Receptionists normally provide the first point contact and information for customers or members of the public who contact or visit an organisation.
This involves dealing with a variety of enquiries on the phone, face to face and by email. A receptionist will be required to keep up to date with the organisation's activities, news and operations in order to provide the most up to date and relevant information to clients or the public. Receptionists often provide a good deal of resource towards general administration, clerical duties and day to day activities for an organisation and may act as a liaison between the employing organisation and service providers, for example - arranging maintenance or cleaning services.
A receptionist often occupies a front desk or 'font of house' style position in premises rather than residing in a specific office.
You could get into this role through an apprenticeship, by applying directly or you could take a college course which will give you some of the skills and experience needed.
You could apply for an Receptionist intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2)
You will usually need:
- GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths or equivalent for an intermediate apprenticeship
Taking a college course will give you some of the skills and experience needed which may help when applying
There are many different courses available including:
- Customer Service Practitioner Level 2
- Customer Service Specialist Level 3
- Introduction to the hospitality industry Level 1
- Hospitality Team Member standard Level 2
You will usually need:
- Up to 2 GCSEs grades 3 to 1 (D to G) or equivalent for a level 1 (you may be able to access the course without GCSEs)
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) or equivalent for a level 2
- 3 to 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths for a level 3
The following colleges may offer relevant courses
- City College Norwich
- College of West Anglia
- East Coast College
- West Suffolk College
- Suffolk New College
Or you may be able to find a course at your local sixth form
You could apply directly to work as a receptionist at an organisation. You may not need any formal qualifications but would need to demonstrate IT and good communication skills.
Employers also value experience, which you could get by temporary work or volunteering.
You could start as an admin assistant in an organisation and work your way up to a receptionist.
You could find out more about becoming a receptionist in hospitality from the Hospitality Guild
Career Path and Progression
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.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Admin assistant
- Health records clerk
- Hotel receptionist
- School secretary
Although you may be able to get into this role without formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.
- friendly and polite manner
- good organisation
- good team player abilities
- ability to keep calm when dealing with difficult clients
- self motivation
- good IT skills
£15,000 to £27,000