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Hospital Receptionist: Job & Career Info

Hospital receptionists check in patients and make sure that they have everything they need. Read on to learn about the training, skills, salary and employment outlook pertaining to this occupation.

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Career Definition

Hospital receptionists work in hospitals and help patients, answer phones, assist patients, handle mail, file records and make sure medical offices are running smoothly. Receptionists are also responsible for giving patients information on what is happening in the clinic and checking them in for appointments.

How to Become a Hospital Receptionist

Education Required

Most employers will require that hospital receptionists have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. They will be trained on the job, and it's recommended that prospective receptionists take computer classes, as much of their work is directly related to the use of computer technology.

Skills Required

Hospital receptionists are required to have excellent customer and interpersonal skills. It is critical for receptionists to be professional, helpful and courteous at all times. Hospital receptionists need to be able to listen carefully and relay accurate information. Having technical and phone skills is also a must.

Career and Economic Outlook

Careers for hospital receptionists are available all over the U.S.A. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, predicts that there will be a 14% growth in jobs for receptionists from 2012-2022, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Advancement opportunities and promotions are available to become a secretary or administrative assistant. The average hourly wage of a hospital receptionist is around $13.00 as of May 2012.

Alternate Career Options

Secretary and Administrative Assistant

With a high school diploma, many secretaries and administrative assistants learn their skills on the job; medical or legal secretaries may require additional training pertaining to their industry's terminologies. From 2012-2022, these workers in general could expect an average employment increase of 12%, the BLS said. During that same decade, the demand for medical secretaries would be much faster than average, with 36% growth expected. The median annual salary overall for secretaries and administrative assistants was $35,330, the BLS reported, with executive secretaries earning the top wages.

Information Clerk

Information clerks may secure positions providing information to customers, maintaining records and collecting information with just a high school diploma, although some specialties may prefer applicants with some college courses. Little or no change in the number of available jobs, from 2012-2022, was predicted by the BLS, with just 2% growth projected. In 2012, the BLS reported an annual median wage of $30,650 for these clerks.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics