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Job Title – Receptionist


A Receptionist officially greets customers and visitors and direct them where to go. Duties vary greatly depending on the work situation. The receptionist is usually the first person in a company the client sees or speaks to, therefore it is important that they create a good impression on the client. 

Three different types of receptionist can be distinguished: 1. Dental and medical receptionists: Arrange appointments and keep patients' records. They may handle the payment of accounts. They may also see to the sterilization of medical instruments and keep them ready for use. 

2. Hotel receptionists: Welcome visitors to the hotel; allocate rooms; enter particulars such as names and periods of stay in the register and are also responsible for room keys and the payment of accounts.

3. General business receptionists: Are the link between the firm and customers or clients and usually refer clients to appropriate members of staff.

Typical Job Activities

Greets and directs visitors
Answers telephone calls
Makes appointments
Handles correspondence
Answers inquiries
Files and completes documentations

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Related Occupations

Office Supervisor

Educational Requirements

A secretarial course is not always required, but subjects like Office Administration, Public Relations and Communication can be useful Diploma: Secretarial qualifications are available at Northlink and Boland FET Colleges. Office Management courses at DUT, CPUT, TUT, VUT and UNISA

After completing these courses, receptionists will be able to handle specialised routine tasks, as well as special assignments with confidence. Diplomas such as the N.Dip. Hotel Management and N.Dip. Public Relations can be of great advantage to any receptionist.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Computer Applications, Accounting

What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?

Enjoy meeting new and different people
Be able to keep information confidential
Have a thorough understanding of the employing organization
Have a desire to be helpful and provide information
Be responsible and persistent
Have a thorough knowledge of the field in which they work
Have a good command of two official languages including spelling
Have good typing skills
Present a neat and well-groomed appearance

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Employment Opportunities


Market Competitiveness


Income Potential


Self-Employment Options


International Employment Market


Possible Employers

Municipalities and provincial administrations
Doctors, dentists and lawyers
Nursing homes, hospitals and other health-care facilities
Insurance companies and banks
Government departments
Firms providing business and personal services

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Relevant Contact Details

College SA

Working conditions

Keeps the front office or desks running smoothly and efficiently
Deals with disagreeable people
Sits for long periods of time
On occasion working overtime or on Saturdays
Works under pressure

Career Progress and Path

Further Studies in the specific career field
Further studies in related fields
Experience in specific field
Work performance
Experience in related fields
General management studies

Possible Career Paths

Specialist career in the specific field Management positions in the specific field
Management positions in related fields
General business management
Executive positions

Employment Stability

Very stable

Reasons to consider this career

A job in government
A job in private companies
A stable job
To become a manager
To be of service to people
To learn new things
To work with languages
To work with people
To work fixed hours