what is a receptionist?

As a receptionist, you work at the front desk in an office or at the entrance of the building. Your job is to greet visitors and perform basic data entry tasks. The role varies a lot, depending on the business. In some cases, you are responsible for cleaning and tidying the reception area. Some receptionists also handle money. They accept payments or manage bookkeeping for the company.

When most people think of receptionists, they picture a person working in an office building. While it is true that the majority of receptionists are employed in offices, they're also employed in other industries or work environments. You'll find this role at any workplace that needs someone to coordinate interactions between customers and employees. For example, some receptionists work in law firms, receiving new clients and directing visitors to their appointments. In hospitals, they direct patients to the right treatment areas and organise their medical records. Receptionists also work at the front desk in hotels or manufacturing companies to welcome visitors.

To excel as a receptionist, you require hands-on experience with office equipment, such as line printers, laptops and phones. It is also important to be proficient in operating Microsoft 365 programs and other office management software.

Would working as a receptionist suit your skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a receptionist role.

receptionist jobs

average receptionist salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, the average earnings of a receptionist in Greece is €18,000 per year. You earn an average hourly rate of €9. In an entry-level receptionist position, you start with a salary of €13,500 annually. When you have worked for the same company for many years, your compensation package may increase to over €21,000 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a receptionist?

Your earnings as a receptionist fluctuate based on various factors, such as educational qualifications, work experience and the scope of your duties. Most employers focus on experience as opposed to post-secondary qualifications when hiring a receptionist. However, having some qualifications through a diploma course improves your salary potential. The additional credentials highlight your skills and expertise, which are valuable for succeeding in your role.

As a receptionist, your earnings depend on the contract type and the hours you work. When you work for a company full-time, you earn a higher hourly rate compared to receptionists working part-time. Full-time workers also receive additional benefits and perks, such as insurance or paid leave.

The size of the company and the scope of duties also influence your earnings. When you work for a small company, you are likely to have fewer tasks since you only deal with a handful of clients who visit the office. In a large company, you handle complex tasks, and your responsibilities include data entry and administrative tasks.

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types of receptionists

While receptionists are not divided into strict categories, there are several types of positions in this field. Some common receptionist roles include:

hotel receptionist answering phone
hotel receptionist answering phone

working as a receptionist

Are you interested in learning more about the day-to-day realities of being a receptionist? Let’s explore the specific duties, responsibilities and work environments of receptionists.


receptionist skills and education

While educational qualifications are not compulsory, receptionists can benefit from the following qualifications:

  • Education: consider pursuing a diploma course in business administration or a related field. You may require additional qualifications in specific industries, such as healthcare or legal fields.
  • Work experience: to work as a receptionist, you should be familiar with multi-line telephone systems and Microsoft Office applications. Gain experience through entry-level jobs and other roles in administration or clerical work.

competencies and characteristics of receptionists

Some of the skills necessary for receptionists include:

  • Effective communication: as a receptionist, you need exceptional verbal communication skills. You should speak calmly and professionally to all visitors. Active listening and customer service skills also help you excel in the role.
  • Interpersonal skills: as a receptionist, you should be a good team player. You interact and collaborate with various employees in the office. You need people skills to help everyone with their duties.
  • Multitasking skills: an office receptionist handles many duties, including screening calls, managing call traffic and running a busy reception area. Multitasking skills help you prioritise and ensure that you accomplish all tasks.
  • Technical prowess: as a receptionist, your job involves maintaining office equipment and operating copiers, phone systems and printers. Technical skills make your work easier and can help improve your performance. You also need computer skills to carry out your clerical duties.
  • Organisational skills: as a receptionist, you organise office-related documentation and ensure client files and documentation are well-kept. You also ensure the workflow at the office is seamless to avoid keeping visitors in the waiting area for too long.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a receptionist.

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