Employment Prospects


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 1,101,500 people are employed as receptionists and information clerks. Many work in service-providing industries, with healthcare and social assistance providers employing about 46 percent of all receptionists and information clerks. Factories, wholesale and retail stores, and service providers also employ a large percentage of these workers. Most receptionists work full time.

Starting Out

While you are in high school, you may be able to learn of openings with local businesses through your school counselors or newspaper want ads and employment Web sites. Local state employment offices frequently have information about receptionist work. You should also contact area businesses for whom you would like to work; many available positions are not advertised in the paper because they are filled so quickly. Temporary-work agencies are a valuable resource for finding jobs, too, some of which may lead to permanent employment. Friends and relatives may also know of job openings.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement opportunities are limited for receptionists, especially in small offices. The more clerical skills and education workers have, the greater their chances for promotion to such better-paying jobs as secretary, administrative assistant, or bookkeeper. College or business school training can help receptionists advance to higher-level positions. Many companies provide training for their receptionists and other employees, helping workers gain skills for job advancement.

Tips for Entry

Join professional associations to access networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.

Read OfficePro ( to learn more about successful office practices.

Talk with receptionists about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.  

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