact in the front office, a receptionist may need to assist customers and handle complaints.

You may have to manage different tasks at the same time. So, you'll need to be good at multitasking and have excellent organizational skills.

For example, a receptionist may need to juggle answering the phone, photocopying documents, and sending emails.

Receptionists need to be confident using computer programs such as Microsoft Office and scheduling software.

And, as a receptionist, you'll need to be trustworthy, as you may have access to sensitive company data.

What are the main receptionist job responsibilities?

Receptionists perform a range of administrative tasks. Let's take a look at the duties you may find in a receptionist job description:

1. Greet clients

Receptionists greet staff and customers. They may need to check identification, record the details in visitor logbooks, and hand out visitor badges.

They use their interpersonal skills to give a good first impression and always treat customers in a professional manner.

Receptionists may direct visitors to waiting rooms, offices, or conference rooms.

2. Manage phone calls

Receptionists may need to use a switchboard to answer phone calls in a timely manner, as well as screen or redirect incoming phone calls.

Receptionists may also make telephone calls to follow up appointments, schedule meetings, book travel arrangements, and make general inquiries.

They need to use their strong verbal communication skills to speak clearly and confidently on the phone.

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3. Process mail

Receptionists are often responsible for mail management. They may receive and sort the daily mail and sign for any deliveries.

Some receptionists need to open letters and sort them in order of priority. They may look out for junk mail and get invoices ready for payment.

Depending on the office, a receptionist may also process outgoing mail. For example, they may transcribe or type letters and get parcels ready for shipping.

4. Use technology

Receptionists need to be confident using technology. They use office equipment, such as copiers, fax machines, phones, and computers.

While faxing is common in offices, many receptionists now rely on email.

As a receptionist, you’ll often need to use Microsoft Office software, such as Excel for data entry and Word for word processing.

If they work for a business with customers or patients, the receptionist may need to take cash and credit card payments.

5. Order office supplies

Receptionists are often in charge of ordering office supplies. They may be responsible for restocking stationery, printer cartridges, and toilet paper.

If it's a health service, they may need to order tools and equipment such as masks, gloves, and machine components.

The receptionist may also keep the staff kitchen stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks.

What are the minimum requirements to be a receptionist?

If you want to be a receptionist, you'll need a high school diploma or GED.

You'll also need computer skills and typing accuracy. Receptionist positions often come with on-the-job training. Most businesses have their own systems in place that you'll need to learn.

Receptionists who perform well may advance to an administrative assistant or office manager position.

How much does a receptionist earn?

A receptionist’s salary can vary depending on your experience, the company, and your responsibilities.

The average rate is $31,110 per year, or $14.96 per hour.

Where can you find receptionist jobs?

Are you looking for open receptionist positions?

You can browse receptionist vacancies in your area on Jobcase’s job search.

You can also search for receptionist jobs in specific fields. For example, you can browse medical receptionist jobs, dental receptionist jobs, and front desk receptionist jobs.

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Resume tips for receptionist jobs

Before you apply for a receptionist job, make sure your resume is ready.

To help you boost your chances of getting a job, here are our top receptionist resume tips:

  • Include a cover letter with your resume, and address it to the hiring manager

  • Highlight soft skills such as time management and customer service skills

  • Add any relevant office experience

  • Use an example of when you had to multitask

  • List your computer skills

  • Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors

  • Have references ready who will verify your skills and experience

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date

Working as a receptionist

In this article, we told you about the top receptionist job duties. They greet visitors, answer phone calls, process mail, use technology, and order office supplies.

We gave you insight into the skills you need for a receptionist position and the minimum requirements. Plus, you learned about the average receptionist’s salary and where you can find a job.

Finally, we shared a list of our top receptionist resume tips to help you with your job search.

If you want more resume and interview tips, make sure you visit Jobcase’s resource center. You can also find jobs in every industry on our job search.



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