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Receptionist Profile

Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Receptionist. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Receptionist
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Receptionist Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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We feature many Receptionist Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

A receptionists main duty is to deal with members of the public, who could be clients, visitors or patients. They provide them with information, answer queries, and direct them to the person they need to see. Medical or dental receptionists also organise appointments and take bookings. They may need to keep the reception area tidy, organise reading material and provide refreshments. They should also be aware of the organisation's safety and security procedures, ensuring they are followed at all times.

In smaller companies, or where the reception area is less busy, it may be necessary to perform a wider range of tasks. They might need to answer the switchboard, take messages and deal with telephone enquiries, or do some basic clerical work. They might also be required to handle cash and do simple bookkeeping.

Some large organisations, and office buildings that house several companies, employ people to receive visitors and direct them to the right place. These posts often combine the duties of receptionist and security officer.

Hours and Environment

They work standard office hours, usually 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In some jobs, they might work Saturday mornings or shifts. Part-time work is often available.

Most of the time is spent sitting at a desk or workstation in a comfortable reception area. Usually, a receptionist works alone.

Skills and Interests

Receptionists should:

  • be outgoing and confident with a pleasant personality, and enjoy dealing with the public
  • have a smart appearance
  • have good communication skills, both verbal and written
  • be able to stay calm under pressure at busy times
  • be courteous, but firm, when dealing with difficult, impatient or distressed people
  • have a good memory for faces, as regular callers like to be remembered
  • be efficient and well organised
  • be able to work on their own
  • be interested in the work of the organisation.


It is an advantage to be able to use a wide range of office equipment such as switchboards, computers, faxes and photocopiers. Also, having a working knowledge of a foreign language can be useful, especially if dealing with visitors from overseas.

Entry

There are no minimum entry requirements, but GCSE (A-C)/S grades (1-3), particularly in English, are useful. Employers usually ask for clerical, secretarial and numeracy skills. IT skills may also be required by some employers.

Foundation and Intermediate GNVQs/GSVQs in Business or Hospitality and Catering may be useful qualifications for entry.

There is no upper age limit, and mature candidates with experience of general office work and dealing with the public may have an advantage.

Training

Some colleges of further education and private institutions offer courses in reception work. These can be general reception courses or more specialist training in medical or hotel reception work.

Receptionists are usually trained on-the-job by experienced staff members but can work towards NVQs/SVQs levels 1 and 2 in Reception. Other business-related NVQs/SVQs relevant to receptionists include Business Administration at Levels 1-4 and Customer Service at Levels 2 and 3. There are no set entry requirements for NVQs/SVQs.

OCR (RSA) Examination Board offers both a Certificate and a Diploma in Reception, which cover all aspects of reception work and are designed to reflect the roles and responsibilities of receptionists in a wide variety of contexts. Competence is assessed through performance, documentation, reporting and questioning by the candidate's assessor.

The Certificate in Reception comprises four specialist Reception Units: Reception, Visitor and Staff Liaison, Reception Servicing and Telephone Services. The Diploma in Reception comprises four specialist units plus eight mandatory units of NVQ Administration Level 2 qualification. Candidates have the option of going on to achieve a full NVQ Level 2, or taking a Diploma as an integral part of an NVQ programme.

If you are working as a receptionist in the health care field, you can study for the Certificate in General Practice Reception awarded by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators & Receptionists (AMSPAR). A list of colleges offering the course is available from AMSPAR. The entry requirements are a minimum of four GCSEs (A-C)/ S grades (1-3) including English.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).

Opportunities

All types of organisations employ receptionists, for example, hotels, factories, hospitals, doctors, dentists, solicitors, schools and hairdressers. Competition for vacancies may be keen.

A good receptionist who is willing to acquire more qualifications and higher level skills may be promoted to a supervisory role. In practice there are few opportunities for promotion, although chances are better within larger organisations.

Many receptionists move into other areas of work in order to advance their careers.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

A trainee receptionist earns about £8,500.
An experienced receptionist earns around £13,000
A receptionist in a senior position can earn £17,000 or more.

Further information

The Council for Administration *
18-20 Bromell’s Road
Clapham Common
London
SW4 0BG
Tel: 020 7627 9876
www.cfa.uk.com

Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists
Tavistock House North
Tavistock Square
London
WC1H 9LN
Tel: 020 7387 6005
www.amspar.co.uk

Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examination Board (OCR)
Westwood Way
Coventry
CV4 8AQ
Tel: 024 7647 0033
www.ocr.org.uk

* PLEASE NOTE
National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website: www.ssda.org.uk

Other Useful Receptionist Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Receptionist job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Receptionist Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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