A receptionist plays an integral role in an office setting. He or she manages various office tasks that make sure an office runs smoothly and efficiently. If you are organized and enjoy working with people, a career in office reception might be for you.
An office receptionist answers phone calls, files documents, greets incoming guests, schedules appointments, distributes mail and sometimes makes reservations. As a receptionist, you could work in an office setting, or be self-employed and work in a home office. To enter a career in office reception, you should be polite and supportive, possess suitable social skills and be able to communicate effectively.
With experience in office reception you could choose to pursue a career as a customer service associate, information assistant, office assistant or word processor. With additional education you could move on to a career as an administrative assistant, executive assistant, executive secretary or information coordinator. You could even choose a specialization and and become a medical receptionist or a receptionist for a doctor's office.
Postsecondary education is not always required for a position as an office receptionist; however, some employers prefer to hire receptionists with advanced training, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted that employment of receptionists and information clerks is expected to increase 15% from 2008-2018. In May 2010, the average annual salary for receptionists and information clerks was $26,260.
Educational training for office reception is typically offered at the certificate level. However, an associate degree program in office administration may offer relevant studies. You can find office reception programs at community colleges and technical schools. Some colleges might allow you to transfer your earned credits to an undergraduate program. Online specialty programs might also be available, such as online medical office receptionist degree programs or online dental receptionist training programs.
These programs can provide you with the various skills necessary for office work, such as typing, proofreading and editing. Studies might include bookkeeping, computers, customer care, data entry, mathematics, record keeping and workforce readiness. Classes on computers and specific programs, such as Microsoft Office, are also typically included. Receptionist courses may provide education on interpersonal communication and English as well. As a graduate of such programs, you'll be equipped be able to deliver adequate customer assistance, be able to operate different types of office equipment, use the Internet, perform data entry and create various types of documents.