Call-Center (Receptionist) customer service jobs

What is A Phone Operator? | Career Path and Overview

A phone operator helps clients by transferring calls, answering questions, and providing information. They attend to customer requests, using alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions. They assist people with physical disabilities or people who are in emergencies to make calls. Similarly, they help clients with special billing requests. Asides from that, they operate phone switchboards and systems to aid complete connections. Phone operators may perform clerical duties, which include typing, sorting mail, and updating directory information. They operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls. They promote company products, services, and savings plans.

A high school diploma or its equivalent is the minimum academic requirement for phone operators. You can find employment in business firms, answering services, schools, hospitals, and public offices. You must possess communication, patience, and maths skills. Phone operators earn an average salary of $30,829 per year. This ranges between $21,000 and $44,000.

What Does a Phone Operator Do

There are certain skills that many phone operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed listening skills, patience and problem-solving skills.

How To Become a Phone Operator

If you're interested in becoming a phone operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 23.8% of phone operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.7% of phone operators have master's degrees. Even though some phone operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Phone Operator

Phone Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Phone Operator

Phone Operators in America make an average salary of $30,289 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $36,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Phone Operator Salary
$30,289 Yearly
$14.56 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Phone Operator Education

Phone Operator Majors

20.9 %
8.4 %

Phone Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

39.0 %


23.8 %


20.2 %

Top Skills For a Phone Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.0% of phone operators listed communication on their resume, but soft skills such as listening skills and patience are important as well.

  • Communication, 23.0%
  • Customer Service, 11.2%
  • Phone Calls, 11.0%
  • Telephone Calls, 6.1%
  • Scheduling Appointments, 4.0%
  • Other Skills, 44.7%
Phone Operator Demographics

Phone Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, data science team found that:

  • Among phone operators, 77.3% of them are women, while 22.7% are men.
  • The most common race/ethnicity among phone operators is White, which makes up 57.8% of all phone operators.
  • The most common foreign language among phone operators is Spanish at 77.3%.

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