Telephone Operators
SOC: 43-2021.00

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
13,100 employed

Projected (2024):
7,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • 411 Directory Assistance Operator
  • Bilingual Operator
  • Central Office Operator
  • Change Number Operator
  • Charge Operator
  • Communications Operator
  • Customer Service Assistant
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Directory Assistance Operator
  • Directory Operator
  • Emergency Operator
  • Information Operator
  • Information Specialist
  • Inward Toll Operator
  • Live Source Operator
  • Local Operator
  • Local Telephone Operator
  • Long Distance Billing Operator
  • Long Distance Operator (LD Operator)
  • Long Lines Operator
  • Operator
  • Phone Operator
  • Rate Quoting Operator
  • Service Assistant
  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Telephone Exchange Operator
  • Telephone Operator
  • Toll Operator
  • Toll Relief Operator
  • Toll Service Observer
  • Traffic Administrator
  • Trouble Operator


  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

    Education:

    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.
  • Suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.
  • Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.
  • Observe signal lights on switchboards, and dial or press buttons to make connections.
  • 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.
  • Provide assistance for customers with special billing requests.
  • Calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.
  • Monitor automated systems for placing collect calls and intervene for a callers needing assistance.
  • Perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail.
  • Consult charts to determine charges for pay-telephone calls, requesting coin deposits for calls as necessary.
  • Interrupt busy lines if an emergency warrants.
  • Provide relay service for hearing-impaired users.
  • Promote company products, services, and savings plans when appropriate.
  • Operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls.
  • Update directory information.
  • Keep records of calls placed and received, and of related toll charges.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 10-key calculators
  • Alarm system monitors
  • Computer laser printers
  • Copy machines
  • Electric typewriters
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Mobile radios
  • Multiline telephone systems
  • Paging systems
  • Personal computers
  • Premise branch exchange PBX equipment
  • Secure voice equipment
  • Telephone headsets
  • Telephone switchboards
  • Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP systems
  • Data entry software
  • Handheld computer device software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Video conference software


  • office and administrative support


    industry stats

    SOC: 43-0000

    Total Employed: 21,846,420

    Average Annual Salary: $36,330