Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Receptionists in Chicago, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for receptionists in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 55,400 working receptionists in Illinois; this should grow by 21% to 66,890 working receptionists in the state by 2016. 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.

Income for receptionists is about $12 per hour or $25,580 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $24,550 yearly. Earnings for receptionists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Clerical in Illinois and not quite as good as general Clerical category earnings nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree 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 studying to be a receptionist if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Chicago include:

  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • 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.
  • Front Desk Manager. Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
  • 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.
  • Library Clerk. Compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
  • 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.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • 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.
  • Payroll Bookkeeper. Compile and post employee time and payroll data. May compute employees' time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions. May prepare paychecks.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Production Planner. Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, and production problems.
  • 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.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
  • Statistical Clerk. Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries. Includes actuarial clerks.
  • Store Clerk. Receive, store, and issue sales floor merchandise. Stock shelves, racks, and tables with merchandise and arrange merchandise displays to attract customers. May periodically take physical count of stock or check and mark merchandise.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.


Kaplan College-Merrillville - Merrillville, IN

Kaplan College-Merrillville, 3803 E Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville, IN 46410. Kaplan College-Merrillville is a small college located in Merrillville, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 405 students. Kaplan College-Merrillville has an associate's degree program in Medical Reception/Receptionist which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.

Morton College - Cicero, IL

Morton College, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804-4398. Morton College is a small college located in Cicero, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,959 students. Morton College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated three students in 2008.



Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.