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
            Business Management & Accounting - Property Management (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            MHA: Project 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
            • Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
            • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
            • 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
            Good for Working Adults
            • 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
            • Transferable Credits
            Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation

            Change the World with American University

            Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

            Set Yourself Apart at American University

            At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

            • Online Courses
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Online MS in Supply Chain Management
            • Ranked among the Best Business Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the #1 Public MBA program in the NYC region in 2014 by the U.S. News and World Report.
            • Educates about 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students per academic year at two campuses in New Jersey as well as five satellite locations in New Jersey and Singapore.
            • The only public university in New Jersey in the Association of American Universities (AAU), a group comprising of North America’s 63 leading research universities.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics

            The University

            With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

            • Online Courses
            Bachelor of Arts in Business - Logistics Management
            • 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