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Receptionist

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

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Receptionists (1414) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Receptionists

2006 NOC: 1414.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
SOCIAL

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

METHODICAL

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

directive

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Duties vary from one position to another. In general, receptionists greet people entering offices, hospitals, and other establishments. They answer questions and direct visitors to appropriate people or services. They also:

  • Answer, screen, and forward telephone calls
  • Greet customers, clients, and vendors
  • 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, and proofreading
  • Set up rooms for activities such as meetings and appointments
  • Send and receive documents electronically
  • Maintain a welcoming and tidy waiting area
  • Order waiting room supplies such as coffee, bottled water, and magazines

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 Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Many receptionists work regular office hours. Evening and weekend work is required in hospitals and other establishments that are open for extended hours.

Receptionists interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Working with people and answering telephones can be hectic and stressful, especially when callers or customers are persistent or rude.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Receptionists need:

  • A friendly, outgoing personality
  • Discretion and professionalism
  • Tact and a calm demeanour under stress
  • Listening and communication skills and exceptional telephone manners
  • Organizational skills
  • The ability to multitask
  • A working knowledge of their organization
  • Interpersonal skills
  • A genuine interest in people and helping others
  • Self-motivation and initiative

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Receptionists

2011 NOC: 1414

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jul 03, 2022 and Sep 26, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Answer telephone and relay telephone calls and messages
Tasks: Greet people and direct them to contacts or service areas
Tasks: Schedule and confirm appointments
Tasks: Provide basic information to clients and the public
Tasks: Perform clerical duties, such as filing and sorting and distributing mail
Tasks: Obtain and process information required to provide services
Attention to detail
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

Receptionists need computer experience and knowledge of general office procedures. 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 in 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.

Academy of Learning - Brooks
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
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
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South
College of New Caledonia
Mount Royal University
NorQuest College
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Red River College
Reeves College - Edmonton
Robertson College - Calgary
Robertson College - Edmonton
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Training Inc. - Lethbridge

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 1414: Receptionists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.7% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 588 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Receptionists

2016 NOC: 1414
Average Wage
$20.93
Per Hour
Average Salary
$34,820.00
Per Year
Average Hours
32.2
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1414 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $26.55 $18.44 $17.55
Overall $15.00 $30.00 $20.93 $20.00
Top $15.50 $34.00 $23.45 $22.50

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
50%
50%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
12%
12%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Mar 31, 2019. 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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