18 Pros and Cons of Being a Receptionist

A career as a receptionist can be a great way to break into the business world, particularly if you don’t have a lot of training and simply want to jump into a job without going to college.

That said, this job isn’t right for everyone and might even be challenging for the wrong person.

Here are several pros and cons of this career field that you need to understand before starting. 

Pros of Being a Receptionist

While it might not seem immediately obvious at first, there are many advantages to starting a career as a receptionist.

It’s one of those jobs that has always seemed to be around and which is often available in many different markets and fields.

Here are a few reasons why this job might be right for you, including brief explanations of each point. 

1. Minimal Training Needed

Are you ready to start working right out of high school and don’t want to deal with getting a college degree?

A receptionist job might be the best option for you.

Typically, you don’t need to get any specialized degree to start in this field.

While a degree in business might help you stand out, you can become a receptionist right out of high school with no special education. 

2. The Chance to Meet a Lot of People 

If you’re someone who likes meeting new people and who enjoys social situations, you’ll probably like this career path!

Receptionists often interact with multiple new people every day and can even make new friends and business contacts in this way.

As a result, this career choice is a great option for anyone who wants to expand their social network.

3. Mastering New Skills 

As a receptionist, you’ll get the chance to learn a broad range of skills, including interpersonal abilities, communication skills, and much more.

You’ll also master various organization and multitasking duties, which can further improve your resume.

By boosting your resume in this way, you might be able to find bigger and better jobs later on the road. 

4. Perform Important Tasks 

It’s an open secret at most businesses that the receptionist or secretary is often the most knowledgeable person about a company.

That’s because they typically interact with multiple important people throughout the day and have to balance a lot of information about a firm.

As a result, this job is a good choice if you’re someone who likes to feel important. 

5. Help People In Many Ways 

Receptionists are often smiling and naturally happy people who enjoy helping others with various tasks.

If you’re someone who likes helping people and who wants to make a difference in the lives of others, you might enjoy this job field.

It’s one that has become particularly popular with anyone who feels better when they make a positive difference.

6. Learn Hospitality Skills 

The hospitality market is a big one that often includes multiple career types that may appeal to you.

For example, receptionists are often one of the best entry-level careers in this field, meaning it might work well for someone with a hospitality degree.

Even if you have a college degree, learning in a hands-on environment is an amazing way to build your resume.

7. Potential for Other Jobs 

As you build your administrative skills as a receptionist, you could move on to other careers within this field.

For example, you could become an office manager or customer service specialist, especially if you have a college degree.

Some employers may even pay to help you earn a college degree if they like you and want to help you grow in this field. 

8. Steady Work Schedule 

Unlike some entry-level career paths, receptionists typically have pretty steady work schedules.

For example, you’ll likely work during a company’s operational hours and go home when they’re closed.

Typically, these include 9-5 work schedules, which may work well for many people.

If you crave stability in your job, you’ll like being a receptionist. 

9. Most Tasks Aren’t Challenging 

Do you want a job that isn’t going to feel too demanding or which has tasks you can mostly handle with minimal training?

A receptionist career might be a great option for you because this job is rarely demanding for most people.

The tasks are often things that you can learn quickly, which makes it a fairly simple profession to learn with on-the-job apprenticeships.

Cons of Being a Receptionist

While it’s true that being a receptionist can be a rewarding and enjoyable job, it’s definitely not one that works well for everyone.

There are many downsides to this career that you need to understand before applying to ensure that you make the right job choice.

Here’s what you need to know about the downsides of this career and how they affect job satisfaction. 

1. Not Always a Lot of Upward Momentum 

While it’s possible that you could progress to better jobs within your business after starting as a receptionist, these opportunities are often rare.

For example, some companies may only hire office managers with a college degree instead of hiring receptionists without one.

As a result, your job path might be a dead-end, depending on your training and employer. 

2. It Might Be Very Boring 

Are you someone who likes a lot of stimulation at your job?

Well, receptionists often have a lot of downtime, including when they’ve finished paperwork and if people simply aren’t coming to their business that day.

As a result, some people might find this career rather boring, depending on their preference.

Others may prefer that more low-key job feel. 

3. Can Become Overwhelming 

Here’s the thing about being a receptionist: while it can be boring at many times, it also has the potential to become fairly overwhelming.

For example, multiple people might show up quickly and make it hard for you to handle your job duties.

These unpredictably busy moments can be very frustrating and may make this job more overwhelming than expected. 

4. Pay is Not Great 

As a receptionist, you’re not going to make great money.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make a median pay of just under $30,000 per year or $14.40 per hour.

If you don’t have a lot of debt or minimal payments you need to make, that could be a livable wage.

For most people, unfortunately, it’s not likely that you’ll be financially strong in this field. 

5. It Can Be a Very Demanding Job 

Depending on your position, being a receptionist can be very easy or demanding.

For example, if you work for a doctor in a big city, you might deal with many people every day.

Some employers may also put a heavy burden on you to complete various tasks, which can make your life a little harder.

This variance in difficulty makes a receptionist job a little unpredictable.

6. Some People Might Treat Your Rudely 

The truth about being a receptionist is that people might treat you questionably at times.

Why is that the case?

Well, you’re often the first face they see when they get to a business, and if they have a problem, they’re going to single you out to vent about it.

That can make this job emotionally difficult for some people and make it very hard to manage properly. 

7. A Bad Boss Can Be Rough 

Receptionists may work for a single boss, such as a doctor or dentist, and struggle with that employer for many reasons.

For example, they might treat you rudely or expect you to work long hours without paying you more money.

This type of difficult work environment can make it tough to be a receptionist, especially if you feel stuck working for an employer.

8. You Could Get Stuck in This Career 

There’s an unfortunate tendency for people in receptionist positions to stay at the same job for years due to loyalty to their employer or simple inertia.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with working the same job your whole life!

However, there are many job opportunities out there that could improve a person’s life.

Staying on as a receptionist could hold you back from making your life better.

9. Shy People Aren’t Likely to Thrive 

Are you a shy person who struggles to feel comfortable in your work environment?

Would you prefer a more private job where you don’t have to interact with a lot of people?

Well, you really can’t get that with a receptionist job.

You’ll be out front every day, interacting with individuals and helping with their needs.

If you’re shy and don’t interact with others easily, stay out of this job.

14 Pros and Cons of Being a Receptionist – Summary Table

Pros of Being a ReceptionistCons of Being a Receptionist
1. Minimal Training Needed1. Not Always a Lot of Upward Momentum
2. The Chance to Meet a Lot of People2. It Might Be Very Boring
3. Mastering New Skills3. Can Become Overwhelming
4. Perform Important Tasks4. Pay is Not Great
5. Help People In Many Ways5. It Can Be a Very Demanding Job
6. Learn Hospitality Skills6. Some People Might Treat Your Rudely
7. Potential for Other Jobs7. A Bad Boss Can Be Rough
8. Steady Work Schedule8. You Could Get Stuck in This Career
9. Most Tasks Aren’t Challenging9. Shy People Aren't Likely to Thrive

Should You Become a Receptionist?

If you’re someone who wants to work in an office environment without having to take a lot of college classes, you might enjoy this job.

Though its difficulty and demands may vary heavily based on employers, it’s often a fairly streamlined and simple job that shouldn’t challenge you too much.

That said, make sure you feel comfortable with what your employer wants before assuming you’re okay.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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