What Do Telephone Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Telephone Operators

Telephone Operators 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.

Salary
$39340
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Telephone Operators 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. They also listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.
  • 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.

We asked Telephone Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

66%

How meaningful is this job

48%


66% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 48% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Telephone Operators perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail. They suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.

A typical day for a Telephone Operator will also include:

  • Observe signal lights on switchboards, and dial or press buttons to make connections.
  • Listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.
  • 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.
  • Promote company products, services, and savings plans when appropriate.
  • Interrupt busy lines if an emergency warrants.

We asked some Telephone Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 100% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 38% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 13% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 84% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 96% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 95% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Telephone Operators also update directory information. They may also calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Telephone Operators Consult charts to determine charges for pay-telephone calls, requesting coin deposits for calls as necessary. They might also Monitor automated systems for placing collect calls and intervene for a callers needing assistance.

In addition, they Operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.

To some Telephone Operators, it is also their responsibility to Promote company products, services, and savings plans when appropriate.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Telephone Operator, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Telephone Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
87%


Never
13%


Do Telephone Operators work outdoors?

Never
100%


Once a year
0%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Telephone Operators

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Related to Telephone Operators Job Description

Telephone Operators job description, what do Telephone Operators do, typical day for Telephone Operators, what is it like to work as a Telephone Operator, how many hours do Telephone Operators work, day to day work of a Telephone Operator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes432021.htm


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