Front Desk Coordinator: Job Description and Education Requirements
The front desk coordinator is at the heart of an office, company or organization, managing the efforts of all parties involved in its operation. Read on to discover what the job entails and what's needed to get it.
The front desk coordinator is, first and foremost, a coordinator; his or her job is to ensure that all interactions between administration, employees, customers and outside services run as smoothly as possible. The more specific duties of a front desk coordinator vary depending on the employer (i.e., whose desk is being coordinated). In general, this job entails two distinct responsibilities: customer service and correspondence.
Front desk coordinators make appointments, manage schedules, direct customers to proper locations and, if necessary, take and process payments. Their primary goal is to effectively and efficiently manage the lobby or greeting area of their employer's business while maintaining professional standards.
Additionally, front desk coordinators are entrusted with correspondence. They send and receive both regular mail and e-mail, answer phones, order supplies, deal with billing, maintenance and security procedures and manage the efforts of other employees. In addition, they generally perform clerical duties such as data entry, inventory and other paperwork. In all of these capacities, the front desk coordinator is expected to act with the same knowledge and professionalism used when interacting with clients or prospective clients.
Career and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that secretaries, including front desk coordinators and aside from those working in legal or medical offices or as executive secretaries, could expect a 6% increase in jobs from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). This figure is lower than the 14% increase predicted for all occupations during that same time frame. The agency also reported that the median annual salary for jobs in this category was $32,410 in 2012.
Some employers will hire a front desk coordinator without a college degree, provided he or she possesses a high school diploma or GED and the requisite skills. However, there are several degree programs based on administrative or office management that can greatly increase the chances of being hired as a front desk coordinator.
These fall primarily into the categories of 2-year associate's degrees, usually in fields like hospitality or hotel, restaurant, resort and office management. Additionally, there are diploma programs at technical or secretarial schools in office technology, office administration or office professional work, which are more often 1-year programs. In both categories, students are required to complete courses in such subjects as the following:
- Office technology
- Office and project management
- Computers (information processing and business applications)
- Business math
- Language (English and some foreign language studies)
- Communications (general and business)
- Professional development
In addition, many programs involve professional internships designed to give students real work experience in the area of front desk management. All of these types of programs involve the promotion of professionalism, organization, efficiency, initiative, management and communication. With or without a college diploma, these skills are important to foster for anyone aspiring to work as a front desk coordinator.
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