Receptionists act as the first point of contact in an organisation, greeting people and attending to enquiries made by phone or in person.

Duties & Tasks

Receptionists may perform the following tasks:

  • greet visitors and telephone callers and find out the nature of their enquiry
  • operate telephone switchboards and consoles to connect, hold, transfer and disconnect telephone calls
  • provide information to assist clients or refer them to appropriate contacts, either in the organisation or elsewhere
  • arrange appointments for callers or for people working in the organisation and keep records of these
  • carry out word processing, filing, mail-outs, bookkeeping and banking as required
  • send out accounts, receive payments and order stationery and office supplies
  • open and deal with incoming mail, and organise outgoing mail and postage
  • if working in hotels or motels, make reservations, check guests into and out of the hotel, give information about facilities available and advise visitors about places of interest
  • if working in medical clinics, hair and beauty salons or similar places, organise appointments, deal with changes in schedules, present accounts after treatment and handle money
  • if working in sales areas, assist with the promotion of products and give prices and details to customers.


Medical Receptionist

A medical receptionist works in a medical centre and uses knowledge of medical terminology and software to process accounts and Medicare forms, and make appointments for patients.

Working Conditions

Although the range of tasks varies depending on the place of work, the clerical skills involved are similar. Most positions require keyboard and computer skills.

Receptionists are expected to be able to present an appropriate image for the organisation and deal competently with the people and problems they encounter. In some areas, such as the hospitality industry, they may be required to work outside normal hours, including weekends and evenings.

Personal Requirements

  • good communication skills
  • able to work neatly and accurately
  • good organisational skills
  • able to work without supervision
  • good presentation and a pleasant manner.
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