Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

Description

Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

Tasks

  • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
  • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.
  • Route emergency calls appropriately.
  • 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 clerical duties, such as typing, proofreading, accepting orders, scheduling appointments, and sorting mail.
  • Monitor alarm systems to ensure that secure conditions are maintained.
  • Contact security staff members when necessary, using radio-telephones.
  • Keep records of calls placed and charges incurred.
  • Record messages, suggesting rewording for clarity or conciseness.
  • Stamp messages with time and date and file them appropriately.
  • Answer simple questions about clients' businesses, using reference files.
  • Complete forms for sales orders.

Knowledge

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Abilities

Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.

Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Staffing Organizational Units
Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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 outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

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.
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.

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.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Administrative Assistant
Answering Service Telephone Operator
Cbx Operator
Combination Operator
Command and Control Specialist
Communication Center Operator
Communication Coordinator
Communication Specialist
Complaint Operator
Customer Communications Specialist
Customer Service Representative
Desk Operator
Dispatcher
Exchange Operator
Front Desk Receptionist
Office Assistant
Operator
Operators Teacher
PBX Operator (Private Branch Exchange Operator)
PBX Teacher
Police District Switchboard Operator
Private Branch Exchange Service Adviser
Receptionist
Registration Clerk
Route Clerk
Secretary
Switchboard Operator
Switchboard Receptionist
Switching Clerk
Tandem Operator
Telecommunications Clerk
Telecommunications Operator
Telecommunicator
Telegraph Office Telephone Clerk
Telephone Answering Service Operator
Telephone Operator
Telephone Switchboard Operator
Test Operator
Through Operator
Traffic Observer
Traffic Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$12.2 hourly, $25,370 annual.
Employment (2008):
125,490 employees