The True Costs of Hiring a Receptionist

Last updated December 11, 2020 written by Tetiana

Hiring great employees usually isn’t cheap, and there are a lot more factors at play than just the salary you have to pay them.

If you don’t account for all of these costs, you may find yourself in a hole with loads of unnecessary staff payments. That can be a significant drain on your business.

This is especially true when it comes to hiring a receptionist. Your receptionist is an essential part of your business because they’re often the first touch point when a prospect or customer calls.

Here are the true costs of hiring a receptionist:


The median salary for a receptionist in the USA is $30,025. That’s a big chunk of money.

If you break that down into monthly costs, that’s over $2,502 per month.

If you hire a full-time receptionist, you should expect to pay somewhere around this amount.

Bonuses + Time Off + Healthcare + Pension + Social Security + 401k

The salary is just the beginning of the true costs. There is a whole host of other expenses for which you need to account.

According to, here are the averages for some of these costs:

Bonuses: $394
Social Security: $2,615
401k: $1,231
Disability: $342
Healthcare: $5,722
Pension: $1,572
Time off: $4,470

When you factor in the salary as well, all of these costs add up to over $50,000, or a monthly cost of over $4,166!


Once you hire a receptionist, you still must go through the process of training them. They need to understand your processes, learn some of your software, understand how to greet callers and handle stressful situations, and more.

This training process can be time-intensive. While they’re going through training, you still need someone else to be answering the phones and handling the receptionist duties. So, there is a lot of time lost here.

Opportunity Cost

There is more at stake than just the actual monetary costs involved.

There’s also the risk of hiring the wrong receptionist and taking them through training, only to have them be a bad fit for the position. Then your business has to go through the whole interview, hiring, and training process all over again.

Plus, there’s the reality that your receptionist won’t always be there to answer your calls. You can’t put a price on a frustrated customer or prospect that can’t reach you when they need to the most.

What’s more, your receptionist will inevitably take vacation days for a few weeks every year, forcing you and your other employees to scramble to handle the receptionist duties.

So, What’s Your Other Option?

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to hire a full-time, in-office receptionist. In fact, in this digital age, that may be your worst bet. Thankfully you have other options.

One of the best options is to hire a virtual receptionist. By hiring a virtual receptionist, you can cut out a significant amount of all these costs, and they can be available 24/7!

In fact, you can have a full-time virtual receptionist service cost for as little as $239/month.

Just factoring in the salary alone, that saves you over 70% on a monthly basis. Plus it cuts out the opportunity costs and much of the training time.

Moving Forward With a Virtual Receptionist

Hiring great employees can be costly. But you don’t always need an in-office employee for every position – especially when it comes to your receptionist. In-house receptionists can be expensive, while virtual receptionists can provide the same service for a small fraction of the cost.

By using a remote virtual receptionist instead, you’ll save thousands on the cost of hiring a full-time in-office receptionist, and you can invest that money back into your business.

Have you considered outsourcing your receptionist position? How about other positions? Let us know in the comments below!