How Do I Choose the Best Receptionist Courses?

Whitney Leigh White

Many times, the front desk personnel of a business or organization has to work in hectic environments. Not only do they have to answer phones, but they also have to interact with customers and coworkers, as well as tend to other tasks such as accounting duties and more. With so much to do, it is imperative that a receptionist be properly trained, as this will help a business or organization to operate in a smooth, effective, and efficient manner. Receptionist courses can be taken both in person or online, and are found on an international basis. The best courses should include proper training in verbal communication, word processing and financial programs, and interpersonal communication.

It may be beneficial for medical receptionists to learn medical terminology.
It may be beneficial for medical receptionists to learn medical terminology.

The exact type of receptionist courses chosen should be relevant to the industry in which you work or desire to work. Often, a receptionist will be required to complete transcriptions or business letters and other paperwork that necessitate correct spelling and a recognition of the common terminology used in the industry. When employed in an industry that used specific vocabulary and jargon, such as the medical or legal fields, it is extremely helpful to take terminology courses. There are classes offered in many fields that provide training in this area.

Receptionists must have excellent communication skills.
Receptionists must have excellent communication skills.

Whether to obtain a certificate or degree, or to just improve your skills, there are a variety of ways in which to take receptionist courses. Online courses are a modern and convenient educational advantage, though you must have computer with access to high-speed Internet and a word processing program. Also pay attention to see what additional requirements each class may have, including purchasing textbooks or buying computer software, as this can be in addition to the basic costs of enrollment. In-person classes at a college or vocational training facility will usually be held in a computer lab where software is already installed, though you may have to schedule time in the lab in order to complete assignments.

Professional telephone etiquette is often taught in vocational courses about business administration.
Professional telephone etiquette is often taught in vocational courses about business administration.

Other classes to take will teach you how to improve your verbal communication skills, as a professional receptionist should know how to properly handle day-to-day business in addition to dealing with difficult customers and coworkers. Topics may include how to interact with customers and coworkers both in person and on the phone, multitasking while interacting with people, and properly taking messages. Handling stressful situations, delivering exceptional customer service, and working with appointments are all skills that a receptionist should have.

A receptionist program may teach students how to handle sensitive or confidential documents.
A receptionist program may teach students how to handle sensitive or confidential documents.
A receptionist may be responsible for scheduling executive meetings.
A receptionist may be responsible for scheduling executive meetings.

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Discussion Comments

discographer

I never took a proper receptionist course. But I did take several courses on computers, typing and using software before I started working as a receptionist. The courses were very useful.

burcinc

@ankara-- If you're sure that you want to work for law firms, then it would be better for you to get training in that area.

Even though the basic responsibilities of receptionists are the same across the board, each firm/company requires different kind of knowledge and experience. A legal receptionist's job is not the same as a medical receptionist's job.

I think it would be more helpful for you to take a course on legal office work.

bluedolphin

I'm planning on being a receptionist for law firms. There is a community college nearby that offers courses for office assistants and receptionists. But the course that's available this semester is for general office receptionist. They do have a course for legal receptionists, but it's not available until next year.

Should I take the course that's available now or wait for the one that's specifically on the type of receptionist job I want.

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