Receptionists

Receptionists—so named because they receive visitors in places of business—have the important job of giving a business's clients and visitors a positive first impression. Also called information clerks, these front-line workers are the first communication sources who greet clients and visitors to an office, answer their questions, and direct them to the people they wish to see. Receptionists also answer telephones, take and distribute messages for other employees, and make sure no one enters the office unescorted or unauthorized. Many receptionists perform additional clerical duties. Switchboard operators perform similar tasks but primarily handle equipment that receives an organization's telephone calls. There are 973,580 receptionists and information clerks employed throughout the United States.


Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Information Clerks
Duties Greet clients and visitors to an office, answer their questions, and direct them to the people they wish to see; answer telephone calls and take and distribute messages for other employees
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, urban areas
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Speech
Experience No prior experience is needed
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Outgoing
  • Talkative
Skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Organizational
  • Public Speaking
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Secretary, or Administrative Assistant, or Bookkeeper
  • Experienced Receptionist
  • Entry-Level Receptionist

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