This is the first person someone sees or talks to when he or she contacts an organization. Receptionists serve as representatives of the company and have to establish an excellent first impression. Typical job duties include:
- Answering telephone calls
- Greeting and welcoming visitors
- Scheduling appointments
- Opening the day’s mail
Responsibilities vary according to the organization. Medical receptionists, for example, may obtain personal or financial information from patients. More than one-third of all receptionists work in service industries, especially in health-related fields. Manufacturing, trade, government and real estate offices also employ a large number of receptionists. Because many receptionists work with the public, a professional appearance, a pleasant personality and a clear speaking voice are necessary.
A high-school diploma or its equivalent is the most common educational requirement. Recommended training includes computers and word processing. Receptionists generally earn between $11 and $15 per hour. (Salary data is based on information from PayScale.com and varies based on experience.)