Summary Report for:
43-2011.00 - Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.
Sample of reported job titles: CBX Operator; Communication Specialist; Information Specialist; Operator; PBX Operator (Private Branch Exchange Operator); Switchboard Operator; Switchboard Operator, Receptionist; Telecommunications Clerk; Telecommunications Operator; Telephone Operator
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.
- Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
- 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.
- 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.
- Record messages, suggesting rewording for clarity or conciseness.
- Monitor alarm systems to ensure that secure conditions are maintained.
- 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.
- Answer simple questions about clients' businesses, using reference files.
- Keep records of calls placed and charges incurred.
- Stamp messages with time and date and file them appropriately.
- Complete forms for sales orders.
- Contact security staff members when necessary, using radio-telephones.
- 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
Tools used in this occupation:
- Alarm systems — Alarm system monitors
- Inkjet printers — Computer inkjet printers
- Intercom systems — Intercom equipment
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Paging controllers — Paging systems
- Personal computers
- Phone headsets — Telephone headsets
- Photocopiers — Copy machines
- Premise branch exchange PBX systems — Premise branch exchange PBX equipment; Telephone switchboards
- Public address systems — Public address PA systems
- Special purpose telephones — Multiline telephone systems
- Two way radios — Mobile radios; Radiotelephones
- Video monitors — Video surveillance monitors
Technology used in this occupation:
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Detailed Work Activities
- Execute sales or other financial transactions.
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Prepare cash for deposit or disbursement.
- Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
- Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
- Operate communications equipment or systems.
- Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Maintain security.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Maintain call records.
- Schedule appointments.
- Sort mail.
- Type documents.
- Monitor alarm systems.
- Relay information between personnel.
- File documents or records.
- Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
- Contact With Others — 91% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 86% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 67% responded “Very important results.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Electronic Mail — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 38% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 26% responded “Extremely important.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related 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.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|59||High school diploma or equivalent|
|24||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: CES
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$12.77 hourly, $26,550 annual|
|Employment (2014)||112,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||13,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "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.