Receptionist Career Information

Pursuing a receptionist career begins with developing good communication skills. The receptionist is often the first contact for someone new to the business, a new client, customer or patient, visitors from corporate offices and other important people. Since they are the first point of contact for most businesses, receptionists should also have good manners. Receptionists usually enjoy an hourly wage above minimum wage and should have skills to match. Good typing, language and computer skills are helpful for this career path. Familiarity with multiline phone systems is another general requirement for this kind of position.


In general, a high school diploma or GED is required for a receptionist career. Receptionists may find better career prospects by receiving training in a particular area. For instance, a receptionist who plans to work for a medical firm could receive a two-year degree in medical transcription or a related area. Familiarity with the jargon of the industry and certain computer programs and calling systems is usually required. These skills are usually gained through on-the-job experience.

Receptionist Duties

Receptionists are responsible for coordinating telephone calls, meetings, receiving visitors, taking notes and sometimes accounting information and other files, depending on the requirements of the position. Receptionists are an important part of any business team. Receptionists keep everything running smoothly and represent the first impression a new visitor has of their place of employment.

Job Options

Many receptionists find employment as front desk receptionists. A front desk receptionist works at the entrance or lobby of a building and performs general receptionist duties. Receptionists may also find employment as clerks. Receptionists work in dental, medical, optical and human resource facilities. Some receptionists find employment working for individuals on a contract basis. This kind of receptionist may be called a personal receptionist and assist small business operations.

Receptionist Pay

The highest pay is generally in medical offices. Receptionists are paid an hourly wage that is usually between $10 to 12 per hour. Experience increases chances of higher pay. Receptionists may work full- or part-time and may work multiple jobs. Some receptionists may choose to gain experience by taking part-time jobs that require no experience to gain new skills. Some personal receptionists start out part-time and may move to full-time at the discretion of the employer.


Further education is required for advancement in a receptionist career. Receptionists may consider four-year degree programs in any area, such as communications, English, or a foreign language that would aid chances of finding employment. Receptionists may have some experience working with accounting practices, like billing and bookkeeping. As a result, receptionists who desire advancement may also find their career path useful in a business major like accounting, business or economics. Receptionists may advance to similar positions for which further education is usually required, such as administrative assistant or administrator.