Telephone Operator

What they do

Switchboard operators operate digital switchboards to connect, hold, transfer and disconnect telephone calls within an organisation. They often work for major companies, hospitals, and hotels where large numbers of telephone calls are received.

Some switchboard operators may also operate their organisation’s paging system. This is especially common within hospitals.

Switchboard operators may also provide a customer service role by responding to callers’ general inquiries in a courteous, friendly and efficient manner.

Working conditions

Switchboard operators work indoors in offices, usually sitting for extended periods of time in front of a switchboard system and/or computer. They spend a significant amount of their working day talking to customers on the phone.

In some industries switchboard operators work standard business hours. However, in others they work varied shifts, including early mornings, late evenings, weekends and public holidays

Tools and technologies

Switchboard operators use complex phone systems with multiple incoming lines and internal extensions within the organisation. Depending on the organisation, they may also use the paging system to alert staff of incoming calls.

 Switchboard operators usually work with telephone switchboard systems and computers. They also need to be familiar with word processing and other computer software applications

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a switchboard operator without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining customer service experience or a qualification in customer engagement.

Certificate II and III in Customer Engagement is 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

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