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Telephone Operator

Telephone Operators are a basic source for information dissemination to the general public. Responsible for directing calls and fulfilling basic enquiries, telephone operators can serve as an invaluable service for those who need information quickly.

Duties and tasks

  • Basic operation of a switchboard to route calls or provide information
  • Connecting, disconnecting, rerouting, and placing calls on hold as needed
  • Informing patrons of issues with phone service as well as informing maintenance of the same issues
  • Providing information about billing for different call types
  • Taking and quickly informing emergency services of calls as needed

Skills required

  • Clear speaking voice as the telephone operator must speak directly to people on the phone to provide information
  • Communication skills are key to the success of a telephone operator as the entire job is related to communicating
  • Multi-tasking to answer, transfer, connect, and reroute calls at a rapid pace
  • Organisational skills to operate an often large switchboard
  • Strong hand-eye coordination to maintain the switchboard and route calls accurately

Working conditions

Telephone Operators work indoors with an often large switchboard, but may also be maintained in an office. As telephones are needed day and night regardless of weather, weekend, or holiday, the working hours may vary. It is expected that some weekends, holidays, and nights will be maintained in what is likely to be shift work.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Institute of Office Professionals

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