In receptionist certificate programs, students gain important skills that can help to improve employment opportunities. These programs are often open to anyone over the age of 18 who holds a high school degree or its equivalent. Incoming students should also have basic typing skills and a firm grasp of the English language. Students will study databases, word processing, telephone systems and some basic accounting.
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Receptionist Certification Program
Certificate programs for receptionists and administrative assistants teach the basic and practical tasks necessary to run the front office of an organization. Office technology is an important component of the curriculum as well, with coursework in spreadsheet software programs and fax machine operation. If you are studying to become a medical or dental receptionist, you'll likely complete additional courses in medical terminology and hospital procedures. Some of the courses found in such a program include:
- Intro to human relations
- Presentation software
- Business communications
- Basic financial accounting and computerized accounting
- Desktop publishing software
- Filing systems and office technology
Employment Outlook and Career Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), receptionists held nearly one million jobs in 2015, with the majority of these positions being in doctors' offices. The BLS predicted employment of receptionists to grow by 10% from 2014-2024, which is faster than the average for all careers. The median annual wage for receptionists in 2015 was $27,300 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Options and Certification
Associate's degrees and sometimes even bachelor's degree programs are available for aspiring receptionists, although they are not usually required by employers. Receptionists who are considering moving up to positions in office management or human resources might consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program. Receptionists can also gain voluntary certification from organizations like the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the International Virtual Assistants Association or the National Association of Legal Secretaries.
Students looking to complete a receptionist certificate program will complete several classes that will help in running a front office. Some of these classes include business communications, basic financial accounting, computerized accounting, and desktop publishing software.