Receptionists greet people who arrive such as clients, customers, patients and visitors. They help people to find where they need to go and answer any questions they may have. They have to be polite, friendly and helpful to everyone who visits. The tasks that receptionists do depend on where they work. This might be in a hair and beauty salon or a sports centre. Some receptionists may work in hotels or doctors’ surgeries.
- Greet visitors and direct them to the correct person or department
- Manage people signing in and give out security passes
- Answer enquiries in person, by phone and email
- Manage a room booking system and keep rooms tidy
- Deal with incoming and outgoing post and deliveries
- Arrange appointments and update records on databases
- Take payments and handle invoices
Receptionists are employed in all types and sizes of organisations. As a receptionist you may work in a school, college, sports centre, local councils, and dental, doctor or veterinary surgeries as some examples.
Receptionists usually work indoors. They often sit behind a desk at the entrance to the organisation. They have to dress smartly and may wear a uniform so they make a good impression on customers.
Receptionists usually work around 40 hours a week. Some receptionists work part-time. The hours of work may include some early mornings, evenings, weekends and public holidays. This depends on the employer and who employs you.
Starting salary is around £15,593. Predicted trends -39% decline leading to: 80,423 fewer jobs by 2027.
There are no set exams that you have to do to become a receptionist, it will be dependent upon the employer. Most employers will ask for some GCSEs, usually including English and Maths, or equivalent or an intermediate apprenticeship. However, you could begin as an admin assistant in an organisation, for example by doing temporary work, then apply for a permanent job as a receptionist when a vacancy becomes available or apply through a supported internship programme. In a hotel for example, you could start in housekeeping or admin and do further training on the job to become a receptionist.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the DfE exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry Level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be competent enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.
College – Getting a college qualification may be helpful for reception work. You could start off with a Level 1 Certificate in Business and Administration (office administration) if you have no formal qualifications.