Receptionist

What the job involves

As a receptionist your daily jobs could include greeting and directing visitors to the correct person or department, maintaining the visitors’ book and giving out security passes. Answering enquires in person, by phone or email, and managing any booking/appointment systems. Sometimes you may have to handle cash and organise meeting rooms. If you enjoy talking and meeting new people, being a receptionist could be the job for you.

Personal qualities

As a receptionist you will need to be friendly, approachable and confident whilst having the ability to stay calm under pressure. You will need to have good spoken and written communication skills, and the ability to be polite but firm when dealing with impatient or upset people. You need to be able to deal with technical office equipment such as computers, fax machines, and photocopiers and keep the workplace organised and tidy.

Working conditions

Working hours are usually between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. However in some organisations, such as hotels and hospitals, you may need to cover weekend and evening shifts.

Part-time work is often available.

Qualifications and training

You may not need formal qualifications; however some employers will prefer you to have GCSEs in English and maths. A good working knowledge of Microsoft programmes would be helpful. Undertaking a full-time college course or apprenticeship in reception work or administration (such as the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration) will be looked on favourably by employers.

Getting into the profession

Receptionist jobs and apprenticeship vacancies could be found in a variety of places, i.e.:

Salary and benefits

Receptionist can earn between £11,500 and £19,000 a year.

Progression

Opportunities exist to progress into a role such as reception team leader. Additional qualifications undertaken can also allow you to move into other related areas, for example qualifications in administration could lead you into a more administrative role or work as a personal assistant.

Further information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our career profiles, however we advise that you check with the relevant college/university/organisation that you are intending studying with in regards to current entry criteria.