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Telephone Operator

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What Do Telephone Operator Do?

Position Description Provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories. Assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls.

Life As a Telephone Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.
  • Provide assistance for customers with special billing requests.
  • Perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail.
  • Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.
  • Operate telephone switchboards and systems to advance and complete connections, including those for local, long distance, pay telephone, mobile, person-to-person, and emergency calls.
  • Calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.

Telephone Operator Needed Skills

Telephone Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Telephone Operator Job Titles

  • Live Source Operator
  • Charge Operator
  • Information Specialist
  • Emergency Operator
  • Change Number Operator

Telephone Operator Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 9,100 jobs in the United States for Telephone Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Telephone Operator. The BLS estimates 900 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Telephone Operator are Alaska, Utah, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Tennessee, or New Jersey. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Telephone Operator Salary

The typical yearly salary for Telephone Operators is somewhere between $23,160 and $60,610.

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Telephone Operators who work in New York, Hawaii, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Telephone Operators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $35,510
California $41,900
Connecticut $44,010
District of Columbia $44,150
Florida $32,020
Georgia $33,860
Hawaii $44,040
Illinois $40,150
Indiana $40,590
Iowa $29,880
Louisiana $33,040
Maryland $36,790
Massachusetts $36,570
Michigan $28,610
Minnesota $39,470
Missouri $31,950
Nevada $31,110
New York $48,270
Ohio $35,750
Pennsylvania $39,040
Tennessee $27,610
Texas $34,410
Virginia $43,480

Tools & Technologies Used by Telephone Operators

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Handheld computer device software
  • Computer aided dispatch software

How to Become a Telephone Operator

What kind of Telephone Operator requirements are there?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Telephone Operator?

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Where Telephone Operators Are Employed

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Below are examples of industries where Telephone Operators work:

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Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Telephone Operator may also be interested in:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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