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What You Need to Know About Telephone Operator

Telephone Operator Definition 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.

A Day in the Life of a Telephone Operator

  • Operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls.
  • Provide relay service for hearing-impaired users.
  • Keep records of calls placed and received, and of related toll charges.
  • Update directory information.
  • Calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.
  • Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.

Telephone Operator Skills

These are the skills Telephone Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

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

  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Bilingual Operator
  • Communications Operator
  • Directory Assistance Operator
  • 411 Directory Assistance Operator

Is There Going to be Demand for Telephone Operators?

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

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Telephone Operators in U.S.

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.

Average Telephone Operators Salary

The average yearly salary of a Telephone Operator ranges between $23,160 and $60,610.

Salary Ranges for Telephone Operators

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

What Tools & Technology do Telephone Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Telephone Operators:

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

Becoming a Telephone Operator

Are there Telephone Operators education requirements?

Telephone Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Telephone Operator Work Experience

Telephone Operators Sector

Telephone Operator Sectors

Telephone Operators work in the following industries:

Telephone Operator Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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


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