OFO No: 422601




Other names for Receptionist:

  • Front Desk Co-ordinator
  • Front Desk Support Officer
  • Tenancy Officer
  • 4224 – Hotel Receptionist

What is a Receptionist?

A Receptionist can work in a business, municipal office, factories, medical or dental offices or in a hotel etc.

A Receptionist is usually the first person one sees when entering the office or surgery – or the first person one speaks to if someone phones in. 

A Receptionist is like a secretary: a support to office administration and will probably complete tasks that include meeting and greeting customers, answering the phone, taking minutes in a meeting, filing etc.

A Receptionist needs to dress professionally, speak well and be positive and cheerful all the time.  They need to be able to multi-task and be efficient.  They are a reliable, important person in the running of the business.  They must be dependable.

A good Receptionist, could work themselves up through the company to becoming a PA (Personal Assistant) or even higher. Sometimes companies will send you for further training if you show initiative, hard work and dedication.

What does a Receptionist do?

(this will depend on what kind of receptionist business you’re employed in but these will give you a rough idea what is expected of you)

  • answers the phone / switchboard
  • takes messages
  • orders stationery, flowers, or catering for functions
  • takes minutes in meetings
  • does basic admin work: filing, mailing, office administration
  • schedules appointments
  • answesr questions for people about the company’s services
  • handles payments
  • types up documents
  • sends and receives emails
  • keeps up to date with what is going on in the office with regards to the business

Are you … ?

  • interested in office administration?
  • computer literate?
  • efficient?
  • a multi-tasker?
  • neat and presentable?
  • professional?
  • reliable?
  • a good communicator?
  • a good, clear speaking voice?
  • enjoy meeting new and different people;
  • able to keep information confidential?
  • good at two official languages including spelling
  • good at typing?

How do I become a Receptionist?

It would be great to get some form of qualification to be employed as a Receptionist but it’s not compulsory.

Becoming a Receptionist could be your stepping stone to bigger and greater things!

  • One can do courses to become a Receptionist or one can go the route of studying Secretarial programmes / Office Management courses etc.  Many study directions will qualify you for reception work. (see Secretary and Hotel Receptionist and Office Manager on our website for more details)

Most TVET (FET) colleges and other training institutions offer some sort of admin / secretarial type courses. These are usually Certificates or Diplomas.


  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 2 
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 3
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 4 


  • Learnership – Secretarial / Administration Services – Level 2
  • Learnership – Secretarial / Administration Services – Level 3
  • Learnership – Secretarial Administration Level 4


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Restaurant Hostess … or … TEFL/TESOL Teacher

Is becoming a Receptionist the right career choice for me?