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
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
Alternate Title(s) Information Clerks
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, urban areas
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
Related School Subjects
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Speech
Experience No prior experience is needed
Skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Organizational
  • Public Speaking
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Outgoing
  • Talkative
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Secretary, or Administrative Assistant, or Bookkeeper
  • Experienced Receptionist
  • Entry-Level Receptionist

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