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Dentist Office Receptionist: Employment Outlook and Career Profile

Dentist office receptionists require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and job outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

Dentist office receptionists can usually work with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, providing administrative support to dentists and patients. Here you will find more details about the job duties and requirements of dentist office receptionists.

Essential Information

Dentist office receptionists work with dentists and other office personnel to help patients feel comfortable and welcomed. Like other receptionists, they may answer telephones, field questions and accept payments. A high school education or GED diploma is usually sufficient for this job, although certificate programs and courses in dental office administration are available. On-the-job training is usually provided as well, with an emphasis on patient confidentiality requirements.

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Projected Job Growth for All Receptionists 10% (2014-2024)*
Median Salary for Dental Office Receptionists $30,662 (2016)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.

Employment Outlook for a Dentist Office Receptionist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for receptionists in general were expected to grow by 10% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth is faster than the national average and was attributed to an increase in the number of physician and dental offices opening to keep up with the growing industry. PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that the median salary for front desk receptionists in dental offices was $30,662. The BLS also stated that the median annual wage for all receptionists was $27,300 as of May 2015, with the bottom 10% earning less than $19,070 and the top 10% earning more than $39,350. Top paying states for receptionists include the District of Columbia, Connecticut and Alaska.

Career Profile for a Dentist Office Receptionist

Dentist office receptionists greet visitors, respond to internal and external questions, screen and transfer calls, answer phones, distribute mail and provide information to patients and other parties. Receptionists may also oversee the transfer of files and information between other offices, acquire patients' profiles and handle the payment of services rendered. Other duties may include making appointments for patients. During the course of their day, dental office receptionists may use office equipment, such as fax machines and computers, to send and transfer information between doctors' offices, other organizations and patients.

Training

Prospective dentist office receptionists may find employment with a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school students may consider courses that help them gain a basic knowledge of computers, word processing and creating spreadsheets. High school graduates may look for immediate employment and receive on-the-job training from their employer.

Aspiring dentist office receptionists who want to gain additional training prior to entering the workforce may look to postsecondary courses or 1-year certificate programs in dental, medical or general office administration. These programs may cover topics in collection procedures, insurance claims, administrative procedures and dental terminology.

Dentist office receptionists need to have a working knowledge of office equipment and procedures, as well as customer service skills as they work with patients. While a high school diploma and on-the-job training is typically required to do this work, some receptionists complete a certificate program. Demand for all receptionists, including those in dental offices, is strong, and is expected to grow at a rate of 10% from 2014 to 2024.

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