Call or contact centre operator

What they do

Call or contact centre operators respond to telephone or email enquiries and complaints about the goods and services that an organisation offers. They take incoming calls and messages, assist customers with their specific inquiries, and provide callers with appropriate information or advice. They may also forward calls on to the most appropriate or relevant department of an  organisation, follow up calls by letter, fax or email, ring customers to promote products or services, and also conduct phone surveys with customers.

Working conditions

Call or contact centre operators work indoors, usually sitting down for extended periods of time. They work at desks, often using hands-free telephone headsets whilst working on computers. They spend a significant amount of their working day talking to customers over the phone. They need to be particularly familiar with the products and services that their organisation sells or deals with as they are often required to pass this information on to their customers.

Tools and technologies

Call or contact centre operators usually work with computers and hands-free telephone headsets. Although most work in offices, often with other operators, some may work from home. They should be familiar with word processing and spreadsheet computer programs, and other means for undertaking data entry. They usually work in large organisations surrounded by many other employees.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a call or contact centre operator without any formal qualifications and get training on the job

However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in customer service or a related field. The Certificates II III in Customer Engagement are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in customer engagement (level 2 or level 3). The traineeships take 12 months to complete and the Level 2 traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.