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

  • $900 Weekly Pay
  • 182,400 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 45.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.6 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 93.8% female Gender Share

The number of Receptionists grew moderately the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 182,400 in 2018 to 191,000 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 138,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 27,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Receptionists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Accommodation and Food Services; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (45.8%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 93.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008172500
2009180600
2010172100
2011171200
2012183000
2013174900
2014167000
2015174000
2016179900
2017167700
2018182400
2023191000

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance49.2
Accommodation and Food Services8.6
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services6.7
Education and Training5.4
Other Industries30.1

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 2017, 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
NSW29.731.6
VIC26.926.2
QLD21.319.7
SA6.96.7
WA10.010.8
TAS2.22.0
NT1.01.1
ACT2.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-196.3-5.25.2
20-2416.0-9.99.9
25-3421.1-23.623.6
35-4415.1-21.721.7
45-5419.5-20.820.8
55-599.8-8.88.8
60-648.0-6.06.0
65 and Over4.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Tourism, Travel and Hospitality VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-4171.00 - Receptionists and Information Clerks.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-4171.00 - Receptionists and Information Clerks.

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