What Do Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Do?
Communications Equipment Operators connect callers with the people they are trying to reach. They may work as telephone operators, switchboard operators, or directory assistance operators. They can work for small companies with an internal phone system or a major company that provides long distance communicates worldwide.Communications Equipment Operators jobs are expected to grow by 5% in the next few years, with 3,200 positions opening up nationwide.
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Skills and Abilities
Communications Equipment Operators need to have strong communication skills, both written and oral. You need to be able to understand not just what people are saying, but what they are trying to communicate. You also need to know how to speak so that people can understand you; sometimes, without visual cues, it is necessary to rephrase your answers with different words so that you can be better understood. Knowing more than one language is a plus and will make you much more employable, as nowadays languages other than English are more prevalent in the general population. You will need to be able to work with computer systems and software for placing and transferring calls. You will also need excellent customer service skills to help guide and answer questions from callers. General clerical skills are required such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail. Top soft skills for this position are:
- Active Listening
- Service Orientation
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Time Management
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Duties
Communications Equipment Operators often work shifts and may work at any time of the day or night, as well as holidays and weekends. You will spend a lot of your time answering and transferring calls, both interoffice and externally. You must be capable of shifting your attention from speaking to recording information. You will research information to provide customer service and will need to know how to assess customer needs, meet quality standards, and evaluate customer satisfaction. Some typical duties are:
- Provide information from geographical directories
- Assist customers with billing requests
- Handle emergency calls
- Assist people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Tools and Technology
You will need to have familiarity with automated systems and databases, alarm systems and intercom systems. You will use multiline phones with complex menus and telephone headsets. You may also be using a public address system, a telephone switchboard, and radios. You could be expected to perform video surveillance using video monitors. Additionally, you will be using basic computer software such as Microsoft Office applications.
Education and Training for Communications Equipment Operators, All Other
You can become a Communications Equipment Operator with a high school diploma or GED. Over one-third of people who work in this occupation have a bachelor’s degree, however, so you may want to consider continuing your education to become more competitive. Training is provided on the job and is of short duration.
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Salary
Median salary for a Communications Equipment Operator is about $40,000, with the lowest 10 percent making just over $26,000. The federal government is the largest employer for this job, followed by government at the state and local level. Just of 6% of these jobs can be found in the private sector, such as hospitals.
Communications Equipment Operators, All Other Jobs by Geography
The best place to find openings for Communications Equipment Operators is in Iowa, which predicts over a 25% increase in these positions in the next several years. New Jersey and Florida have the most jobs, but expect a decline in openings in the future.