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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1414 Occupation: Receptionist and Switchboard Operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Receptionists and switchboard operators greet people arriving at offices, hospitals and other establishments, direct visitors to appropriate person or service, answer and forward telephone calls, take messages, schedule appointments and perform other clerical duties. They are employed by hospitals, medical and dental offices and in other offices throughout the public and private sectors. Receptionists and switchboard operators greet people arriving at offices, hospitals and other establishments, direct visitors to appropriate person or service, answer and forward telephone calls, take messages, schedule appointments and perform other clerical duties. They are employed by hospitals, medical and dental offices and in other offices throughout the public and private sectors.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read phone messages and pass them along to the appropriate individual. (1)
  • Read memos regarding policy, procedures, security, personnel changes or daily events. (1)
  • Read mail and forward it to the appropriate individual, along with any necessary forms. (1)
  • Read notes from supervisors explaining job tasks or giving instructions. (2)
  • Read brochures and letters from companies describing their products, such as service brochures from telephone companies. (2)
  • Read forms related to the office, such as insurance forms and hospital admitting forms. (2)
  • Read operating manuals for computer systems and software to fix equipment when it breaks down or learn new software functions. (3)
  • Read client files to answer client questions and to prepare the physicians or dentists for appointments with clients. (Medical and dental receptionists) (3)
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Writing
  • Write telephone messages to pass them on to other staff. (1)
  • Complete receipts for customers and record billing information in account books. (1)
  • Complete forms, such as worker compensation forms and customer complaint forms. (2)
  • Write notes in patients' files to keep them current. (Medical and dental receptionists) (2)
  • Write letters to clients regarding overdue accounts. (2)
  • Write letters to outside agencies relaying client information. (3)
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Document Use
  • Refer to physician directories. (Medical and dental receptionists) (1)
  • Read phone lists of employees, major clients and suppliers. (1)
  • Scan various forms and forward them to the appropriate recipients. (1)
  • Read labels on parcels in order to deliver them to the appropriate recipients. (1)
  • Use maps to direct visitors. (2)
  • Read medication lists and fee guides. (Medical and dental receptionists) (2)
  • Complete various forms, such as supply order forms, customer receipts and forms regarding the use of machinery such as the photocopier. (2)
  • Read medical forms, such as pre-hospital admission, consent for treatment and test request forms. (Medical and dental receptionists) (2)
  • Read charts on the switchboard computer screen showing the status of incoming phone calls. (2)
  • Read courier forms and bills of lading to receive and direct incoming parcels or letters. (2)
  • Refer to diagrams or drawings when maintaining equipment, such as when inserting a new tape into a cash register. (3)
  • Input timesheet information on spreadsheets. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use computer applications. For example, use computerized switchboard equipment. (1)
  • Use a database. For example, locate information on a client database. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, use email and the Internet. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, input data for billing purposes. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, enter data to complete forms. (2)
  • Use a spreadsheet. For example, prepare tables using software such as Excel. (3)
  • Use graphics software. For example, prepare visual aids using software such as PowerPoint. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Greet clients, determine the reason for their visit, provide them with basic information and direct them to the appropriate individual or department. (1)
  • Show clients to waiting rooms. (1)
  • Speak with suppliers to order services, materials and equipment. (1)
  • Relay messages to co-workers and other staff and exchange information with them. (1)
  • Receive instructions and updates on daily activities from supervisors and ask opinions regarding procedures and materials to purchase. (1)
  • Book appointments, speak to clients and servicers on the phone and transfer calls to other employees. (1)
  • Handle hostile customers on the phone or in person, referring the situation to supervisors if necessary. (2)
  • Instruct clients on treatment procedures and call them to relay test results. (2)
  • Speak to outside agencies to arrange services for clients, such as home care services. (2)
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Money Math
  • Accept payments from customers for services, verify the amount received and give change. (1)
  • Keep records of bills, such as telephone and credit card bills, checking the calculations and discounts and cross referencing them with internal documents. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Enter information on the accounting day sheet including the patient's name, receipt number, date, description of services, fees charged, payment and current and previous balances. (1)
  • Enter purchases and payments into account books and prepare accounts receivable lists. (2)
  • Schedule when new supplies are needed, review supply catalogues to compare costs and make purchasing decisions, based on set budgets. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Weigh mail to calculate appropriate postage for parcels and letters. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare the number of incoming calls to outgoing calls on certain projects to clarify workload requirements. (1)
  • Calculate the average number of medical tests completed or products created in a month for reports. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the length of meetings to inform staff when rooms will be available. (1)
  • Estimate how long a client will have to wait for services and when staff members who are away from the office will return. (2)
  • Estimate the cost of services, such as medical or dental procedures, by speaking with staff or referring to fee guides. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Receptionists and switchboard operators organize their work to respond to the demands of phone lines and clients coming to the front desk, staff needs and required paperwork. The days are routine, but disruptions are frequent, requiring flexible schedules and the ability to adjust priorities. (2)
  • Receptionists and switchboard operators must ensure they allot enough time to complete essential activities, such as completing paper work or covering breaks for other staff. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide when to interrupt phone calls or put people on hold. (1)
  • Decide which clients to serve first when overbooking occurs or when there are numerous visitors requesting services at the same time. (2)
  • Decide which staff to refer clients to and the length of time to schedule for appointments based on information provided by the clients. (2)
  • Decide from which suppliers to purchase services. (2)
  • Decide the order in which to carry out tasks, based on which staff members make requests, what deadlines have to be met and the order in which the work was received. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Billing errors have been found. Recheck paperwork to find the source of the error. (1)
  • Requests from clients or staff have been received on short notice. Examine the schedule to determine if requests can be met. (1)
  • Information has been requested but is not readily available. Search for the appropriate information within the office or contact outside sources. (2)
  • Appointments have been overbooked or clients have cancelled appointments on short notice. Appointments must be re-scheduled to best fit staff and client needs. (2)
  • A visitor has arrived unexpectedly and demands to speak to a staff member who is unavailable. Establish whether another staff member would be able to help. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Find names, addresses and telephone numbers in phone books and directories. (1)
  • Find billing numbers. For example, the medical receptionist refers to the physician registry for billing numbers and addresses. (1)
  • Look up pharmaceutical equivalency data in reference books. (Medical and dental receptionists) (2)
  • Refer to client files to find information regarding a client's treatment. (Medical and dental receptionists) (2)
  • Refer to software manuals or speak with co-workers when experiencing computer difficulties. (2)
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