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.

What responsibilities are common for Receptionist jobs?
  • 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
What are the typical qualifications for Receptionist jobs?
  • 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
EducationGED / High School Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 Year

Receptionist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$40,238 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$31K
Median: $40K
$53K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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.

Receptionist
$40,238/yr
Senior Receptionist
$41,035/yr
Receptionist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
40%
2 - 4
29%
5 - 7
1%
8+
30%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Receptionist Insights

Read what Receptionist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Geiss MEDGeiss MED
Receptionist
Nov 3, 2022

“Everyone is so lovely and helpful it really is such a nice energy to have around.”

MedRite Urgent CareMedRite Urgent Care
Front Desk Receptionist
Mar 17, 2022

“I got along with everyone and the urgent i worked at was amazing the front end got along Great”

Trillium DentalTrillium Dental
Medical Reception
Oct 20, 2021

“I liked the work and I liked the patience and my boss was cool so I guess no issues”

Rapport (London)Rapport (London)
Front Desk Receptionist
Jul 25, 2022

“They give opportunities to people coming from different industries and it is a good first step in your corporate career”

Holiday Inn ExpressHoliday Inn Express
Front Desk Receptionist
Jan 27, 2021

“Pay wasn’t super great but it was a good job while going to school.”

Focus On Function
Door Greeter
Aug 6, 2022

“The job and supervisor itself was great I enjoyed doing the job of QA Medical records.”

Smith.aiSmith.ai
Virtual Receptionist
Sept 29, 2022

“I love working at Smith.ai because everyone is so helpful and they want you to succeed.”

Andrew Lin MD
Medical Receptionist
Oct 18, 2021

“workers and doctor is nice and understanding; allows me to learn and make mistakes.”

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Receptionist Interviews

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.

A receptionist's salary depends heavily on the employer and the importance of the role to the company. Receptionists who speak more than one language can expect a more generous salary package. The average salary for a receptionist is modest, estimated at $40,238 per year.

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.

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Receptionist jobs