what is a receptionist?

As a receptionist, you play an essential role in the organisation you work for. You greet visitors, answer phone calls, and perform a variety of administrative tasks. You are the front face of your organisation and responsible for creating a positive first impression on behalf of your employer.

Your role is not limited to answering calls and directing visitors; you also manage the reception area, ensuring it is clean and organised. You assist in scheduling appointments, managing calendars, and maintaining important documents. You may also help with basic bookkeeping and managing office supplies. You work with computers and office software, so an aptitude for working with those systems helps you in your day-to-day work.

As a receptionist, you are professional and courteous, and you have good communication skills. You are often the first point of contact for clients, vendors, and customers, and being well-spoken and presentable, helps you to deliver the right message. You work under pressure at times, multitask, and handle difficult situations.

Does a career as a receptionist appeal to your organisational side? Are you a good communicator? If so, keep reading to find out what skills and competencies will help you thrive in this profession.

receptionist roles

average receptionist salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of a receptionist in India is roughly ₹186,000 per year. This is mostly base salary, though some roles may include bonuses. Entry-level receptionists in the country tend to start out earning a little under ₹100,000 per year. Meanwhile, the highest-earning receptionists can earn as much as ₹393,000 per year.

factors that affect a receptionist's pay

One of the most significant factors affecting your pay as a receptionist in India is the industry in which you work. Industries such as healthcare, legal, and finance generally pay receptionists more than those in other industries.

The level of experience and education you attain is another crucial factor in determining your potential pay. Receptionists with more years of experience and higher levels of education often command higher salaries. The same is true of receptionists with specialised training or certifications.

The location of the organisation you work for also plays a role here. Working in metropolitan areas like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore typically earns more than the same role working in smaller cities or rural areas.

woman sitting in front of human forward wall
woman sitting in front of human forward wall

types of receptionist

Your fundamental role as a receptionist will remain the same regardless of where you work. However, there are different types of receptionists, each with a unique set of responsibilities. Below are some of the most common types of receptionist positions:

  • front desk receptionist: as a front desk receptionist, you are responsible for welcoming visitors and answering phone calls. You often handle basic administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and managing office supplies. If the organisation receives in-person visitors, you may also be responsible for directing them to the appropriate person or department.
  • medical receptionist: in this role, you fill a specialised role in a healthcare setting. Such a setting might be a hospital, a clinic, or a private practice. You are responsible for greeting patients, scheduling appointments, and handling patient paperwork. You may also assist with insurance claims and help with medical billing.
  • hotel receptionist: hotel receptionists are responsible for welcoming guests, checking them in and out, and providing them with information about the hotel. In this role, you may also help guests with restaurant reservations, transportation, and other requests.
  • corporate receptionist: as a corporate receptionist, you are responsible for managing the reception area of a corporate office. You greet visitors, manage phone calls, and schedule appointments. You handle administrative tasks such as managing office supplies and coordinating meetings.
  • educational receptionist: being an educational receptionist, you have a specialised role in educational institutions. Such institutions include schools and universities.

working as a receptionist

The specific duties of a receptionist include the following:


education and skills

Formal academic qualifications are not always required to become a receptionist in India, though employers generally prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. This is very much specific to the employer, however. Some organisations may require a degree or diploma in a relevant field depending on the industry and level of responsibilities of the receptionist role.

While formal qualifications may not be essential, they will likely help you when applying for a position. Having a degree, in particular, will be useful if you decide to move on from being a receptionist and wish to move into a more senior role.

receptionist skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a receptionist include:

  • communication skills: you use your communication skills, both verbal and written, to interact with clients, colleagues, and visitors. You are able to listen actively, communicate effectively, and convey information in a professional and clear manner. This ensures visitors are directed where they need to go, and messages reach their intended destination.
  • organisational skills: your organisational skills enable you to manage your workload effectively. You are able to manage your time efficiently, prioritise tasks, and multitask effectively.
  • professionalism: you maintain a professional demeanour at all times in your role as a first point of contact. You dress appropriately, communicate effectively, and handle visitors and colleagues with respect and courtesy.
  • flexibility: to fulfil your role effectively, you are flexible and adaptable to changes in your workload and schedule. You are able to handle unexpected tasks, changes in schedules, and last-minute requests.
smiling woman
smiling woman

FAQs about working as a receptionist

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

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