1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Receptionist

Receptionist

Alternative titles for this job include Medical receptionist, front of house, doctor's receptionist

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

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter

to

£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

How to become a receptionist

You can get into this job through:

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

College

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

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

More Information

Work

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

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.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

What you'll do

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

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Kitchen Assistant

  • Wage: £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: Blackburn

Hospitality Supervisor Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £184.80 Weekly
  • Location: Teignmouth

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a receptionist?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.