Receptionist (general)

What they do

Receptionists work at the front desk of organisations, greeting visitors and answering phone queries. They work for organisations of all sizes, in all industry sectors throughout Western Australia. The exact duties of a receptionist can vary depending on the industry they work in and the size of the organisation. Additional duties to answering enquiries can include general administrative tasks, ordering supplies, sending and paying invoices, making appointments for both callers and colleagues, assisting with product promotion and providing quotes to clients and/or customers.

Working conditions

Receptionists are usually the first point of contact that clients and customers have with an organisation, and so must maintain a positive public image. They usually work at a desk in an organisation's front office or lobby, where they can greet visitors as they arrive. Many receptionists work regular office hours, Monday to Friday, however, this can vary depending on an organisation's business hours and may include evenings and weekends.

Tools and technologies

Receptionists often use quite complex phone systems, with multiple incoming lines and potentially hundreds of possible extensions to other offices within the organisation. They also use a variety of standard office equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and computers.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a receptionist without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in business, business administration or a related area.

The Certificates II and III in Business, and Certificate III in Business Administration are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in business (level 2 or level 3) or business administration (level 3). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and are available as school-based traineeships.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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