CareerGPS

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
535 513 -22 -4.08% -4 68 64 $16.32 $33,955 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
  • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls and/or taking messages as necessary.
  • Route emergency calls appropriately.
  • Page individuals to inform them of telephone calls, using paging and interoffice communication equipment.
  • Relay and route written and verbal messages.
  • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as typing, proofreading, accepting orders, scheduling appointments, and sorting mail.

Knowledge

75%
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.
68%
Clerical - 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.
66%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
54%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Skills

72%
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.
72%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
69%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
60%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
56%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
56%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
50%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
50%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities

78%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
75%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
75%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
60%
Problem Sensitivity - 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.
53%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
53%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
50%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
50%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
50%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
50%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
50%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Work Activities

79%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
72%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
68%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
67%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
66%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
53%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
52%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
51%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall 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.
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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Interests

Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi

Work Styles

Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.