A receptionist is often the first person in an organisation that a client will come into contact with. The receptionist's desk can be a hive of activity while they greet visitors, transfer calls and make appointments.
Who can I work for?
Companies of all sizes employ receptionists particularly those meeting clients face to face, such as healthcare providers, legal practitioners, therapists and leisure centres.
Where and when can I work?
In an office environment the working hours are approximately 9am to 5.30pm. Other industries, such as leisure or health, will require working into the evenings and weekends too.
What can I earn?
Salaries for full time receptionists start at £12,400 per annum, with the average wage between £14-£16k. City centre companies typically offer a higher wage with senior and experienced receptionists earning in excess of £18k per annum.
What are the benefits?
Receptionists have the opportunity to be in contact with most members of staff, clients and visitors, making it a lively, people orientated role. Some positions offer the opportunity to gain experience in administrative and secretarial duties.
Are there chances of promotion?
Larger companies will require more than one receptionist making senior positions such as Head of Reception available. Reception is also a great way for junior staff members to gain admin experience with the possibility of progressing into secretarial or administrative roles.
What will I be responsible for?
Typical duties of the receptionist include, greeting members of the public, answering incoming calls, administration, welcoming clients to the premises and taking payments.
What qualifications do I need?
No formal qualifications are required for receptionists but an NVQ in business administration or customer services will give you an edge over fellow applicants.
Do I need any experience?
Proven basic computer skills are usually a requirement and previous experience of a telephone switchboard can be an advantage. Customer service skills are transferable and if required, gain client-facing work experience by volunteering for charitable organisations.
What attributes are needed?
Sometimes working on a reception desk can be a pressured environment, so keeping a cool head whilst multi tasking is essential. A receptionist must be able to demonstrate excellent communication skills, both written and verbal thus creating a good first impression of the company.