Secretary vs Receptionist: Difference and Comparison

Secretary and Receptionist have important roles to play in our company. Their main work differs in the form of their responsibility. They both have to maintain a good reputation for the company and its services.

Their job might sometimes be challenging, depending upon the people they speak with. Both positions are good to start your career.

Key Takeaways

  1. Secretaries are responsible for administrative tasks such as scheduling, record-keeping, and communication, while receptionists greet visitors and direct them to the appropriate person or department.
  2. Secretaries require higher education and training than receptionists, with many secretaries holding degrees or certifications in office administration or related fields.
  3. Secretaries work in more specialized roles, such as legal or medical secretaries, while receptionists are employed in various industries and settings.

Secretary vs Receptionist

The difference between Secretary and Receptionist is that their job duties differ. It depends on the type of company you work with. Some companies may require their receptionists to perform some additional works in the computer field. Secretaries may sometimes be asked to make travel arrangement filters for their boss. 

Secretary vs Receptionist

Secretary is the person who takes care of all the activities with sincere care. They have paperwork, mail, and other office-related works. It can be easy or difficult depending upon the company you join.

Some people have personal secretaries where they trust the other person and will share some of the confidential details.  

A receptionist is a part of the administrative support position. Most companies will have female employees in this position as it is entry-level, and men won’t make this work.

Also, having a women employee means she will address the queries without showing her anger or discomfort to the other person. Women candidates will be given higher priority when it comes to the selection process when compared to men candidates.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSecretaryReceptionist
Also Called asPersonal AssistantFront Desk Officer
SkillsCustomer ServiceTyping Skills
Minimum TrainingDiplomaDiploma
DefinitionA person who keeps track of their boss.A person who politely greets everyone.
Educational QualificationShould be a graduate from a good universityCandidates should have passed high school with a minimum percentage.

What is Secretary?

A Secretary is a person appointed by the company to make appointments and carry out functions related to the higher representative. Their role is very important. They are responsible for each and every task.

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When we start a company, we can’t keep track of all the meetings and events. In order to avoid discrepancies in the future, they hire a new person to do that job for them. 

Their main role is to inform his/ her higher authorities about the upcoming meetings, events, and parties so that they can make time and schedule their work.

Their work is to take care of everything beforehand about the meetings, their agenda, and the number of people they are going to invite will be handled by them.

Without a secretary, it is important to handle the work alone. You may get confused about the schedule, and it will lead to a bad name for your company.

Every secretary should have some qualities. They should have good communication skills, should never get agitated about their work, should stay calm during meetings. 

Depending upon the type of company they work with, there are different types of secretaries such as Private Secretary, Secretary of an Association, Secretary of Embassy, Secretary of a Cooperative Society, Secretary of Local Body, Secretary of Government Department, and Company Secretary. 


What is Receptionist?

A Receptionist is the one who will address our queries regarding the company, timings, and everything about the upcoming activities. They will be seated in the office lobby. Their main work will be on the front desk of the company or organization they are working with.

They will address the queries for the visitors either face to face or through telephone calls. They will answer in a calm manner without shouting at the other person. Every company will have a receptionist to handle the customer’s queries.

Any business organization will first contact the receptionist in order to know more about their work schedules, meetings, and timings. Sometimes the receptionist may feel stressed due to the interaction with many people, and they required to repeat the same thing again to another person. 

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They are most important as they know everything about the company and its nook and corner. They always know the important office-related tasks in order to address the customer’s queries. They will be very updated about the organization they are working with.

Receptionists should have good communication skills. They should interact in a polite and calm manner. They should maintain a good and healthy relationship with the clients. 

There are many types of receptionists, such as Front Desk Auditor, Hotel Front Desk Associate, and Schedule Coordinator. 


Main Differences Between Secretary and Receptionist

  1. The duties of the receptionist include answering calls and addressing people who walk into the office. But Secretary work includes handling tasks of his/ her boss.
  2. Receptionists should have some basic knowledge of how to use computers. But on the other hand, the secretary should know should have impeccable computer skills.
  3. The first impression of the company will be judged by the way the receptionist addresses the queries. Secretary’s role comes next after the company accepts to conduct a meeting.
  4. A good receptionist should know the knowledge of word processing software and excel sheets, but secretaries are required to have good writing skills as they can be asked to send emails on behalf of his/ her boss.
  5. Receptionists are required to learn fax machines, photocopies, and some videoconferencing software apart from telephones. Sometimes their jobs may take turns with secretaries.
Difference Between Secretary and Receptionist

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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19 thoughts on “Secretary vs Receptionist: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article effectively outlines the distinct roles of secretaries and receptionists within the professional environment.

  2. The significance of the roles of secretaries and receptionists within a company is excellently portrayed in this article.

  3. The distinctions between secretaries and receptionists lie in their specific job roles and educational qualifications.

    • The educational and professional requirements for secretaries and receptionists are certainly significant for distinguishing their roles.

  4. The article effectively distinguishes the responsibilities of secretaries and receptionists, highlighting the core aspects of their roles in a professional setting.

    • Indeed, it provides a comprehensive understanding of their distinct responsibilities, underlining their contributions to organizational success.

  5. This article provides clear and informative insights into the unique responsibilities and qualifications required for secretaries and receptionists within companies.

  6. The article provides valuable insights into the roles and qualities required for secretaries and receptionists, offering a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities.

    • I concur, the qualities needed for secretaries and receptionists are elaborated with precision, enhancing the understanding of their roles.

    • It offers clear insights into the requirements and specific skills expected from individuals in these positions, making it an informative read.

  7. The role of secretaries and receptionists is crucial within any company as they are responsible for maintaining the company’s reputation.

  8. The clarity in defining the specific roles and responsibilities of secretaries and receptionists is essential for understanding their contributions to the company.

    • Absolutely, establishing a clear understanding of their roles is vital in recognizing their individual importance within an organization.


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