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Receptionists greet customers, clients, and other visitors and are often considered the “face of the company”.

Today,  (May 11th, 2016),  is National Receptionists Day and it will be celebrated nationwide in recognition of more than one million receptionists according to a recent press release by nationalreceptionists.com.  National Receptionists Day was first created in 1991 by the National Receptionists Association who started it because they wanted to distinguish the role that a receptionist plays in business.   National Receptionists Day occurs during National Employee Week in May and is always held on the second Wednesday in May.   It is celebrated not only in the US,  but in other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

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.

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.

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
  • Copy, file, and maintain paper or electronic documents
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email

If you’re interested in becoming a receptionist, you’ll usually be required to have a High school diploma or equivalent.  Basic computer skills including keyboarding, Microsoft word and good telephone etiquette skills are also desirable. Many companies will provide short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few days to a week. You can also take related courses at your local adult education school, college or online such as those offered on officeskills.org.

According to bls.gov, the overall job prospects for Receptionists should be very good, with the best job opportunities in the healthcare industries.  If you’re interested in exploring a receptionist related career in the medical field,  Explore a Career as an Administrative Medical Assistant with a course at ed2go.

 

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