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Receptionist (general)

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Summary of occupation

Receptionists work at the front desk of organisations, greeting visitors and answering phone queries. They work for organisations of all sizes, in all industry sectors throughout Western Australia. The exact duties of a receptionist can vary depending on the industry they work in and the size of the organisation. Additional duties to answering enquiries can include general administrative tasks, ordering supplies, sending and paying invoices, making appointments for both callers and colleagues, assisting with product promotion and providing quotes to clients and/or customers.

ANZSCO description: Greets clients and visitors, and responds to personal, telephone, email and written inquiries and requests.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Hotel or Motel Receptionist, Medical Receptionist
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A receptionist needs:

  • good interpersonal skills
  • good communication skills
  • good organisational skills
  • to maintain a neat and tidy personal presentation
  • a friendly and helpful manner
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Working conditions

Receptionists are usually the first point of contact that clients and customers have with an organisation, and so must maintain a positive public image. They usually work at a desk in an organisation's front office or lobby, where they can greet visitors as they arrive. Many receptionists work regular office hours, Monday to Friday, however, this can vary depending on an organisation's business hours and may include evenings and weekends.

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Salary details

On average, receptionists can expect to earn between $769 and $1 154 per week ($40 000 and $60 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a receptionist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Receptionists often use quite complex phone systems, with multiple incoming lines and potentially hundreds of possible extensions to other offices within the organisation. They also use a variety of standard office equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and computers.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a receptionist without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in business or business administration.

The Certificate II and III in Business, and the Certificate III in Business Administration are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The receptionist or administration assistant traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and the administration assistant traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship. 

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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