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Receptionists and Information Clerks
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Description: what do they do?
Answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.
Also known as:
Senior Receptionist, Office Assistant, Front Desk Receptionist, Scheduler, Member Service Representative, Community Liaison, Unit Assistant, Receptionist, Greeter, Clerk Specialist

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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00:00

    Transcript: “Keeping information organized and getting things done” could be the motto of information clerks everywhere. And they do work everywhere— courts of law, hospitals, license offices, airports… just about every business out there... employs information clerks. Information clerks process many kinds of information both online and in print. They receive requests, orders, and applications, explain procedures, enter and retrieve data, and file documents. Some—such as front desk clerks— interact with the public frequently, and also handle fees and payments. These clerks often administer private information, so integrity is an essential quality in this field. They are also skilled at using different office equipment and have an excellent understanding of data storage tools and procedures. Although information clerks are employed in many industries, most work in government agencies, hotels, and healthcare facilities. While most work normal fulltime office hours, part-time schedules are common for file clerks and hotel clerks, who also often work evenings, weekends, and holidays. For those clerks who deal with dissatisfied customers, positions can be stressful at times. Clerks who work at airline ticket —or shipping—counters handle heavy luggage or packages, sometimes up to 100 pounds. Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job. In some positions, employers may prefer candidates with college experience or an associate’s degree.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Projected to have a large number of job openings


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Massachusetts
21,450
2016 Employment
21,970
2026 Employment
2%
Percent change
2,840
Annual projected job openings
United States
1,053,700
2016 Employment
1,149,200
2026 Employment
9%
Percent change
151,100
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Receptionists and Information Clerks in Massachusetts
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationMassachusettsUnited States
10%$23,460$20,080
25%$25,160$23,300
Median$30,190$28,390
75%$37,230$34,830
90%$45,280$40,880


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • Less than 1 month on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
  • Respond to customer problems or complaints.
  • File documents or records.
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Operate computers or computerized equipment.
  • Collect deposits, payments or fees.
  • Send information, materials or documentation.
  • Calculate costs of goods or services.
  • Analyze operational or research data.
  • Sort mail.
  • Distribute incoming mail.
  • Prepare business correspondence.
  • Discuss goods or services information with customers or patrons.
  • Record personnel information.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Clean facilities or equipment.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Provide notifications to customers or patrons.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Operate telephone switchboard to answer, screen, or forward calls, providing information, taking messages, or scheduling appointments.
  • Greet persons entering establishment, determine nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations.
  • Schedule appointments and maintain and update appointment calendars.
  • Hear and resolve complaints from customers or the public.
  • File and maintain records.
  • Perform administrative support tasks, such as proofreading, transcribing handwritten information, or operating calculators or computers to work with pay records, invoices, balance sheets, or other documents.
  • Receive payment and record receipts for services.
  • Transmit information or documents to customers, using computer, mail, or facsimile machine.
  • Calculate and quote rates for tours, stocks, insurance policies, or other products or services.
  • Analyze data to determine answers to questions from customers or members of the public.
  • Collect, sort, distribute, or prepare mail, messages, or courier deliveries.
  • Process and prepare memos, correspondence, travel vouchers, or other documents.
  • Provide information about establishment, such as location of departments or offices, employees within the organization, or services provided.
  • Keep a current record of staff members' whereabouts and availability.
  • Take orders for merchandise or materials and send them to the proper departments to be filled.
  • Perform duties, such as taking care of plants or straightening magazines to maintain lobby or reception area.
  • Schedule space or equipment for special programs and prepare lists of participants.
  • Enroll individuals to participate in programs and notify them of their acceptance.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.