dcsimg

Telephone Operator

Job Duties

Telephone operators are the human side of telephone-based communication systems. They operate electronic consoles based on the needs of customers they speak with over telephone headsets. They listen to the customer, determine exactly what the customer requires, and then translate that requirement into electrical signals. Many telephone operators work for telephone companies where they serve as directory assistance or long distance operators. Director assistance operators talk with customers who are requesting specific numbers of businesses or residents. They pull the numbers up on a computer and then read the number to the customer, all as fast and accurately as possible. Long distance operators execute calls that are person-to-person, collect, reverse charge, overseas, or conference long distance.

Operators who work for telephone answering services answer calls on behalf of the company's clients. For each client, operators have a specific "answer phrase" and a file that contains information they can give out to the callers. Sometimes they write sales orders, make appointments, or perform other simple tasks for the client. Private branch exchange operators work for commercial, industrial, or government institutions. They screen and transfer calls to the appropriate individuals. Sometimes they make outgoing calls for employees. In smaller organizations, they may also execute other office duties, such as typing, filing, or sorting.

Job Skills

Telephone operators need to have a clear speaking voice. They need to be able to spell correctly. They should have good manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. They need to be able to work quickly and efficiently. They also need to have normal vision and hearing.

Income

Earnings for telephone operators varies depending on experience, amount of responsibility, and geographic location. In larger metropolitan areas, operators typically earn higher wages. Service operators earn between $1,200 and $2,300 per month. Private branch exchange operators earn between $950 and $1,900 per month. Most work a typical 40 hour work week. Some facilities are open 24 hours, and their employees work swing and graveyard shifts. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, health and other insurance, and retirement plans.

Training and Education

Many employers of telephone operators look for candidates who have 6 months to a year of experience in jobs that involve some public contact. Other employers prefer those with at least 1 year of experience as an operator. Some companies give applicants tests related to the job, as well as physical examinations. Those applicants who are fluent in another language besides English may have an advantage. Depending on their job performance, as well as the size and location of the organization, telephone operators may advance to clerical and office positions. This usually requires some additional training or experience in office work. Usually, the larger the firm, the better opportunities for advancement. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of telephone operators is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Automation of the occupation hampers job growth, but most automation has already occurred. Touch-tone features, voice synthesis, computerized call handling devices, and the popularity of cellular phones will all reduce demand for operators. However, the overall growth of the economy will counterbalance this trend and demand for operators should stay about the same.


Telephone Operator Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Hospitality Food & Beverage Management (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid

            The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

             

            Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

            Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
            • Recognized for academic excellence, meaningful research & graduate achievement
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission w/ programmatic accreditations
            • More than 200 majors with a beautiful campus location in Indiana
            • Top 5 public university in the U.S according to the Wall Street Journal
            • Has a helpful Academic Success Center to help students reach their potential
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Science in Agile Project Management
            • AU challenges students to combine serious study with real-world experience
            • 8 schools & 150+ programs including bachelor’s, master’s & doctoral degrees
            • MSA accredited with multiple accreditations per program, located in Wash. D.C.
            • Ranked #74 in “Best National Universities” by US News and World Report
            • Multiple financial aid options for eligible students in need
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Bachelor of Arts in Business - Organizational Leadership
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Doctor of Business Administration: Non-Profit Leadership & Management
            • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Music Business, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
            • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
            • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
            • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
            • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
            • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            MBA - Insurance and Risk Management
            • UC is committed to liberal education integrated with professional study
            • Accredited by the MSCHE with a beautiful campus located in Utica, New York
            • 21 graduate programs, 38 undergraduate majors & study abroad opportunities
            • More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students (full- and part-time)
            • Offers financial aid options to students who qualify for tuition assistance
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits