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Career and Education Opportunities for Receptionists in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for receptionists. Currently, 15,260 people work as receptionists in Oregon. This is expected to grow by 24% to about 18,880 people 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. In general, receptionists answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties.

A person working as a receptionist can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $24,860 yearly on average in Oregon and about $11 per hour or $24,550 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for receptionists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Clerical in Oregon and not quite as good as general Clerical category earnings nationally.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including five within twenty-five miles of Portland 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, it will take only a short time to learn 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 Portland 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Telephone Operator. Provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories. Assist customers with special billing requests.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.


Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has 3 areas of study related to Receptionist. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • General Office Occupations and Clerical Services, less than one year and one to two year which graduated eight and three students respectively in 2008.

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated eight and zero students respectively in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated one student in 2008.

Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Valley Medical College - Salem, OR

Valley Medical College, 4707 Silverton Road NE, Salem, OR 97305. Valley Medical College is a small college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 75 students. Valley Medical College has a less than one year program in Medical Reception/Receptionist which graduated two students in 2008.


Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.