What is a Receptionist?

Receptionist Job Description

A receptionist is a person who supports management at all levels of the organization and generally greets the public and answers the company telephone. Their role as the face of the company requires excellent interpersonal skills, customer service skills, telephone etiquette and good communication skills.  Good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task are also a must as Receptionists perform many duties including taking messages, scheduling appointments, and maintaining employee files.

Receptionist Duties

According to bls.gov, some of the daily duties Receptionists perform are documented as follows:

  • Answering telephone calls and taking messages
  • Scheduling appointments including managing and maintaining electronic calendars
  • Greeting customers, clients, and other visitors
  • Responding to inquiries and generally representing the company
  • Check visitors in and direct or escort them to specific destinations
  • Inform other employees of visitors’ arrivals or cancellations
  • Enter customer data and send correspondence
  • Ability to remain calm in a crisis
  • Copy, file, and maintain paper or electronic documents
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email

Receptionist Job Description

The following is an example of two Receptionist job descriptions posted on the Internet by companies seeking Receptionists in 2016.

Sample Job Descriptions

Sample 1 – Receptionist for a Medical Office: While performing the essential functions of the job, the receptionist, being the first contact for patients and visitors, must represent the health center in the most courteous, compassionate, and professional manner and provide quality reception and customer service.

  • Greets patients and visitors in person or by telephone in a positive and helpful manner.
  • Takes message and returns call back to patient as necessary
  • Schedules new and existing patient appointments using eClinical Works scheduling system.
  • Assists in the confirmation of patient appointments at least 24 hrs in advance and enters proper code in eClinical Works.
  • Directs calls and visitors to the appropriate individual or department following accepted protocol.
  • Complies with applicable policies and procedures and supports the Compliance Program.
  • Ability to perform in a stressful situation and high volume environment.
  • Ability to handle heavy phone/patient traffic while maintaining courteous and professional demeanor.

Sample 2 – Receptionist for an Employment Agency: To act as first point of contact for customers and others either calling in by telephone or by entering the premises as well as performing other tasks as requested. Main Duties and Responsibilities include:

  • Maintains a friendly and positive attitude both in person and on the phone.
  • Greets customers and visitors and directs them accordingly.
  • Answers phones promptly.
  • Takes messages and route them to their destination.
  • Alerts all departments of incoming fax messages. Distributes mail to all departments, outgoing and incoming daily.
  • Maintains current employee address and phone list

Receptionist Skills

Here are some common Receptionist skills required for many job postings by companies seeking Receptionists.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Good customer service skills
  • Essential telephone etiquette knowledge
  • Good communication skills -Ability communicate effectively, both orally and in writing with co-workers and clients
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to type 30-40 Words Per Minute
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of organization, planning, records management and general administration.
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment, including but not limited to, computers, telephone systems, calculators, copiers and facsimile machines.
  • Ability to multi-task as Receptionists are often required to manage many different tasks at one time including taking messages, scheduling appointments and maintaining employee files.
  • Be a team-player and be able to work on their own initiative in a dynamic and challenging environment
  • Maintain Integrity and confidentiality

Receptionist Salary and Job Outlook

According to the bureau of labor statistics, the demand for Receptionists is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Receptionists are employed in nearly every industry including technology, healthcare, physicians’ and dentists’ offices, law offices, veterinary offices, and hair salons. Receptionists can be employed both full and part time and about 3 in 10 worked part time in 2014 according to bls.gov.

Annual Salary is $26,760 per year or $12.87 per hour. (This may vary significantly depending on the region of employment and the level of responsibility the job entails.)