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Career and Education Opportunities for Receptionists in Fort Smith, Arkansas

If you want to be a receptionist, the Fort Smith, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 8,630 people are currently employed as receptionists in Arkansas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 20% to about 10,360 people employed. This is better than the national trend for receptionists, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.2% over the next eight years. Receptionists generally answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties.

The income of a receptionist is about $10 hourly or $21,050 annually on average in Arkansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $11 hourly or $24,550 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Clerical, people working as receptionists in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Clerical nationally.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Fort Smith area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree to start your career as a receptionist. Given that the most common education level for receptionists is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a receptionist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Receptionist

Receptionist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, receptionists answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties. They also provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.

Receptionists operate telephone switchboard to respond to, screen and forward calls, providing data, taking messages and scheduling appointments. They also greet persons entering establishment, decide on nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations. Equally important, receptionists have to file and maintain archives. They are often called upon to collect, sort, distribute and ready mail, messages and courier deliveries. They are expected to furnish data related to establishment such as location of departments or offices, employees within the organization, or services provided. Finally, receptionists transmit data or documents to customers, using computers, mail, or fax machines.

Every day, receptionists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for receptionists to perform administrative support tasks such as proofreading, transcribing handwritten data, and operating calculators or computers to coordinate with pay archives, invoices, balance sheets and other documents. They are often called upon to hear and resolve complaints from customers and public. They also receive payment and record receipts for services. They are sometimes expected to perform duties such as taking care of plants and straightening magazines to maintain lobby or reception area. Somewhat less frequently, receptionists are also expected to conduct tours or deliver talks describing features of public facility such as a historic site or national park.

Receptionists sometimes are asked to take orders for products or materials and send them to the proper departments to be filled. and calculate and quote rates for tours or other products and services. And finally, they sometimes have to greet persons entering establishment, decide on nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations.

Like many other jobs, receptionists must believe in cooperation and coordination and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
  • Courtroom Clerk. Perform clerical duties in court of law; prepare docket of cases to be called; secure information for judges; and contact witnesses, attorneys, and litigants to obtain information for court.
  • File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.
  • License Clerk. Issue licenses or permits to qualified applicants. Obtain necessary information; record data; advise applicants on requirements; collect fees; and issue licenses. May conduct oral, written, or performance testing.
  • Municipal Clerk. Draft agendas and bylaws for town or city council; record minutes of council meetings; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; and prepare reports on civic needs.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
  • Order Clerk. Receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities. Duties include informing customers of receipt, prices, and delays; preparing contracts; and handling complaints.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Receptionist Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.