1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Receptionist


Alternative titles for this job include

Receptionists are the first point of contact for visitors to an organisation.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

Meet Francesca

Francesca is a receptionist at a youth centre.

A woman in a wheelchair smiling in front of some colorful climbing walls.
BBC Bitesize logo

She communicates with young people, answers questions and keep things organised.

Watch Francesca’s story on BBC Bitesize Careers

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Receptionist

You can get into this job through:

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


You can take a college course before applying for work as a receptionist. Some courses relate to particular types of work, others are more general. 

For example:

  • salon reception (beauty and hairdressing)
  • business administration (office work)
  • front of house reception (hospitality and catering)
  • customer service

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could get into this job through an apprenticeship, such as:

  • Hospitality Team Member Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Customer Service Practitioner Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Hospitality Supervisor Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These take around 1 year to complete.

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


You could begin as an admin assistant in an organisation, for instance 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 and take further training on the job.

Direct Application

You may be able to apply directly for receptionist jobs. It will help to have good admin and customer service skills.

Some employers will prefer you to have GCSEs and IT skills to work with computerised booking or payment systems.

More Information

Further information

You can learn more about working as a receptionist in hospitality from Caterer.com.

You can also find out about medical reception work from NHS Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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 use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a receptionist, your 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 online
  • manage reservations, meeting room bookings and appointments
  • deal with incoming and outgoing post and deliveries
  • take payments and handle invoices

Working environment

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

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With training and experience, you could become a senior receptionist, front of house supervisor or personal assistant (PA).

In a GP surgery or health centre, you could train to become a medical secretary.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Patient Liaison Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: BILLERICAY

Hospitality Team Member Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually

Courses In England

Diploma in Customer Service

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Wolverhampton

Certificate in Customer Service

  • Provider: NCG
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Carlisle

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.