Receptionists greet and assist clients, vendors and other visitors, and support office and administrative staff. A receptionist’s duties vary by company and industry, but usually include inbound call management, information retrieval and dissemination, building-access monitoring and appointment scheduling. As support staff, receptionists usually assist with preparing, creating, updating and distributing documents, records and correspondence. The minimum wage for this position varies throughout the country, based on the value that different employers place on this type of work and other factors.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics places receptionists and information clerks in the same occupational group for reporting wages. The BLS excludes certain positions that can sometimes overlap with these positions in regards to duties, such as secretaries, administrative assistants, switchboard operators and answering-service personnel.
As of May 2012, the minimum wage nationwide for receptionists and information clerks was approximately $8.71 per hour or less. The top 10 percent of these workers earned $18.16 per hour or more. Across the country, this group made on average approximately $12.49 per hour or $25,990 per year.
The minimum wage earned by receptionists nationwide varies between states and metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. For example, receptionists that worked full-time 2,080 hours per year in non-metropolitan East Georgia area earned an estimated $7.92 per hour or less, while their counterparts in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta area earned approximately $8.56 per hour or less. In the Gulf Coast Texas non-metropolitan area, receptionists earned an estimated $7.95 per hour or less, while receptionists in the non-metropolitan areas of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai earned $10.67 per hour or less.
Besides regional differences, entry-level workers usually make the minimum wage or less. Those with previous experience, industry-specific knowledge or formal office training typically make higher than the minimum. Additionally, companies in certain industries pay more. For example, receptionists in scientific, governmental, distribution and transportation industries earned between $16.36 and $25.92 per hour, on average. Of the five industries that employed the most receptionists -- health and scientific industries -- hourly wages on average were well above minimum between $10.42 and $15.07 per hour.
According to the BLS “Occupational Employment Projections to 2020” report, the occupational group that consists of receptionists and information clerks is projected to experience 23.7 percent growth between 2010 and 2020. In terms of new job numbers, this percentage means that employers will likely add an extra 248,500 jobs to the estimated 1.04 million receptionist and information clerk positions reported for 2010.