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What You Need to Know About Switchboard Operator

Switchboard Operator Job Description Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

Life As a Switchboard Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Monitor emergency and code alarms, make emergency announcements, or route emergency calls to the appropriate location.
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as accepting orders, scheduling appointments or meeting rooms, or sending and receiving faxes.
  • Place orders, such as for equipment, supplies, or catering for meetings.
  • Perform various data entry or word processing tasks, such as updating phone directories, typing or proofreading documents, or creating schedules.
  • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
  • Process incoming or outgoing mail, packages, or deliveries.

Things a Switchboard Operator Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Switchboard Operators say are important on the job.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

  • Exchange Operator
  • Tandem Operator
  • Operator
  • Telecommunications Clerk
  • Switchboard Receptionist

What Kind of Switchboard Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 93,200 jobs in the United States for Switchboard Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Switchboard Operator. The BLS estimates 9,000 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Switchboard Operator are Maryland, Alaska, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in New Mexico, North Dakota, or Colorado. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Switchboard Operators Salary

Switchboard Operators make between $21,040 and $44,640 a year.


Switchboard Operators who work in Hawaii, District of Columbia, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Switchboard Operators make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $24,570
Alaska $35,240
Arizona $28,940
Arkansas $26,090
California $36,160
Colorado $30,400
Connecticut $42,920
Delaware $29,090
District of Columbia $41,390
Florida $28,020
Georgia $30,700
Hawaii $41,250
Idaho $29,070
Illinois $33,830
Indiana $28,550
Iowa $28,850
Kansas $28,150
Kentucky $23,950
Louisiana $27,180
Maine $28,850
Maryland $31,340
Massachusetts $34,560
Michigan $31,560
Minnesota $35,770
Mississippi $25,150
Missouri $30,790
Montana $27,120
Nebraska $30,930
Nevada $31,430
New Hampshire $31,820
New Jersey $32,830
New Mexico $29,580
New York $38,020
North Carolina $28,290
North Dakota $31,900
Ohio $28,070
Oklahoma $27,640
Oregon $37,170
Pennsylvania $29,200
Rhode Island $32,090
South Carolina $27,270
Tennessee $28,980
Texas $27,320
Utah $26,430
Vermont $30,380
Virginia $28,350
Washington $34,740
West Virginia $27,120
Wisconsin $31,580
Wyoming $30,550

What Tools do Switchboard Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Switchboard Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • IBM Notes

How to Become a Switchboard Operator

What education or degrees do I need to become a Switchboard Operator?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Switchboard Operator?


Who Employs Switchboard Operators?


Below are examples of industries where Switchboard Operators work:


Those thinking about becoming a Switchboard Operator might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Switchboard Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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