Hotel receptionist

Hospitality, catering and tourism

Career outlook for hotel receptionist

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would take room bookings and give guests the keys to their room when they arrive. You’d explain about the hotel’s facilities and services like where breakfast is served or when the gym is open.

You need to be friendly and professional at all times, be able to look after several things at once and always stay calm, sometimes under pressure.

You would:

  • Deal with bookings by phone, email, letter, fax or face-to-face
  • Complete the procedures when guests arrive and leave
  • Allocate rooms and give the keys to guests
  • Tell guests about hotel facilities and services
  • Take, and pass on, messages to guests
  • Deal with special requests from guests, like booking theatre tickets or storing valuable items
  • Provide information about the surrounding area
  • Prepare bills and take payments
  • Deal with complaints or problems

In most hotels, you would use a computerised system to keep details of bookings and available rooms up to date.

You would work as part of a team and you may be responsible for one area such as managing telephone reservations or guest departures (also known as checkouts).

In small hotels, your duties may include other tasks such as showing guests to their rooms and serving drinks in the bar.

Working conditions


You would usually work shifts, which could include evenings, nights, weekends and public holidays. If you work during these times you may be paid extra. Part-time and seasonal work is often available.


You would spend most of your time at a reception desk, using a computer and a telephone switchboard.

UK employment status





Self employed


Create a qualification route

We've found some examples of the qualifications that could help you get this job.

Discover my route

Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Positive attitude
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Reliable

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Some employers may require National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5) and Highers (SCQF level 6).  

You can get into some Hospitality National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with between two and four National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 5 qualifications and one to two Highers or a relevant NC/NQ.   

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • Modern languages
  • Social studies
  • Administrative subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Business subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show industry knowledge, customer service skills and administrative/ICT skills such as Scottish Vocational Qualification in Front of House Reception (SVQ level 2) and Skills for Work Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5).

Knowledge of a foreign language.