A front desk clerk is an administrative professional. He literally sits at the front desk of a commercial or residential building, serving as gatekeeper. He may announce visitors, answer the telephone and record the names of all who enter. He typically also has the authority to deny entry to visitors.
A front desk clerk greets and monitors visitors to a building. He has an in-depth knowledge of all tenants. He may record the names and time of entry of visitors. He may announce visitors. He may accept packages. He may deny a visitor entry into the building. He may communicate with tenants and/or local authorities during emergency situations. He may also answer incoming telephone calls.
Front desk clerks are employed in office buildings, industrial facilities and residential buildings across the United States. Additionally, front desk clerks are on staff at schools, universities, prisons, government agencies and medical facilities. A candidate seeking this type of employment may apply directly to the company or firm for which she would like to work. Additionally, these roles may be found advertised in local newspapers. Available front desk clerk roles may be posted on online job search boards such as monster.com, jobs.com and careerbuilder.com. Professional organizations such as the National Association of Professional Receptionists provide a host of resources and a number of networking opportunities for active job seekers. Candidates may also utilize services of employment agencies that focus specifically on the placement of administrative and entry-level office professionals.
The successful candidate for the role of front desk clerk must possess exceptional interpersonal skills, as she will be interacting with everyone who enters her facility. She must also be able to read and write, as she may be required to keep a log recording the names of all visitors. She must be able to perform multiple tasks at once. She also must understand how to be pleasant yet firm, as she serves as a gatekeeper to all who live and work in her facility.
A four-year degree is not required for this job. The successful candidate for a front desk clerk role must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Prior experience operating a multi-line telephone switchboard is typically preferred in larger organizations where answering telephone calls is a required duty.
According to Salary.com, the average receptionist working in the United States in 2009 earns an annual base salary of $28,669. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the employment of receptionists and information clerks to increase by 17 percent from 2006 through 2016.