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

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £22,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 25.7% fewer Receptionist jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on where you work. You could:

  • greet visitors and direct them to the correct person or department
  • manage people signing in and give out security passes
  • answer enquiries in person, by phone and email
  • manage a room booking system and keep rooms tidy
  • deal with incoming and outgoing post and deliveries
  • arrange appointments and update records on databases
  • take payments and handle invoices

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in a reception area, in an NHS or private hospital, at a fitness centre, in an office or in a hotel.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

Getting a college qualification may be helpful for reception work. Relevant courses 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)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Hospitality (hotel)

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

You could get into this job through a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship, or a hospitality supervisor advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

You could begin 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.

In a hotel, you could start in housekeeping or admin and do further training on the job.

Volunteering and work experience

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

Direct application

You may not need any formal qualifications to apply directly for work as a receptionist. It will help to have good admin and customer service skills.

Some employers will prefer you to have a good general education, with GCSEs and IT skills to work with computerised booking or payment systems.

More information

Career tips

For hotel reception work it may be useful if you can speak a second language to serve visitors from outside of the UK.

Further information

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

You can find out more about being a medical receptionist from NHS Careers and AMSPAR - the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Manager, Administrators and Receptionists.

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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:

  • customer service skills
  • 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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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