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Also known as:
411 Directory Assistance Operator, Directory Assistance Operator, Information Operator, Local Telephone Operator, Long Distance Operator, Telephone Exchange Operator
It used to be that the telephone operator was the heart and soul of the phone industry. Over the years, as technology became more sophisticated, it began to replace the live voice at the switchboard. But there are some things automated phone systems can't handle without human help.
For exampl ...
e, operators step in when customers are having difficulty finding a phone number. Operators help people place collect or credit card calls. The job often involves dealing with special needs, such as children or people with speech limitations.
Operators are often called upon to contact the authorities in an emergency. These workers are often employed by telephone companies or large businesses. Operators need to speak clearly and have good hearing. They need good spelling and computer skills too. Fluency in more than one language can be a big advantage in getting a job.
The work can be stressful - you need to be able to handle a high volume of calls quickly, accurately, and pleasantly. Entry level positions generally require a high school diploma or GED, with training then provided on the job.
As technology takes on more of the operator's duties, the number of available jobs continues to decline. Part-time and shift work is common. Many operators move on to become dispatchers, receptionists, customer service representatives, or supervisors. But no matter how few in number, telephone operators add a needed human touch to an increasingly automated industry.
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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.
Listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.
Suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, and/or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.