When your pearly whites need attention, the first person you talk to at the dentist’s office is likely to be the receptionist. A key member of the dental team, she helps manage patient flow, answer questions and keep the office running smoothly. In addition to the basic skills any receptionist needs, a dental receptionist needs some specialized knowledge.
Most receptionists have a high school or GED diploma. They handle telephone communications, greet patients and put them at ease, schedule and confirm appointments, and manage both patient and business records. In some offices, the dental receptionist also performs billing duties and must be knowledgeable of specific dental procedures to ensure proper payment. Some dental receptionists might also handle marketing, according to the DentalWorkers website. The dental receptionist could also be the person in the office who performs secretarial functions, such as preparing letters, filing and ordering supplies.
Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides job outlook data for receptionists in general and projects job growth of 14 percent between 2012 and 2022. The average for all occupations is projected to be 11 percent for the same period. The BLS groups dental receptionists with all other types of receptionists, who had an average annual salary of $27,450 in 2013. The BLS does note, however, that receptionists who worked in dental offices earned more, at $32,330. The job site Indeed reports dental receptionists earned an average annual salary of $30,000 in 2014.
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