Life As a Telephone Operator
Job Description & Duties 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
- 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.
- Perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail.
- Observe signal lights on switchboards, and dial or press buttons to make connections.
- Consult charts to determine charges for pay-telephone calls, requesting coin deposits for calls as necessary.
- Monitor automated systems for placing collect calls and intervene for a callers needing assistance.
- Interrupt busy lines if an emergency warrants.
Qualities of 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.
Types of Telephone Operator
- Toll Operator
- Directory Operator
- Information Specialist
- Inward Toll Operator
- Long Lines Operator
Is There Going to be Demand for Telephone Operators?
There were about 9,100 jobs for Telephone Operator in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Telephone Operator. There will be an estimated 900 positions for Telephone Operator per year.
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 average yearly salary of a Telephone Operator ranges between $23,160 and $60,610.
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|
|District of Columbia||$44,150|
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
Becoming a Telephone Operator
Are there Telephone Operators education requirements?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Telephone Operator?
Where Telephone Operators Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Telephone Operators employed by various industries.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those interested in being a Telephone Operator may also be interested in:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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