How to become a receptionist
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
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)
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
You could get into this job through a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship, or a hospitality supervisor advanced apprenticeship.
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
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 is highly valued if you want to apply for receptionist jobs.
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.
For hotel reception work it may be useful if you can speak a second language to serve visitors from outside of the UK.
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.