If you’re looking for a flexible day job, a receptionist role is ideal. Reception work doesn’t require any formal qualifications, though there are learning opportunities for specific industries.
You might choose a reception role if you’re a people person and have good organisational skills. A base knowledge of English and Maths is helpful, but you can develop your skills along the way. It may also be a step on the ladder, particularly if you’re working in fields such as:
As reception work is often in shifts, you may be free to base your hours around other commitments, such as studies. This is great if you are looking to build your skillset.
A receptionist role might not require formal qualifications, but it can help you earn them. From time management and administration to computer skills, reception work is the perfect stepping-stone into a rewarding career.
Why should I upskill?
Upskilling involves building on your existing skills to boost your career prospects. In a receptionist role, you are perfectly primed to build on both your ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills.
Receptionists meet new people all the time. If you’re shy, a front-of-house role can help you to build your confidence, while you may also improve your phone manner. These ‘soft’ communication skills will help you climb the career ladder – from acing interviews to leading teams.
Reception work also comes with some ‘hard skills’ – specific capabilities for certain tasks. After time, you’ll find your typing speeds will improve, and you can build on any existing knowledge of word processing or administrative computer programs. Approximately 8 in 10 managerial jobs require computer use, so you should start building on these essential skills as soon as you can.
Reception work offers a range of transferable skills, which stand out on a CV. For example, you may have to handle a lot of personal data on a daily basis. Cybersecurity is an essential in modern enterprise, and you could start with the basics of data protection.
You may wish to develop your skills in accounting or customer service. If your reception job is in a specialised field, such as law, you may be offered on-the-job training. All of these could be the first step towards a qualification, making you stand out against other candidates.
Building your skills now will lead to better job prospects. The average general manager’s salary in the UK is £37,500. A basic understanding of IT tools will help career progression in the long run.
Upskilling can also improve your prospects for further studies. For example, literacy and numeracy are ideal for business administration courses. You can take these in your own time around your current shifts.
A Level 3 qualification is the equivalent of an A-Level. With enough of these, you could gain enough UCAS points to enrol in a university course. In 2018, working age graduates earned an average of £10,000 more than non-graduates.
Perhaps you’re looking for a career change. You might not know where you want to be right now or in the future. Upskilling offers a range of options to pursue different careers. While basic numeracy and literacy are essential for entry-level jobs, you could also specialise.
For example, data entry could lead to a data analyst role. At a senior level, this could attract salaries of up to £50,000 per year. Dental receptionists could progress to a trainee dental nurse position. This could start at £17,000 but rise to £30,000 per year.
If you’re finding your feet, you’ll want options. With a well-rounded knowledge of receptionist skills, your career could go off in multiple directions. The world of work has changed. No longer are we expected to stay in one role for life. It’s never too late to change career, and upskilling is a often the first step.
What are the best courses for receptionists?
You can upskill as a generalist or in a particular niche. If you’re not sure where to niche, IT skills are a great place to start. Three-quarters of jobs will need digital skills by 2030. There’s no time like the present! You can consider upskilling in such areas as:
Information technology (IT)
IT skills form the springboard for a huge range of careers. In a basic IT course, you’ll learn how to use tools such as:
File management systems
Email is a staple of many offices. IT skills will help with communication and general day-to-day operations. More advanced skills, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, can help with senior roles. For example, an account manager may need to present slides to a client. Our Functional Skills ICT Level 2 is great for getting started.
Business administration can lead to many lucrative careers. You may consider a project manager or accounting role, for example. You can build on IT skills you have learnt, such as:
As a receptionist, you’ll have first-hand knowledge of how the business runs. You may want to use this knowledge for running your own business one day. A business studies course can develop your skillset in:
You may wish to develop one of these skills, such as a specialist course in human resources. You could also ‘niche down’ in a particular business. For example, dental receptionists could study a practice management course.
Receptionists have to deal with many legal aspects of the workplace. From recruitment to data protection, solid legal knowledge is hugely beneficial. Legal studies will teach you more about:
Reception work is perfect whatever stage you’re at in your career. Whether you’re starting, switching or just building your skills, there’s never been a better time to learn. Contact Oxbridge to start today.