Receptionists receive and welcome visitors, patients, guests and clients, and respond to inquiries and requests.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around one third of workers have Year 12 as their highest education level. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

Tasks

  • greeting and welcoming visitors, and directing them to the appropriate person
  • arranging and recording details of appointments
  • answering inquiries and providing information on the goods, services and activities of the organisation
  • answering, connecting and transferring telephone calls
  • receiving and resolving complaints from clients and the public
  • receiving and distributing correspondence, facsimile messages and deliveries
  • maintaining the reception area
  • advising on and arranging reservations and accommodation
  • may perform other clerical tasks such as word processing, data entry, filing, mail despatch and photocopying

Job Titles

  • Receptionist (General)
  • Admissions Clerk
  • Hotel or Motel Receptionist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Receptionist (General)

    Greets clients and visitors, and responds to personal, telephone, email and written inquiries and requests.

  • Admissions Clerk (also called Hospital Ward Clerk)

    Records and processes information required for the admission and discharge of hospital patients and responds to telephone inquiries.

  • Hotel or Motel Receptionist

    Greets and checks in guests, and looks after their needs on arrival and during their stay in a hotel or motel.

  • Medical Receptionist

    Greets patients and other clients in a health facility, such as a clinic, practice, centre or surgery, and responds to personal, telephone and written inquiries and requests.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $900 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    165500
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    6.9%
  • Female Share

    93.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    49.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 165,500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Receptionists work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Health Care and Social Assistance; Accommodation and Food Services; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
2005174100
2006166400
2007182100
2008169000
2009174900
2010174000
2011176000
2012182300
2013172400
2014167800
2015165500
2020166000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsReceptionistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryReceptionistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time49.368.4
Part-time50.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.340

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance51.3
Accommodation and Food Services7.7
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services7
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services5.2
Other Industries28.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateReceptionistsAll Jobs Average
NSW3231.8
VIC24.825.5
QLD20.719.8
SA7.26.8
WA10.611.2
TAS22
NT1.31.1
ACT1.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketReceptionistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.9-5.45.4
20-2414.7-9.99.9
25-3419.7-23.423.4
35-4416.7-21.721.7
45-5420.2-21.121.1
55-5912.4-8.78.7
60-647.6-5.95.9
65 and Over2.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryReceptionistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males6.9Males53.6
Females93.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationReceptionistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.9-8.68.6
Bachelor degree14-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma14-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV18.9-18.918.9
Year 1230.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1017.8-17.717.7
Below Year 101.5-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around one third of workers have Year 12 as their highest education level. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Receptionists who have good people skills, provide good customer service and are well presented.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Clerical

    84% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    82% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    78% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Computers and Electronics

    67% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Administration and Management

    54% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Interacting With Computers

    94% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  2. Performing Administrative Activities

    91% Important

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  3. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    90% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  4. Getting Information

    88% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    84% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Medical Transcriptionists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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