In addition to the office administration courses found in certificate and diploma programs, students pursuing an associate's degree are often required to take business English, business math and customer service classes. Students enrolled in online receptionist courses may choose to work in a typical business office or direct their training toward a specific area of interest, such as the legal or medical field.
Distance education students taking receptionist courses need a computer with high-speed Internet access. They may also be required to have Microsoft Word or a similar software program. Students may have to purchase textbooks or specialized software for some courses.
Online Receptionist Courses
The following descriptions highlight the curriculum of some commonly offered online receptionist courses.
- Word Processing Applications Course: This course introduces students to word processing software for use in business and personal letters, memoranda, reports and tables. Students develop skills in formatting, editing and proofreading, with emphasis on accuracy and speed. Students should be familiar with basic computer keyboarding prior to enrolling in this course.
- Intro to Office Procedures Course: This course details the fundamental duties and responsibilities of a receptionist, including handling and distributing mail, scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, directing calls, ordering and inventorying supplies, greeting guests and photocopying or otherwise reproducing documents. Students learn the importance of good customer service and professionalism in the office.
- Records Management Course: Students explore the fundamentals of record keeping and efficient filing. Emphasis is placed on managing records according to specific criteria, such as alphanumeric value, geographic location or subject matter. Students also learn about electronic file management, imaging systems, retention time, control measures used in record management, and equipment and supplies needed for modern-day record keeping.
- Using Outlook Course: Students learn the importance of communication through e-mail with an introduction to Microsoft Outlook. This course demonstrates the use of Outlook to schedule meetings, send and receive e-mails and faxes, import and export data, and maintain electronic calendars.
- Procedures in a Legal Office Course: Students examine the roles of attorneys and other legal staff. They also gain skills in maintaining trust accounts, dockets and time slips, as well as using the law library as a reference and learning aid. Students become knowledgeable in notary public requirements, legal terminology, garnishments and collections, trial preparation, courthouse procedures, customer service and various aspects of law office management.
- Introduction to Medical Terminology Course: This course provides students with an introduction to terminology used in a medical setting. They learn basic anatomy, along with terms used in reference to body structure, surgery, disease and treatment. Students may be required to purchase textbooks and other materials for this course.
- Banking and Accounting: This course prepares students with an overview of banking, accounting and bookkeeping skills for businesses. Coursework typically includes reconciling bank accounts, basic accounting techniques, keeping records, and preparing invoices and bills.