Job titles for receptionists include front desk executive, administrative assistant, front desk officer, information clerk, front desk attendant and office assistant secretary. Receptionists perform a variety of administrative tasks to keep the front desk running smoothly. They generally report to the office manager and don't hold supervisory roles unless they're responsible for supervising other receptionists and overseeing front office operations.
Receptionists have a variety of job responsibilities, such as greeting and directing visitors, answering phones, sorting incoming mail, coordinating deliveries, scheduling appointments, stocking office supplies, photocopying, and faxing and filing. If most of the work is done at a visible front desk that's designed to welcome visitors, answer their questions and guide them to the appropriate offices, the job title may include the words front desk to provide a clear, concise description of the receptionist's role and duties.
Job titles vary according to the company's structure and the industry. For example, if you operate a small-town dental office, your job title might be front desk clerk or front desk attendant to describe phone-answering, patient-greeting and patient record-filing responsibilities. On the other hand, you may have a more formal title, such as front desk executive or office assistant secretary if you work in a law firm or a large business in a metropolitan area. In general, a receptionist's title should suit the company's goals and its client base.
Titles to Avoid
Avoid receptionist job titles that don't clearly define the purpose of the position and the associated responsibilities. For example, a receptionist isn't a "senior secretary" or an "administrative department manager." These titles entail a more specific and complex scope of responsibilities that exceed typical receptionist duties. Also steer clear of short, vague titles that might confuse callers and visitors, such as "clerk," "assistant" or "administrative staff." The goal is to use a title that's descriptive, understandable and comprehensive.
Skills, Qualifications and Pay
Employers typically hire receptionists who have a minimum of a high school diploma, and some prefer job candidates who have college training in computer basics, word processing or spreadsheet applications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Receptionists typically receive on-the-job training and have opportunities to advance to higher administrative positions, such as secretaries. Job qualities include strong communication skills, friendliness, organizational skills and the ability to main confidential records. In 2012, the median hourly wage for receptionists was $12.49 per hour or $25,990 per year, according to the BLS.