How to become a Receptionist

Receptionists act as the first point of contact in an organisation, greeting people and attending to enquiries made by phone or in person.

Personal requirements for a Receptionist

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work neatly and accurately
  • Good organisational skills
  • Able to work without supervision
  • Good presentation and a pleasant manner

Education & Training for a Receptionist

You can work as a receptionist without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications and you may like to consider a VET course. Additional training may be required for work in some fields, such as medicine and hospitality. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.You can also become a receptionist through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Receptionist


  • Greet visitors and telephone callers and find out the nature of their enquiry
  • Operate telephone switchboards and consoles to connect, hold, transfer and disconnect telephone calls
  • Provide information to assist clients or refer them to appropriate contacts, either in the organisation or elsewhere
  • Arrange appointments for callers or for people working in the organisation and keep records of these
  • Carry out word processing, filing, mail-outs, bookkeeping and banking as required
  • Send out accounts, receive payments and order stationery and office supplies
  • Open and deal with incoming mail, and organise outgoing mail and postage
  • If working in hotels or motels, make reservations, check guests into and out of the hotel, give information about facilities available and advise visitors about places of interest
  • If working in medical clinics, hair and beauty salons or similar places, organise appointments, deal with changes in schedules, present accounts after treatment and handle money
  • If working in sales areas, assist with the promotion of products and give prices and details to customers.


  • May perform other clerical tasks such as word processing, data entry, filing, mail despatch and photocopying
  • Advising on and arranging reservations and accommodation
  • Answering inquiries and providing information on the goods, services and activities of the organisation
  • Receiving and resolving complaints from clients and the public
  • Maintaining the reception area
  • Arranging and recording details of appointments
  • Greeting and welcoming visitors, and directing them to the appropriate person
  • Answering, connecting and transferring telephone calls
  • Receiving and distributing correspondence, facsimile messages and deliveries

Working conditions for a Receptionist

Although the range of tasks varies depending on the place of work, the clerical skills involved are similar. Most positions require keyboard and computer skills. Receptionists are expected to be able to present an appropriate image for the organisation and deal competently with the people and problems they encounter. In some areas, such as the hospitality industry, they may be required to work outside normal hours, including weekends and evenings.

Employment Opportunities for a Receptionist

Receptionists may work in a variety of organisations, such as medical centres, law and accounting firms, retail and wholesale firms, factories, travel agencies, hotels and motels, hospitals, schools and in professional offices. Experience in a variety of clerical duties may be needed for advancement into other areas of administration. These areas include accounts, data processing, word processing, office administration and secretarial work.


Medical Receptionist

A medical receptionist works in a medical centre and uses knowledge of medical terminology and software to process accounts and Medicare forms, and make appointments for patients.


Receptionists act as the first point of contact in an organisation, greeting people and attending to enquiries made by phone or in person.

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    95% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    40 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    43% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    182,400 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.6%
    NSW: 30.3%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 20.7%
    SA: 7.0%
    TAS: 2.1%
    VIC: 26.0%
    WA: 11.3%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 5.4%
    20-24: 15.9%
    25-34: 19.6%
    35-44: 15.6%
    45-54: 21.3%
    55-59: 10.6%
    60-64: 7.4%
    65 and Over: 4.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 13.1%
    Bachelor degree: 11.1%
    Below Year 10: 1.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 18.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.3%
    Year 10 and below: 16.1%
    Year 11: 8.4%
    Year 12: 30.6%
    Years 11 & 10: 17.8%
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