Salon receptionists, like other receptionists, provide customers with the first impression of the business. Receptionists answer telephones to respond to public inquiries, use computers to arrange appointments, and they greet and direct customers to hairstylists. They might also serve as cashiers and sell salon products to customers. Salon receptionists are also sometimes responsible for keeping salons neat. Salon receptionists' salaries, however, tend to be on the low end of the receptionist pay scale.
In 2010, the median annual salary for receptionists employed in personal care services was $20,940, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the overall median annual salary for receptionists was $25,240. The median hourly wage of receptionists in personal care services in May 2008 was $9.35, according to the bureau. In 2009, the median hourly wage overall for receptionists was $12.05, according to O*Net OnLine.
In 2010, receptionists overall earned the highest mean annual salaries in the District of Columbia, at $34,530; Connecticut, at $31,760; Hawaii, at $29,880; Alaska, at $29,8700; and Massachusetts, at $28,970, according to the bureau. The five top-paying metropolitan areas, according to the bureau, were the New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey, metropolitan division, with a mean annual wage at $29,070; the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California, metropolitan division, at $28,140; the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Illinois, metropolitan division, at $27,780; the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia, metropolitan division, at $30,780; and the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, metropolitan division, at $29,060.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates overall receptionist employment to increase by 15 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The increase will be due to growth in industries such as physician and other health practitioner offices, technical consulting and personal care services.
Receptionist positions don't require a lot of formal education or training. Data from 2008 from Missouri shows that 41.8 percent of receptionists had a high school education or less, and 45.5 percent had some college but no degree. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education notes that most people become receptionists through short-term, on-the job training. Although receptionists receive on-the-job training, employers sometimes first look for applicants who already have experience in areas such as answering phones and using computers. On-the-job training provides skills the receptionist specifically needs to know for that business, such as how to greet customers, according to the bureau. O*Net OnLine points out that receptionists need customer and personal service skills, clerical skills, language skills, and familiarity with computers and electronics.