Key Takeaways:

  • Receptionists: The first point of contact and vital office support, creating positive impressions and ensuring smooth operations.

  • High Demand: A lucrative career with diverse roles and opportunities for growth.

  • Duties: Greeting visitors, answering calls, booking appointments, managing admin tasks, and more.

  • Salary: Average £24,586 per year, varying by experience, location, and industry.

  • Skills: Excellent communication, interpersonal skills, organisation, time management, and computer literacy.

The Role of a Receptionist in the UK

Receptionists are the first point of contact for visitors to organisations. They play a vital role in a business's office support division by creating a positive first impression and ensuring that visitors are greeted warmly and professionally.

In today's competitive business environment, it is more important than ever for businesses to have strong receptionists. Receptionists can play a key role in office support, helping businesses to attract and retain customers, and they can also help to improve the efficiency and productivity of the workplace. Receptionists are therefore in very high demand, and embarking on a career as a receptionist can be a very lucrative and rewarding choice.

Duties of a Receptionist

Receptionists fall under a business's office support division, and are responsible for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Greeting and welcoming visitors: Receptionists are the first point of contact for visitors to an organisation, and they play a vital role in creating a positive first impression. They greet visitors with a smile, welcome them to the organisation, and direct them to the appropriate person or department.

  • Answering and directing phone calls: Receptionists answer and direct phone calls to the appropriate person or department. They also take messages and provide information to callers.

  • Managing reception and waiting areas: Receptionists manage the reception and waiting areas to ensure that visitors are comfortable and well-informed. They also provide assistance to visitors who need help with things like finding directions or using office equipment.

  • Booking appointments: Receptionists book appointments for clients and customers. They also keep track of appointments and send reminders to clients and customers.

  • Providing information and assistance to visitors and staff: Receptionists provide information and assistance to visitors and staff on a variety of topics. They may answer questions about the organisation, its products or services, or its location. They may also provide assistance with things like printing documents or finding directions.

  • Processing mail and deliveries: Receptionists process mail and deliveries for the organisation. They may also distribute mail and deliveries to staff members.

  • Maintaining office supplies and equipment: Receptionists maintain office supplies and equipment to ensure that they are always available and in good working order. They may also order new supplies and equipment as needed.

  • Performing other administrative tasks as required: Receptionists may also perform other administrative tasks as required, such as filing documents, preparing presentations, or updating databases.

How Much Do Receptionists Get Paid in the UK?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a receptionist in the UK in October 2023 is £24,586 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and the industry in which you work.

The highest-paid receptionists in the UK are those who work in the legal and financial sectors. Receptionists in these industries can earn an average salary of up to £27,000 per year.

Factors that can affect receptionist salaries:

  • Experience: Receptionists with more experience tend to earn higher salaries.

  • Qualifications: Receptionists with qualifications in customer service, administration, or other relevant fields may earn higher salaries.

  • Industry: Receptionists in some industries, such as finance and law, may earn more than receptionists in other industries.

Demand for Receptionists

Receptionists are in high demand in the UK, and this is expected to continue in the coming years. The National Careers Service reports that the employment of receptionists is projected to show little or no change from 2022 to 2032. This means that there will continue to be plenty of opportunities for receptionists in the years to come. This is because receptionists play a vital role in all types of organisations, from small businesses to large corporations.

With the increasing use of automated technology and online self-service tools, the role of receptionists may evolve to include more complex tasks such as data analysis and project management. This may require receptionists to develop additional skills and knowledge to stay competitive in the job market.

A woman working on a reception desk, wearing a headset

Career Path and Progression

With training and experience, receptionists can progress into a variety of other roles, such as:

  • Administrative Assistant: Receptionists are often responsible for administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing calendars, and organising files. An administrative assistant role builds on these skills and often involves additional responsibilities such as managing projects, coordinating events, and handling correspondence.

  • Executive / Personal assistant (EA / PA): Receptionists often support executives by managing their schedules, booking travel arrangements, and handling correspondence. An executive assistant role builds on these skills and often involves additional responsibilities such as managing budgets, preparing reports, and serving as a liaison between the executive and other staff members.

  • Office Manager: Receptionists are often responsible for managing office supplies, coordinating meetings, and ensuring the smooth operation of the office. An office manager role builds on these skills and often involves additional responsibilities such as managing budgets, overseeing staff, and developing office policies and procedures.

  • Customer Service Representative: Receptionists often interact with clients, customers, and vendors, providing assistance and answering questions. A customer service representative role builds on these skills and often involves additional responsibilities such as handling customer complaints, resolving issues, and upselling products or services.

  • Human Resources Coordinator:Receptionists often help with administrative tasks related to human resources, such as scheduling interviews and preparing new employee paperwork. A human resources coordinator role builds on these skills and often involves additional responsibilities such as conducting interviews, managing employee benefits, and developing employee training programs.

How to Become a Receptionist

There are no formal qualifications required to become a receptionist, but most employers will look for candidates with good customer service skills, communication skills, and basic IT skills. Some employers may also prefer candidates with experience in administration or customer service.

If you are interested in becoming a receptionist, here are a few steps you can take:

  • Research the role: Learn about the different types of receptionists and the specific duties and responsibilities of each role. This will help you to identify the type of receptionist job you are interested in and to tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly.

  • Develop your skills: If you do not have any experience in customer service or administration, you can develop these skills by volunteering or taking part in an internship. You can also take courses to improve your IT skills.

  • Network with people in the industry: Talk to your friends, family, and former colleagues to see if they know of any receptionist jobs that are available. You can also attend industry events and connect with people on LinkedIn. Reach out to recruiters like us to have a discussion about the roles you are looking for.

  • Write a strong CV: Your CV should highlight your skills and experience, and explain why you are interested in becoming a receptionist. Be sure to tailor your CV to each job you apply for. Looking for CV writing tips? Check out our guide on CV writing best practices.

  • Prepare for job interviews: Practice answering common interview questions and be prepared to discuss your skills and experience in detail. See our page on Interview Tips to help you prepare and be your best in interviews.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

The following skills and qualifications are beneficial for receptionists:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

  • Good organisational and time management skills

  • Ability to multitask and work under pressure

  • Computer literacy

  • Customer service experience (desirable but not essential)

Final Thoughts

Working as a receptionist can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Receptionists play a vital role in any business, and they have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people on a daily basis.

Receptionists also have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, including customer service skills, communication skills, and administrative skills. These skills can be valuable in a variety of different roles, and they can help receptionists progress into more senior positions.

If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career in office support, then becoming a receptionist is a great option. Receptionists play a vital role in any business, and they have the opportunity to make a real difference to the success of their organisation.

Select Recruitment

Select Recruitment Specialists is a leading recruitment agency that specialises in business support roles. We have a wide range of receptionist vacancies available, and we can help you find the perfect job for your skills and experience.

Check out the latest Office Support Jobs, or alternatively send us your CV and one of our expert consultants will be in touch.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a receptionist job in the UK or are interested in learning more about the vast and diverse office support sector, then please reach out to us today. Whether you are a candidate looking for a new role, or a business eager to hire top talent, we would be happy to discuss your requirements and help you find the perfect fit.