Should I Become an Optometric Receptionist?
Optometric receptionists greet individuals in an optometrist's office who may have appointments for eyesight checkups. Like most office receptionists, they might also answer the phone, process paperwork, restock supplies and provide clinic information to inquirers. They often use computers to make, reschedule or cancel appointments. Work sometimes becomes exceptionally busy or stressful, with the occurrence of multiple patients or phone calls. The median annual salary for receptionists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $27,300 in May 2015.
|Degree Level||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Training||Brief on-the-job training, covering office procedures and privacy rules|
|Experience||Some employers may prefer up to five years of experience; advancement is commensurate with experience|
|Key Skills||Customer service, typing, communication and organization skills; understanding of industry-specific software and applications|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Beome an Optometric Receptionist
Let's see what steps you'll want to take to become an optometric receptionist.
Step 1: Complete High School Education
A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically all that is necessary to work as an optometric receptionist. Although excellent interpersonal and communication skills are vital to this job, knowledge of computer spreadsheets and word-processing software is also important for entry-level work. Therefore, taking any sort of computer skills courses while attending high school can be beneficial.
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
A good disposition and excellent people skills might lead prospective optometric receptionists to an interview, but knowing how to greet customers courteously, answer the telephone professionally and operate a computer proficiently are also important traits for getting the job. Optometric receptionists can build upon these basic skills by gaining experience filing and maintaining office records, taking accurate messages and handling mail or deliveries. Collecting customer payments, filing insurance claims and keeping accurate payment records are also duties that an optometric receptionist will likely learn on the job.
- Gain experience in a relevant industry. Some employers prefer applicants to have job experience in the optical or medical industry, while some may accept applicants who have worked in any customer service field.
- Learn the office terminology. Although receptionists across the business spectrum perform many of the same duties, those working in a medical setting need to learn the office terminology and computer programs to advance in their careers. Being competent with vocabulary that is likely to be used at his or her workplace allows the receptionist to serve as the optometrist's liaison when dealing with sales representatives, suppliers, opticians and fellow optometrists. Aspiring optometric receptionists can choose to take a course in medical terminology to help them become more proficient in these duties.
Step 3: Take College Courses
Although a college education is not a prerequisite for employment, those who have taken postsecondary courses in business, computers or finance may find more opportunities for career advancement. Those with postsecondary training coupled with additional experience can advance to positions with higher responsibility and better pay.
- Consider earning a professional certification. Organizations like the American Society of Administrative Professionals offer opportunities to earn additional credentials, such as the Professional Administrative Certificate of Excellence (PACE). This designation is earned by participating in pre-approved webinars, continuing education courses and self-study programs. It can help demonstrate a high level of dedication and skill to current or potential employers.
To be an optometric receptionist, you'll need a high school diploma and experience in office procedures and customer service.