Throughout my job-shadow marathon I have encountered many receptionists—in dental offices, newspaper offices, an accounting office, two city halls, business offices, and more. During my visits to these offices I also had the opportunity to ask questions to secretaries and spend time with them when my professionals were in confidential meetings.

In the dental offices I visited, both receptionists were dental assistants-turned-secretaries. Both used to be in the operating room but decided they wanted a change and became receptionists. They both love the administration side of the business and enjoy sitting with a computer, talking to patients, making sure the office is running smoothly. I guess this would be a nice change from being in the operating room all day. 

Another receptionist I spent some time with was at an accounting office. Basically she books appointments and greets you when you enter the office. She says she usually offers a drink and is responsible for entertaining the guests while they wait. 

Although being a receptionist seems like an easy job, a receptionist is the first impression many visitors have when entering an office. A possible client or an investor is important to impress so receptionists have to be presentable and impressive. 

A Typical Day

Receptionists check phone messages, answer calls, deliver mail in the office, meet and greet guests, order lunch for the office, and send e-mails and faxes.

Top 3 Perks

1) Good entry position with career-ladder possibilities 

2) Fast-paced job 

3) Deal with a lot of interesting people 

Job Culture

Sitting for long periods of time, greeting clients and guests, answering phone calls and lots of e-mails, scheduling meetings, entertaining guests.


1) High school diploma

Skills Needed

Being friendly and polite, ability to be calm, organization, communication, people skills.

The Field

- There will always be a need for someone to meet and greet guests and clients. 

- High turnover rate means lots of job