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What Do Telephone Operator Do?

Telephone Operator Job 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.

Telephone Operator Responsibilities

  • Promote company products, services, and savings plans when appropriate.
  • Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.
  • Provide relay service for hearing-impaired users.
  • Interrupt busy lines if an emergency warrants.
  • Calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.
  • Keep records of calls placed and received, and of related toll charges.

Skills Needed to be a Telephone Operator

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.

  • Trouble Operator
  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Inward Toll Operator
  • Service Assistant
  • Communications Operator

Is There Job 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.

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.

How much do Telephone Operators make 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 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

How do I Become a Telephone Operator?

Learn what Telephone Operator education requirements there are.

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Telephone Operators Work?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Telephone Operators employed by various industries.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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