Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
SOC: 43-2011.00

Description:

Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
112,400 employed

Projected (2024):
75,400 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:

  • Answering Service Telephone Operator
  • CBX Operator
  • Central Communications Specialist
  • Combination Operator
  • Command and Control Specialist
  • Communication Center Operator
  • Communication Coordinator
  • Communication Specialist
  • Complaint Operator
  • Desk Operator
  • Exchange Operator
  • Information Specialist
  • Line Technician
  • Operator
  • Operators Teacher
  • PBX Operator (Private Branch Exchange Operator)
  • PBX Teacher
  • Police District Switchboard Operator
  • Private Branch Exchange Service Adviser
  • Route Clerk
  • Switch Technician
  • Switchboard Operator
  • Switchboard Operator, Receptionist
  • Switchboard Receptionist
  • Switching Clerk
  • Tandem Operator
  • Telecommunications Clerk
  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Telegraph Office Telephone Clerk
  • Telephone Answering Service Operator
  • Telephone Operator
  • Telephone Switchboard Operator
  • Test Operator
  • Through Operator
  • Traffic Observer
  • Traffic 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
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
  • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.
  • Page individuals to inform them of telephone calls, using paging or interoffice communication equipment.
  • Relay or route written or verbal messages.
  • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
  • Monitor alarm systems to ensure that secure conditions are maintained.
  • Contact security staff members when necessary, using radio-telephones.
  • Keep records of calls placed and charges incurred.
  • Record messages, suggesting rewording for clarity or conciseness.
  • Stamp messages with time and date and file them appropriately.
  • Answer simple questions about clients' businesses, using reference files.
  • Complete forms for sales orders.
  • Perform various data entry or word processing tasks, such as updating phone directories, typing or proofreading documents, or creating schedules.
  • Process incoming or outgoing mail, packages, or deliveries.
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as accepting orders, scheduling appointments or meeting rooms, or sending and receiving faxes.
  • Monitor emergency and code alarms, make emergency announcements, or route emergency calls to the appropriate location.
  • Greet visitors, log them in and out of the facility, assign them security badges, and contact employee escorts.
  • Perform various cash handling tasks, such as collecting payments, making bank deposits, or managing petty cash.
  • Place orders, such as for equipment, supplies, or catering for meetings.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Alarm system monitors
  • Computer inkjet printers
  • Copy machines
  • Intercom equipment
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Mobile radios
  • Multiline telephone systems
  • Paging systems
  • Personal computers
  • Premise branch exchange PBX equipment
  • Public address PA systems
  • Radiotelephones
  • Telephone headsets
  • Telephone switchboards
  • Video surveillance monitors
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • SAP software


  • office and administrative support


    industry stats

    SOC: 43-0000

    Total Employed: 21,846,420

    Average Annual Salary: $36,330