Although hiring requirements for receptionists and information clerks vary by industry, a high school diploma or its equivalent is the most common educational requirement. Good interpersonal skills and being technologically proficient also are important to employers.
Receptionists and information clerks generally receive on-the-job training. However, employers often look for applicants who already possess certain skills, such as prior computer experience or answering telephones. Some employers also may prefer some formal office education or training. On the job, they learn how to operate the telephone system and computers. They also learn the proper procedures for greeting visitors and for distributing mail, faxes, and parcels.
Advancement for receptionists generally comes about either by transferring to a more responsible occupation or by being promoted to a supervisory position. Receptionists with especially strong computer skills may advance to a better paying job as a secretary or an administrative assistant.