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What Does it Take to Be a 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.

List of Telephone Operator Job Duties

  • Perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail.
  • Suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.
  • Update directory information.
  • Operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls.
  • Provide assistance for customers with special billing requests.
  • Keep records of calls placed and received, and of related toll charges.

Skills Needed to be a Telephone Operator

When polled, Telephone Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Toll Relief Operator
  • Emergency Operator
  • PBX Operator (Post Box Exchange Operator)
  • Phone Operator
  • Customer Service Representative

Is There Going to be Demand for Telephone Operators?

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. There will be an estimated 900 positions for Telephone Operator per year.

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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.

What is the Average Salary of a Telephone Operator

The average yearly salary of a Telephone Operator ranges 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.

How much do Telephone Operators make in each U.S. state?

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 do I Become a Telephone Operator?

What kind of Telephone Operator requirements are there?

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What work experience do I need to become a Telephone Operator?

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Where Telephone Operators Are Employed

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Telephone Operators work in the following industries:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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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