Admin, HR, legal

Receptionist

Receptionists are the first point of contact for visitors to organisations.

Annual Salary

£12,000 to £21,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

12%
Future employment

There will be 12% fewer Receptionist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You may work in the reception area of offices, hotels, sports centres, hospitals or health centres.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • greeting visitors and directing them to the correct person or department
  • managing the visitors book and giving out security passes
  • answering enquiries in person, by phone and email
  • managing a room booking system and keeping rooms tidy
  • dealing with incoming and outgoing post and deliveries
  • arranging appointments and updating records on databases
  • taking payments and handling invoices

College

Getting a college qualification may be helpful. Courses are widely available and include:

  • Level 1 Award in Salon Reception Duties (beauty and hairdressing)
  • Level 1 Certificate in Business and Administration (office administration)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Front of House Reception (hospitality and catering)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Reception Operation and Services (hospitality and catering)

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Other Routes

You could start as an admin assistant in an organisation, for example by doing temporary work, then apply for a permanent job as a receptionist when a vacancy becomes available.

Volunteering is highly valued if you want to apply for receptionist jobs.

You may not need any formal qualifications to apply directly for work as a receptionist.

Some employers will prefer you to have a good general education, with GCSEs and IT skills.

You may need a background check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

£12,000 to £21,000

Starter salary: £12,000 to £15,000

Experienced salary: £16,000 to £18,000

Salaries vary and may be higher in some city centre offices.

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

If you're based in an office you'll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

In hotels, restaurants and sports centres, you'll probably work a shift system that includes weekends.

In hospitals and health centres, you're also likely to work some early and late shifts.

With training and experience, you could move into a senior receptionist or personal assistant (PA) role.

In a GP surgery or health centre, you could train to become a medical secretary or a practice manager.

You can find out more about becoming a receptionist in hospitality from the Hospitality Guild.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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