Receptionist - Job opportunities
Kaiwhakatau ManuhiriAlternative titles
Receptionists greet visitors and clients and deal with enquiries and requests. Their work includes scheduling appointments, keeping records, and doing other administration tasks.
Receptionists usually earn
$33K-$50K per year
Source: Hays, Hudson, Michael Page.
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015
Pay for receptionists varies depending on experience.
- Receptionists usually earn between $30,000 and $45,000 a year.
- Senior receptionists may earn up to $50,000.
Sources: Hays 2013 Salary Guide, Hudson 2014 Salary and Employment Insight, Michael Page Salary Forecast 2013/14.
What you will do
Receptionists may do some or all of the following:
- greet visitors, clients or patients, and notify appropriate staff of their arrival
- answer telephone calls and other enquiries
- make appointments for clients or patients
- administrative tasks such as filing, or organising catering
- collect money from clients or patients.
Medical/dental receptionists and admissions officers may also maintain accounts and patient records, and maintain and check hospital waiting lists.
Skills and knowledge
Receptionists need to have:
- computer and word-processing skills
- clerical skills including telephone skills
- knowledge of administration policies, systems and procedures.
Medical receptionists and admissions officers may also need to know about hospital and staff routines, medical services, booking procedures and timetables, and have an understanding of medical terms.
- usually work regular office hours but may have to work nights or weekends
- usually work at front desks or reception areas of businesses and organisations.
What's the job really like?
Christine Dalley - Admissions Officer
Christine Dalley finds her job as an admissions officer very rewarding. "While you're not actually giving people the surgery you are a big part of it happening for them. People that need surgery really appreciate what you do.
"It can be pretty full on – you're constantly dealing with phone calls, cancellations or people wanting to change things, and there can be a lot of last minute stuff.
When a phone call brings great - or terrible - news
One of the biggest challenges of Christine's job is telling a patient when their surgery has to be cancelled due to staff illness or other unforeseeable circumstances. "That's really hard because I know these people are desperately waiting for their surgery. However, when I get to call someone up and tell them they can have their surgery much before they expected to, I get a real buzz."
Busy days aside, Christine says she loves her job. "I work with a great bunch of medical and administrative staff, as well as dealing with some lovely patients. The people are a real highlight of my job."
There are no specific entry requirements to become a receptionist as skills are usually learned on the job. However, computer skills and customer service experience are invaluable.
A minimum of NCEA Level 1 maths and English is recommended.
Receptionists need to:
- have a pleasant and efficient manner
- have good communication and listening skills
have planning and organisational skills
- be able to multitask and work well under pressure
- be able to work independently
- discreet with personal or confidential information.
Previous customer service experience, such as work in a store or cafe, is useful for receptionists.
Find out more about training
- Association of Administrative Professionals NZ
- email@example.com - www.aapnz.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Vacancies regularly arise because it is a large occupation employing thousands of workers, and people often stay in a role for a short time. However, vacancies often attract high numbers of applicants.
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of receptionists remained fairly stable between 2010 and 2012 and is expected to remain stable to 2016.
Types of employers
Receptionists work for many types of organisations in the private and public sector, including:
- hotels and motels
- doctors' and dentists' clinics
- public and private hospitals
- various businesses
- government departments.
- Hays, '2013 Hays Salary Guide', (www.hays.net.nz).
- Hays,' 2014 April - June Quarterly Report - Office Support', (www.hays.net.nz).
- Hudson '2014 Office Support Salary and Employment Insights', (www.hudson.com).
- Michael Page, 'Salary and Employment Forecast 2013/14 - Office Support', (www.michaelpage.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2014 Occupational Outlook - Receptionists’ , 2014.
- Robert Walters, '2014 Forecast Overview - Secretarial and Business Support', (www.robertwalters.co.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Receptionists can move into other roles in the organisation or hospital where they work, such as:
- administration officer
- clinical coder
- personal assistant
- medical records officer
- medical typist.
Receptionists may specialise in working in a particular area, such as:
- Admissions officer
- Admissions officers greet hospital patients and organise their admission and discharge.
- Hotel/Motel Receptionist
- Hotel and motel receptionists greet and assist guests.
- Medical/Dental Receptionist
- Medical and dental receptionists work in doctors' or dental surgeries, hospitals, or private clinics.
Last updated 4 June 2015