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Receptionists provide a vital link between customers or clients and an organization's staff and services.

  • Avg. Salary $34,884.00
  • Avg. Wage $19.99
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 21,300
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Dental Office Receptionist, Medical Office Receptionist, Office Personnel, Veterinary Office Receptionist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Receptionists (1414.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Receptionists and Switchboard Operators (B514) 
  • 2011 NOC: Receptionists (1414) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Receptionist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in speaking to greet people and provide information in person and by phone


Interest in compiling information to schedule appointments for employers; may perform clerical duties such as filing, and collecting and distributing mail and messages; may maintain security access lists


Interest in handling equipment such as telephones and computers; and in directing clients and customers to appropriate contacts and services; and may maintain front desk security

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 14, 2016

Duties vary from one position to another, but in general, receptionists:

  • greet people entering offices, hospitals and other establishments, answer questions and direct visitors to appropriate people or services
  • answer, screen and forward telephone calls
  • take messages and provide information
  • schedule appointments and meetings using paper and electronic calendars
  • maintain a current record of staff members' whereabouts
  • accept messenger and courier deliveries
  • perform other clerical duties such as word processing, compiling and recording data, maintaining files and inventories, operating office equipment, sorting mail, stuffing envelopes or proofreading.

In hospitals, medical clinics and veterinary clinics, receptionists also obtain information from patients or animal owners, direct people to the appropriate treatment areas and keep admission records.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Many receptionists work regular office hours. Evening and weekend work is required in hospitals and other establishments that are open for extended hours. Working with people and answering telephones can be hectic and stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Receptionists need the following characteristics:

  • good verbal and written communication skills
  • good listening skills
  • a friendly, outgoing personality
  • tact and the ability to stay calm during busy periods and when callers are persistent or rude
  • good organizational skills
  • the ability to multi-task
  • a genuine interest in people and in helping others
  • the desire and ability to work with little supervision when dealing with routine matters.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Receptionists need computer experience and knowledge of general office procedures and exceptional telephone manners. Specific educational requirements vary a great deal depending on the employer. Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have at least a high school diploma and related training or experience dealing with the public.

In Alberta, many colleges, technical schools and private vocational schools offer programs related to office administration.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Calgary

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer

Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Spruce Grove

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Business IQ Training

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care- Calgary North

College of New Caledonia - Prince George

Mount Royal University

NorQuest College

Red River College - Winnipeg

Robertson College - Calgary NW

Robertson College - Edmonton

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Training Inc. - Lethbridge

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Receptionists are employed in:

  • banks
  • schools, universities and colleges
  • professional office environments, such as law and accounting firms
  • government departments
  • medical, dental and health and wellness offices and clinics
  • hospitals
  • veterinary clinics and animal hospitals
  • real estate and insurance offices
  • oil and gas industry firms
  • small and large businesses.

Some positions are part time.

Automated office equipment such as computers has not changed the nature of the work (communication with people), but increasing use of voice mail and email in many offices may reduce the number of jobs in which telephone answering is a major component of the work.

Receptionists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1414: Receptionists. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the B514: Receptionists and Switchboard Operators occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 605 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Salaries vary a great deal depending on the receptionist's qualifications and the responsibilities involved.

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.00 $24.50 $17.37 $16.83
Overall $13.88 $28.50 $19.99 $19.50
Top $14.75 $34.29 $22.72 $21.92

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Wholesale Trade
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Transportation and Warehousing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Retail Trade
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Accommodation & Food Services
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Mar 19, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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