What does a Receptionist do?
Receptionists are responsible for greeting visitors and delivering exceptional customer service assistance. This entails answering calls and fielding them accordingly, addressing visitor questions and needs, and providing an overall welcoming environment. This oftentimes includes performing ad hoc administrative duties as needed. Receptionists are employed across almost every industry.
Receptionists generally have a high school diploma or equivalent. Most training for receptionist positions take place on-the-job. Receptionists oftentimes advance into administrative assistant roles. The best receptionists are friendly, extremely organized, and comfortable multi-tasking.
- Answer and direct phone calls in a polite and friendly manner
- Welcome visitors in a warm and friendly manner, and answer any questions visitors have
- Maintain reception area and all common areas in a clean and tidy manner at all times
- Operate standard office equipment on a regular basis, including a fax machine, a copy machine, and a computer
- Keep detailed and accurate records of visitor requests and of calls received
- Receive deliveries; sort and distribute incoming mail
- Take inventory of supplies and restock as needed
- Maintain the general office filing system
- High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
- 2-3 years of relevant experience in an office environment
- Proficient in Microsoft Office
- Able to type 35 wpm minimum
- Strong phone skills
- Demonstrated ability to read, write, and speak English
- Comfortable multi-tasking and prioritizing tasks without guidance
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Punctual with strong attendance history
Average Base Pay
Receptionist Career Path
Learn how to become a Receptionist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
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“I liked the work and I liked the patience and my boss was cool so I guess no issues”
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“Training is paid and involved enough that you really get an idea of the expectations of the job.”
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of receptionists
Receptionists are gatekeepers. An office may have one main receptionist to handle general visitors and separate receptionists for its top executives. During the typical day of a receptionist, he or she takes phone calls, schedules appointments, and manages internal and external traffic within the office space. They are communicators who are skilled in overt and subtle conversation.
Though it's not necessarily reflected in their salary or title, receptionists can become the most powerful people in the office. Receptionists are aware of almost everything that occurs in the office. The advantages of being a receptionist are that they work fixed hours and are generously compensated for any overtime.
Working as a receptionist, you may bear the brunt of visitors' and supervisors' frustrations. One of the challenges of being a receptionist is juggling multiple schedules. Once you find an organizational system that works for you, handling the minutiae of the job could become easier. Receptionists are expected to be familiar with office scheduling software and have to make swift adjustments when schedules change.