Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Receptionists are needed in almost all kinds of working environments. They are the first point of contact between a customer or client and the company that they work for and therefore represent their employers before anyone else. It is a role that requires a lot of human interaction, so receptionists should enjoy meeting new people and be able to handle a variety of tasks and situations throughout their day to day work.

Receptionists can work in all types of locations, for many types of employers. The types of organisation that would need receptionists include:

  • Private companies in all industries
  • Public sector organisations and the Government
  • Charities and third sector organisations
  • Hospitals, doctors surgeries and clinics
  • Veterinary surgeries
  • Agencies
  • Hotels
  • Schools, colleges and universities

The tasks expected of receptionists depend on the size and type of the employer, and so do the entry requirements. For example, a receptionist in a doctor’s surgery may be responsible for taking patients to treatment rooms, handling patient forms and may rely on basic knowledge of prescriptions and treatments, whilst a receptionist for a beauty salon will mainly be needed to organise appointments and deliveries, take phone calls and welcome customers.

Typical daily tasks of all receptionists would consist of:

  • Answering phone calls and taking messages
  • Booking appointments with employees and clients
  • Greeting customers and clients
  • Organising diaries and meetings
  • Taking deliveries of office equipment or mail
  • Giving information and answering questions
  • Keeping the reception area tidy and calm

Each individual role will require different responsibilities, so those wishing to work as a receptionist should have a range of organisational and personal skills to apply to all types of queries. Some employers will expect certain qualifications or IT and typing skills, but a lot of places will be happy to train on the job. A friendly and confident personality is required for all receptionist roles.

Some receptionist positions may require staff to learn a bit about the particular employer in order to be more useful to clients and the company. For example, a veterinary surgery receptionist may need to have basic knowledge of treatments and medicines.