What do they do?

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

Also known as:

CBX Operator (Computerized Branch Exchange Operator), Central Communications Specialist, Communications Coordinator, Communications Operator, Communications Specialist, Information Specialist, PBX Operator (Private Branch Exchange Operator), Switchboard Operator (SB Operator), Switchboard Receptionist (SB Receptionist), Telecommunications Clerk, Telecommunications Operator

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service is projected to Decline 19 percent from 2020 to 2030

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • -19.6%


    Ranks #33 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #20 in net job growth

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (3%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (14%)
  • Associate's degree  (12%)
  • Some college, no degree  (37%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (30%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (3%)

People in this career often have these skills:

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • 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.
  • Administrative - Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • 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).

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
  • Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
  • Monitor alarm systems.
  • Maintain security.
  • Operate audio recording equipment.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
  • Relay information between personnel.
  • Prepare cash for deposit or disbursement.
  • Collect deposits, payments or fees.
  • Answer customer questions about goods or services.
  • File documents or records.
  • Maintain call records.
  • Sort mail.
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Type documents.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Execute sales or other financial transactions.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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