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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

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • 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.

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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.
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.

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Skills

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.

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Abilities

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.

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Work Activities

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.

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Work Context

Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — How frequently does the worker have to deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous individuals as part of the job requirements?

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
59   High school diploma or equivalent
25   Some college, no degree
  Associate's degree

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

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.

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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.
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.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $12.20 hourly, $25,370 annual
Employment (2012) 131,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 24,100
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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