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Front Desk Administrator Duties and Responsibilities

The industry in which a front desk administrator works plays a large role in determining daily tasks. However, our perusal of job listings shows various core duties generally expected of front desk administrators including the following:

Greet and Guide Guests After extending a warm welcome and exchanging basic pleasantries, front desk administrators focus on moving things along. They sign for deliveries, offer directions, show people where to wait, notify staff of someone's arrival, hand out forms to fill out, and complete any other action that promotes efficiency.

Answer Phones Front desk administrators attend to incoming calls. They answer many questions themselves, such as providing directions to the facility or stating the hours of operation. Other calls need to be routed to the appropriate party. Scheduling appointments and taking messages are often part of their phone duties. At places such as dental offices, call volume can be quite heavy. Front desk administrators also place a significant number of outgoing calls.

Help with Security Want to know who just left the building? Ask the front desk administrator. Perfectly positioned to monitor everyone's coming and going, they play a significant role in the building's security measures. Issuing badges, checking identification, unlocking bathrooms, and maintaining a guest registry are common actions.

Facilitate Sales and Payment Depending on the facility, front desk administrators may be involved in promoting products and services. For instance, someone who works at a dance studio may offer a visitor a brochure on lessons and describe the highlights of each package. Or at a medical office, the front desk administrator may be in charge of collecting copayments before patients see doctors.

Perform Clerical Tasks Faxing, copying, scanning, entering data, tidying the reception area, filing, gathering and packaging outgoing packages, and other basic office duties commonly show up on a front desk administrator's to-do list.


Front Desk Administrator Skills and Qualifications

Pleasant people eager to help anyone who walks through the door make good front desk administrators. A friendly smile, professional appearance, and polite manners reflect well on the employer. Other factors critical to the job include:
  • Multitasking - phones ringing, people waiting for help at the desk, requests from staff members - front desk administrators juggle it all with grace
  • Guest relations - companies cannot prosper without their customers, so front desk administrators listen carefully to their needs and act accordingly
  • Discretion - only trustworthy individuals who respect the confidentiality of others need apply, especially in healthcare settings where personal and sensitive information abound
  • Computer competency - common computer tasks include scheduling appointments, booking reservations, recording payments, checking insurance coverage, and entering guest information
  • Team attitude - no job is too big or too small if it contributes to the overall good of the organization
  • Self-motivation - once trained, front desk administrators tend to work with minimal supervision and are trusted to prioritize and complete tasks on their own

Front Desk Administrator Salary and Outlook

The pay range for front desk administrators varies considerably based on factors such as industry, geography, and employer expectations. A look at current job postings for front desk administrators shows hourly wages ranging from $14 to $21 and yearly salaries from $34,000 to $45,000. Full-time workers usually receive medical and dental insurance, and many companies offer retirement plans and paid vacation.

Helpful Resources

Think you'd make a good front desk administrator? Here are other sources of information to explore as you consider this career:

A Job Seeker's and Worker's Guide: Managing the Front Desk - front desk administrators provide the first impression guests get of a company or organization. The importance of this role is tackled in this ebook

The Receptionist Handbook - front desk administrators handle a variety of reception duties, and this practical but fun-to-read book offers advice on getting organized, dressing for success, and making conversation

Professional Front Office Management - need some assistance dealing with guests? This offering from Pearson Education has you covered

American Society of Administrative Professionals - career advancement and continuing education are two of ASAP's primary concerns

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